Washington Square Institute

43rd Annual Scientific Conference
Psychoanalysis Beyond Patriarchy:
Contributions of Post-Freudians,
Queer Theory, and Laplanche

Morning Session: Jessica Benjamin, Ph.D.
Afternoon Session: Gila Ashtor, Ph.D.

Sunday, January 27, 2019
10:00 AM – 3:45 PM

Registration at 9:30 AM
4.5 CE hours for psychoanalysts, social workers, and psychologists

Morning Session: 10:00 AM — NOON


Reconsidering the Riddle of Sex-
How to think about Oedipus in the post-Oedipal world

Jessica Benjamin, Ph.D.

Freud considered femininity a conundrum, was it or was it not allied with passivity? I have shown, following Horney, how the mind of the Oedipal boy constructs femininity and how this construction informs the patriarchal view of sexuality as an urgent response to the overwhelming or repudiated object. In this talk we will deconstruct this logic, taking note of the role of early affect regulation in relation to sexual excitement; and of the use of gender binaries in dealing with excess, shame and loss. Clinical examples will illustrate how this theoretical view works with relational approaches.

At the end of this presentation participants should be able to:

  1. Recognize how the Oedipal projection of passivity into the feminine is used to construct the invulnerability of traditional masculinity.
  2. Understand the roots of these anxieties about passivity in early issues of attachment and affect regulation.
  3. Identify anxieties and shame regarding self-regulation that are aroused by the compulsion to perform conventionally organized masculinity and femininity.

Lunch Break: NOON — 1:15 PM

Afternoon Session: 1:15 — 3:45 PM


Queering Psychoanalysis?
A Critical Exploration of Queer Theory and Psychoanalysis

Gila Ashtor, Ph.D.

The growing popularity of Queer Theory in contemporary psychoanalytic discourse was evident in the most recent IARPP Colloquium where, in spite of its provenance in literary studies by a professor of comparative literature, the term "ego shattering" was used repeatedly by clinicians to describe a psychological phenomenon. As contemporary psychoanalysis diversifies its theoretical canon and aims, often explicitly, to revolutionize some of its most traditional concepts so as to keep pace with developments in other fields, it isn't difficult to recognize the singular appeal of queer theory. Not only is queer theory a powerful and disruptive force in the academy, but, for various reasons that aren't the subject of this talk, queer theory has also become a veritable code word for "radical" "rigorous" and "anti-normative" theory. This talk will explore the relationship between Queer Theory and psychoanalysis through a close engagement with the writing of queer theorist Leo Bersani and psychoanalyst Jean Laplanche.

At the end of this presentation participants should be able to identify:

  1. What is Queer Theory? How did it develop an intellectual discourse and what are its major subjects and interests?
  2. How does contemporary psychoanalysis relate to Queer Theory?
  3. How does the work of Jean Laplanche introduce new concepts into contemporary psychoanalysis, and specifically, theorizations of sexuality?

Discussion with Q&A:

Marilyn Tauber, MODERATOR


Washington Square Institute for Psychotherapy
41 East 11th Street, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10003

Bios in Order of Presentation

Jessica Benjamin, Ph.D.

Jessica Benjamin, Ph.D., is a practicing psychoanalyst in New York City, where she is a supervising faculty member at the Relational Track of the New York University Postdoctoral Psychology program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis as well as a founding board member and faculty of the Stephen Mitchell Relational Studies Center. She was a co-founder of the International Association of Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy and the journal Studies in Gender and Sexuality and on the editorial board of Psychoanalytic Dialogues. She is known as a contributor to the development of relational psychoanalysis and its interrelation with feminism as well as the theory of intersubjectivity. Her earlier works include: The Bonds of Love; Like Subjects, Love Objects; Shadow of the Other. Her most frequently cited article is Beyond Doer and Done to: an Intersubjective view of Thirdness (Psa. Quarterly 2004). She directed The Acknowledgment Project (2004-2010), a series of dialogues between Israeli and Palestinian mental health professionals and participated in a video project on Combatants for Peace, movingbeyondviolence.org available online. She has published her most recent book Beyond Doer and Done To: Recognition Theory, Intersubjectivity and the Third in July of this year.

Gila Ashtor, Ph.D.

Gila Ashtor has a Ph.D. in Literature and Philosophy from Tufts University. Her research specializations include Queer Theory, psychoanalysis, trauma and affect studies, memoir and the metapsychology of Jean Laplanche. Her academic writing focuses on the relationship of queer theory to psychoanalysis, and is the subject of her forthcoming book Homo Psyche: Queer Theory and Metapsychology. Her clinical writing deals with sexuality, trauma and attachment and she is an Editor at Studies in Gender and Sexuality. Gila is currently an advanced candidate in the Adult Training Program in psychoanalysis at the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research (IPTAR) in New York City, where she treats adults and children.

Thanks to the Program Committee for their help with the conference: Marc Angers, MA, Oxon, LCSW, LP, NCPsyA, Jane Birzin, MA; Jane Genende, LCSW-R; Gene Guberman, MA, LP, NCPsyA; Natalie Riccio, PhD; Marilyn Tauber, MA, LP, NCPsyA; Tom Wagner, MA, LP, NCPsyA.

Registration and payment:

(Advance registration is recommended due to limited seating.)

Registration Fees: Amount:
Early Bird Special (thru January 10, 2019) $125
Registration Received by January 24, 2019 $140
At the Door $165
Students with ID, Early Bird Special (thru January 10, 2019) $50
Students with ID, Registration Received by January 24, 2019 $60
Students with ID, At the Door $65
WSI Faculty/Staff, Early Bird Special (thru January 10, 2019) $120
WSI Faculty/Staff, registration received by January 24, 2019 $130
WSI Faculty/Staff, At the Door $140

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Washington Square Institute
41 E. 11th St., 4th Floor
New York, NY 10003
ATTN: Conference

Refunds will be given up to one week prior to conference date only.
Registration begins at 9:30 A.M.

Continuing Education Credits: 4.5 hrs for this conference. Washington Square Institute for Psychotherapy & Mental Health is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed psychoanalysts, #P-0008. Washington Square Institute for Psychotherapy & Mental Health is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for LCSW (# 0269). WSI is approved by the APA (American Psychological Association) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists.

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