Announcing the Psychobiography Reading Group
of the Psychohistory Forum
The Psychobiography Research and Publication Group of the Psychohistory Forum, with the strong support of Inna Rozentsvit and Ken Fuchsman, has created the virtual Psychobiography Reading Group.
It will meet first on February 25th (Saturday) from 10:30am-1pm (EST) and discuss Jim Anderson’s chapter, “Winnicott’s Constant Search for the Life that Feels Real,” from The Winnicott Tradition: Lines of Development — Evolution of Theory and Practice over the Decades (edited by M. B. Spelman & F. Thomson-Salo).
Jim Anderson will be present at the meeting from the beginning, but won’t participate in commenting until after the initial discussion of the reading.
James William Anderson, PhD, is Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Northwestern University, Evanston and Chicago, and a former President of the Chicago Psychoanalytic Society. Jim’s book, Psychobiography: In Search of the Inner Life, will be published by Oxford University Press in late 2023. He asked us to include this statement with the announcement of the meeting:
“Although everyone in the study group may not be familiar with Donald W. Winnicott, he is arguably the theorist, post-Freud, who has the greatest influence on psychoanalysts today. The online archive of psychoanalytic journal articles (Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, PEP Web) has a list of most-cited articles. In the current list, four of the nine most-cited articles were written by Winnicott.
My goal in writing a short psychobiography of him was to explore the connection between his personal life—the concerns and conflicts that mattered most to him—and the innovative theories that he developed. I take the position that creative theorists like Winnicott find that psychoanalytic theory does not adequately explain their own personal experience and they are therefore motivated to expand psychoanalysis so that it can help make sense of themselves and people like themselves.”
Please note that we have chosen to start our meetings with a short reading to ensure that it will be read ahead of time. Individuals who have not done the readings for this group will need to stay muted to establish this as a true discussion group.
Please feel free to participate in by joining Zoom Meeting (by 10:30am EST)
Meeting ID: 854 0458 7774
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Meeting ID: 854 0458 7774
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Link to Jim Anderson’s chapter
Our expectation is that we will meet bi-monthly and that we should work hard to keep this as a serious psychoanalytic approach to psychobiography. Subsequently, our focus will be on classic works of psychodynamic psychobiography, although they need not be fully explicit about the theory underlying the books and articles.
I look forward to our together deepening our knowledge of this psychohistorical approach as we probe the lives of fascinating and important people. If you are interested in joining this group, please contact Inna Rozentsvit at firstname.lastname@example.org or Paul H. Elovitz at email@example.com. If you don’t have the chapter that will be discussed – we will email it to you when requested.
Paul H. Elovitz, PhD, Historian, Research Psychoanalyst, Online Psychohistory Professor, Psychohistory Forum Director, and Editor, Clio’s Psyche; Author, The Making of Psychohistory: Origins, Controversies, and Pioneering Contributors (Routledge, 2018); Editor, The Many Roads of the Builders of Psychohistory (ORI Academic Press, 2021); Author/Editor of other books. See CliosPsyche.org for additional information.