Association for the Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society

Call for Papers

2012 APCS Annual Conference:

Futures and Illusions: Social-Psychoanalytic Perspectives

Rutgers University Continuing Education Conference Center, New Brunswick, NJ

 October 19-20, 2012

(Executive Board Meeting Sunday, October 21, 8-12am)

This conference takes up the question of futures and illusions from a social-psychoanalytic perspective.  As pressing social realities shatter many illusions, we are left to question what type of future we are creating versus the type of future we might hope to have. In a world of manufactured ideologies, commodified needs, and consumerist selves, are the hopeful imaginaries we construct for ourselves mere illusions?

We seek proposals that investigate what psychoanalysis—in both its theoretical and applied forms—can offer for a better understanding of these questions.  Please think broadly about these issues from your own discipline, and consider proposing interdisciplinary conversations that discuss these issues across disciplines, or that invite commentary from a different discipline.  Consider, for example, the following:

  • How does psychoanalysis inform our understanding of our current social crises?
  • Role of  mass media in promoting or shattering illusions
  • Role of illusion and dis-illusion in current politics and ideologies
  • Technological change and  the construction of futures and illusions
  • Therapy , hope and dis-illusion: a contradiction?
  • Dreams, fantasy, and illusion
  • Being, possibility, and illusion
  • Life paths, authenticity and illusion
  • Pedagogic imaginaries: an illusion?
  • Intergenerationally transmitted illusions and their relation to possible futures
  • Unconscious process and attachment to illusions
  • Psychosocial Research: futures and illusions
  • Ways in which ideas about future and illusion are playing out in current culture:
    • In religion and religious structures
    • In film, media, and literature
    • In the classroom
    • In psychoanalysis as a theoretical and applied practice


Individual paper proposals may be submitted, as well as panel or roundtable proposals.  We also invite you to think of alternate formats that promote discussion.  Abstracts should be no longer than 250 words.  Please attach a cover sheet that includes your name, primary affiliation, and contact information.  For panels, please provide an overview of up to 250 words.

APCS encourages all participants to reflect on the social importance of their contribution and articulate that value in their presentation.  It is our view that the psychoanalytic investigation of culture and society constitutes a unique and indispensable means of understanding AND intervening in our most serious social problems, and we encourage proposals that work to further this project.

Abstracts should be sent to:

Co-Chairs: Michael O’Loughlin & Marilyn Charles ~ Submissions due by June 1, 2012.

Please see the website for updates:

Or contact the conference co-chairs at: or

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