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Welcome to the Psychohistory Forum

In 1982, Paul H. Elovitz, with Henry Lawton as Associate Director, created the Psychohistory Forum as a Metropolitan New York City organization designed to nurture and disseminate applied psychoanalysis and all forms of related scholarship. This was the continuation of this scholarly networking and sponsorship that Professor Elovitz had started in 1971 at Ramapo College and in 1975 under the auspices of the Institute for Psychohistory. While the mission was not written out at the time, it was quite clear and is spelled out below. From its humble beginnings in Manhattan, the Forum has become a national and international organization.

The Vision of the Psychohistory Forum is to:
• Enrich humanity by providing the in-depth study of the conscious and unconscious motivations of individuals and groups. While we focus on those who contribute or contributed to various fields of knowledge and human endeavors, our concern is to the greater understanding of all humanity.
• Research and commemorate the greatest contributors to the growth of civilization as well as to understand the toxic forces within our cultures, politics, and psyche. While preferring to focus on the most creative and innovative within our species, we also probe the psychobiographies and group fantasies associated with genocidal and regressive behavior.

Our Mission

Our mission is to enlarge and disseminate the related paradigms of applied psychoanalysis, political psychology, psychobiography, and of psychological history. We seek to do this in non-technical language that is easily accessible to the layperson and colleagues coming from many different fields. An essential ingredient of our approach has always been to nurture interdisciplinary scholarship in a non-judgmental manner, avoiding the one-upmanship so often found at academic conferences and discussions.

To fulfill this mission, we will:

  • Continue to organize and sponsor research meetings online and in-person Work-in-Progress seminars in which a colleague or group of colleagues bring a draft paper of a psychohistorical or psychobiographical research project to be read and contributed to by the participants.
  • Organize international conferences on all aspects of psychohistory.
  • Facilitate the publication of psychohistorical and psychobiographical articles and books.
  • Write book reviews of monographs relevant to our field.
  • Commemorate lives and works of contributors to the psychohistorical field of knowledge.
  • Focus on the developmental issues and the coping mechanisms utilized in dealing with the crises and traumas of life.
  • Cooperate and affiliate with other psychohistorical individuals and groups around the world.
  • Integrate younger colleagues into the leadership of psychohistorical and related organizations and publications.

Our Goal

Our goal is always to stimulate psychohistorical thought, publications, research, and teaching. Some specific objectives are as follows:

  • To encourage academics and the general public to think psychohistorically.
  • To disseminate psychohistorical knowledge, including using virtual communication to broaden our influence.
  • To create a record of the work we did at Psychohistory Forum meetings, resulting in the creation of Clio’s Psyche in 1994 and the publication of edited books of the best of our journal.
  • To communicate with Psychohistory Forum members, Clio’s Psyche subscribers, and interested colleagues around the world.
  • To promote the emphasis on the childhood and life passage of the whole person, going beyond personal characteristics and traits.
  • To foster cross-disciplinary/interdisciplinary and cross-cultural research, transcending the western culture in which psychoanalysis and psychohistory developed.
  • To assist the exchanging of ideas among colleagues, especially in the Forum research groups.
  • To grow the psychohistorical community and the larger group of people interested in what we do.
  • To help clinicians focus on history, the social sciences, and current events.
  • To assist academics in all disciplines — history, literature, political science, psychology, sociology, anthropology — to utilize the insights and tools of psychoanalysis, psychobiography, and psychology.
  • To encourage the teaching of psychohistory, providing samples of syllabi, and networking colleagues interested in adding psychohistory to their pedagogy.
  • To especially encourage research and publication on childhood, psychobiography, and the transgenerational transmission of resilience and trauma.
  • To nurture and foster psychohistorical debate, discussion, listening, publication, research, and thought.
  • To showcase psychobiography in the academic and general communities.
  • To emphasize the use of empathy in researching our subjects and dealing with colleagues.
  • To establish a worldwide network of colleagues doing applied psychoanalysis, political psychology, psychobiography, and psychological history, all of which are subsumed under the title of psychohistory.
  • To discourage conflicts and divisions within those doing our important work.
  • To help transmit the knowledge of an older generation of psychohistorians to those just entering the field.
  • To research and publish the history of our field, highlighting, honoring, and critiquing the work of those who have built it.
  • To make available online obituaries of those who die, memorializing their work.

In conclusion, we welcome others joining with us to achieve the goals articulated in this mission statement.

Paul H. Elovitz, PhD
Founding Director/Convener and Editor-in-Chief of Clio’s Psyche

Inna Rozentsvit, MD
Associate Director and Associate Editor of Clio’s Psyche

Nicole D’Andria
Administrator and Editorial Associate of Clio’s Psyche

Awards

The Psychohistory Forum offers three awards:

  • The Sydney Halpern Award for the Best Psychohistorical Idea, normally in a published article or book. This award has previously been granted in the amounts of $150 and $300 to individuals who created the first psychohistory listserv, created a film on an eminent psychohistorian, and who achieved excellence in editing. They live in California, New York, and Canada. ($300 remains in the award fund.)
  • The Young Scholar Membership Award. A year’s membership including subscription to Clio’s Psyche, granted to those nominated by a member or practicing psychohistorian. Awardees would either have or be in the process of receiving an advanced graduate degree or psychoanalytic certification.
  • The Psychohistory Forum Student Award. For the best article in Clio’s Psyche by a student at any level and psychoanalytic candidates early in their training. A one year subscription is provided.

There are a variety of awards available from other organizations such as the Robert Stoller Foundation, the International Society for Political Psychology, and the International Psychohistorical Association.