“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” —William Faulkner
For first-time explorers as well as those who have visited before, New Orleans offers pleasures in the realms of food, music, art, and spirits. 2018 marks the tricentennial of this wonderful city, a place where streetcar lines were named ‘Desire.’ Bienvenue a La Nouvelle Orleans: we cannot imagine a better location for those passionate about psychoanalysis to come together.
Our conference theme, Generations: Ghosts and Guardians has numerous roots, including psychoanalytic trauma theory, Hans Loewald, William Faulkner, and hauntings, both real and imagined. The theme also connects with many New Orleans-specific motifs, including the city’s celebrated graveyards, its Mardi Gras’ rituals, and its history as a cross-roads for numerous racial and ethnic groups.
Generations carry culture and conflicts, linking the past to the present in both creative and destructive cycles. Ghosts speak to us as we investigate the legacies of slavery and colonization as well as challenge us in considering how to understand and repair these wounds. Our guardians, wherever found, guide and protect us, as we confront our hauntings. In New Orleans, we invite you to continue conversations between and among generations.
For a Division interested and invested in social and political justice, New Orleans provides a window into our national struggles. From its vulnerability to climate change to its re-shaped educational infrastructure, and from the consent decrees for reforming its legal and prison systems to the pedestal where a General Lee statue was recently removed, New Orleans symbolizes significant issues that allow examination of how our history and its specters continue to affect us.
We are proud and excited about the program that we have assembled over the past two years with the aid of our diligent and creative Steering Committee. It has been a privilege to develop relationships with all involved in planning this endeavor and we have felt the support of the Division as a community that shares a dedication to psychoanalysis, understanding, and change. On behalf of the Steering Committee and as Co-Chairs of the 2018 Spring Meeting, please join us in New Orleans for community and connection, theory and technique, as well as food and fun. Laissez les bons temps rouler!
Stephen Anen & Sanjay Nath