Jungian Society for Scholarly Studies (JSSS)

The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.-- Carl Jung



2003 International Conference of the Jungian Society for Scholarly Study
Providence, Rhode island

image from www.goprovidence.com

August 7-9, 2003, The Jungian Society held its second annual conference in Providence, RI. Hosted by the University of Rhode Island, Alan Shawn Feinstein College of Continuing Education, the conference included an array of Jungian and Post-Jungian presentations devoted to theory as well as to practice. The 30-plus participants included professors, graduate students, and practicing analysts who read papers, presented visual displays, and offered readings and musical performance.  Some presenters offered new interpretations of Jung’s theory from Postmodern critical viewpoints, such as those of Deleuze, Derrida, Lacan, Feminism, and Eco-Feminism. Others directly applied Jungian theoretical concepts such as the Shadow, Individuation, Alchemical Imagery, or archetypal analysis. Still others, employed a Post-Jungian approach, including the theories of such disciples as M.L. von Franz and Joseph Campbell. Campbell’s Monomyth pattern was realized in a variety of works, ranging from the canonical World and British Literature to fantasy and popular literature as well as film. Of special note were the two presentations on fine art by Ann Norton and James Baker, both of Providence College.  These two events featured a global examination of art as a psychological representation through symbols of various artists’ themes. 

An elegant Keynote Dinner was enjoyed at the Federal Reserve Restaurant on Friday, August 8, and the assembly was addressed by Dr. Howard Covitz, Director of the Institute for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapies, who spoke on “A Touch of Jung or Touched by Jung?” Dr. Covitz was an energetic and entertaining speaker who enlivened his presentation with many slides of New Yorker and other  cartoons addressing psychotherapy and human behavior. He presented his argument from his vantage point as a Freudian scholar, but a Freudian who understands the contributions of Jung to psychoanalysis. 

Overall, the conference generated much enthusiasm among attendees. Several conferees e-mailed organizers after the event to say that this had been a very pleasant, open, and informative experience wherein they learned much and made new friends. One remarked that he was appreciative and surprised that so many attended his early morning presentation. As he exclaimed, “At my last conference, at 9:00 a.m., we addressed an audience of one! Here, I was elated at the numbers in my audience.”  Many participants enjoyed not only the conference site, but also Providence’s renaissance.  Many remembered Providence as a run-down mill town and were delighted at the city’s transformation.

The third annual Jungian Conference is planned for August 2004, in Newport, Rhode Island.  See the Call for Papers elsewhere on this site. Please consider joining other Jungian and Post-Jungian scholars and practitioners for another enjoyable, informative and inspiring event.

--prepared by Glenna Andrade

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