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Rebirth and Renewal - IAJS Conference 2014
Greetings all
The conference is now a few days gone, and we are still thinking about it.
The papers were splendid, for the most part, the food and drink flowing, except when coffee ran out, and the talk among like-minded people varied and enriching. New friendships and potential future collegial relationships were forged.
We were approx 70 and despite its being a ‘regional’ conference we had delegates, both IAJS members and not, from California, New York, Brazil, South Africa, Wales, Scotland, Australia and LondonUK. To talk to someone you’d been exchanging ideas for so long on email was liberating.
Liz Broderson arrived to join other Executive Committee members, Kevin Lu and Mark Saban, organisers of the conference (with myself Leslie Gardner, ex officio!). Luke Hockley, Lucy Huskinson, and other members of editorial board of IJJS were in attendance – Edward Bloomfield, and Terence Dawson – and, new staff member, Catriona Miller, who will oversee film material that comes in to the journal. Luke announced that the three organisers of the conference, will edit a special conference issue via the submission route Taylor and Francis set up for us.
Wolfgang Giegerich’s opening talk, lengthy and controversial, set up the tone of warmth and back-to-basics Jungian discussion. He remained throughout, attending talks and evening get-togethers. Midway Roderick Main gave an excellent talk on Charles Taylor’s ‘Secular Age’ as it helped explore Jung’s sense of engagement with enchantment and disenchantment, the conference theme. Paul Bishop finished up in barely uplifting mode, setting historical and Jungian approach to anomalies of the university and education. Andrew Samuels took half the conference into a workshop on promiscuity.
Papers otherwise revolved around our theme – Michael Whan’s on the death of Pan, and nihilism; Phil Goss on Wordsworth and ‘spots of time’; Steve Myers on Myers-Briggs psychometric testing – lots of controversy there; Terence Dawson’s paper reclaiming E T A Hoffman’s ‘Sandman’ story from Freudian interpretation; Jane Bacon, Mike Evans and Dave Parker displayed art work and conducted a discussion on the artist’s role; Chris Hauke’s exploration of face-to-face analysis in film, photography and the analyst’s session with a patient; Ann Yeoman’s exploration of psyche’s transformations; Ann Addison’s history of vitalism, contextualising its sense of enchantment; Maryann Barone-Chapman’s discussion of late pregnancy as it relates to psychic expectations; Mark Saban’s dissection of enchantment’s role in Weber’s sense (or not); Kevin Lu’s historical investigations enriched the discussion.
What is hard to include here is the vehement talk in reaction to papers during the coffee sessions and final drinks session in which we closed the venue that Saturday evening. The level of talk was high, and new ventures emerged that we will be setting out to accomplish, including new ideas for the website, and for symposia either on the discussion list or in linked communications. We hope this brief report on the congeniality and satisfying level of discussion at the conference will inspire other regional conferences – a smaller, less overwhelming chance to meet and talk, and seek ways forward in our hybrid endeavour or study.
With best wishes, Leslie
I concur with pretty well all of Leslie’s remarks here, but I would like to add a few words to express my personal perspective on our conference.  I was left with a strong sense that we, all 70 of us, had been engaging for two days in a really good conversation on and around our theme, Enchantment and Disenchantment, and what was gratifying about that was the way that the theme seemed to serve as a fresh lens through which to revision all kinds of aspects of analytical psychology.  The theme didn’t seem to limit the conversation but to open it up.  I really enjoyed the sense of focus this offered, which in my limited experience is not always present at conferences.  The fact that Giegerich not only contributed a paper which was of very high quality and bang on theme but stayed with us for the two days, attending panels and engagingwith questions and comments was particularly pleasing to me.  The other twokeynotes from Roderick Main and Paul Bishop were also of a very high standard and they too served to move the conversation along.  All in all I was very proud to be connected with a conference in which such vibrant intellectual energy could be generated in a warm and open atmosphere.
Best wishes Mark

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