APsaA Un-Zoomed   Boston | June 1-5, 2022

How do we orient ourselves to what will be our first in-person meeting in nearly three years? How do we stay grounded in the world as it is, while still allowing ourselves our excitement, our sense of personal and professional possibilities, as we collectively emerge from the mediation of flat screens and enter the sensuous realities of touch, of crowds, and of really, really seeing each other?

Maybe Yeats helps:

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?


We can read that section of “The Second Coming” and say that yes, that's our world, that's where we are. Now. And we might even also say that yes, that has been our world, not just now, but whenever we have actually tried to look around. We American psychoanalysts seem to be looking around more than we once did. But throughout its 125 years, psychoanalysis has resided in a world in which the rough beast is and has always been slouching toward Bethlehem.

Let's remember that as we gather in Boston this June. And let's remember the gift we've been given—the chance to work in safe and secure rooms and to hear the voices of people “vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle” speaking to us without limit.

Our meeting will be graced with two plenary speakers, Jane Kite on Friday morning and Francisco González on Saturday afternoon.

In between, we will present six wide-ranging panels. Here they are, in order of appearance:

1. “Gender and Sexuality – How Internal Responses to Queerness become Enacted in Psychoanalysis”

2. “Mothering a Child with a Visible Facial Difference: The Face of the Mother and the Face of the Other”

3. “The Problem of the Family in Psychoanalysis”

4. “But, It's Not Psychoanalysis: Expanding Our Definition of What Can and Can't be Seen as Psychoanalysis”

5. “Social Media: Bodies, Boundaries and Fantasies: Clinical Implications of the Social Media Realm”

6. “Thanatos: Is Freud's Concept Still Relevant?”

Daria Colombo will finally get her Covid-delayed chance to present her Ticho Award lecture, “Autotheory: Reading Maggie Nelson's The Argonauts and Emma Lieber's The Writing Cure as Case Studies in Embodied Analytic Framing.”

Anton Hart returns to chair experiential process groups on race/ethnicity and sexuality/gender.

The leadership team of the Holmes Commission on Racial Equality in American Psychoanalysis (Dorothy Holmes, Anton Hart, Beverly Stoute, and Dionne Powell) will present their initial findings from nearly 2,000 questionnaires and hundreds of in-depth interviews.

The DPE will present “Implications from Chaos, Complexity and Non-Linear Dynamic Systems Theories for the Clinical Situation.” The Science Department will address issues of separation distress and will also take up the experiences of racism among Indian Americans.

Our two-day clinical workshops return, chaired by Irene Cairo, Henry Friedman, Ann Dart, and Lynne Zeavin.

The guts of our meeting—discussion groups—are back, thirty-seven of them.

It's exciting to put this very partial list together, to get and to provide a sense of what we will be doing in Boston this June 1-5. Finally, we will reconvene, much the wiser, it seems to me, chastened out of so many of our orthodoxies, pummeled by the world around us, a world that insists that we stop trying to bracket it away. And indeed, the brackets are dissolving.

Oh yes, and one more thing: get there on Wednesday and you can see the Boston Red Sox playing in Fenway Park. APSAA

—Donald B. Moss, M.D.
Program Committee Chair