The Dead Father

a two-day international symposium

April 29-30, 2006

Low Library Rotunda
Columbia University
New York, NY

The material of the Symposium is being published by Routledge and will be available later this year

The Dead Father
A Psychoanalytic Inquiry
Edited by Lila J Kalinich, Stuart W Taylor

ISBN: 978-0-415-44994-6


Lila J. Kalinich, President, The Association for Psychoanalytic Medicine
Saturday, April 29, 2006

Stuart W. Taylor, Chair, Symposium Planning Committee
Sunday, April 30, 2006


Over the past 50 years, psychoanalysis has undergone many changes in both its theory and its practice.  Departing from Freud’s original emphasis on what some have called his “Oedipal dream”, his heirs shifted focus to the Mother and her role in the early development of the infant.  As a result, fundamentals of psychoanalysis such as the nature of the unconscious and structure formation have taken a back seat to newer approaches such as self psychology, intersubjectivity, attachment theory and other theories about infant development.

Our Symposium’s featured speaker, Andre Green, has embraced ideas both old and new, in creative ways.  He has mined the work of analytic thinkers as diverse as Klein, Winnicott and Lacan to enrich the Freudian corpus.  While Green’s landmark 1980 paper, The Dead Mother demanded attention to the subjective life of the infant faced with absence in the maternal dyad, Green has consistently maintained that the analyst speaks from the position of the third, someone who, like the Father, stands outside of that dyad.

The work of Green and others has inspired us to ask, “and what now of the Dead Father?  What are the consequences of the Father's absence, and how is His absence represented in psychic and communal life?” Freud, of course posed this question in various works such as Totem and Taboo.  But we ask it from the other side of the 20th Century, at a time in which major shifts in our theories and our culture have tended to minimize the role of the Father, both living and dead.

The internationally known psychoanalysts and scholars at this Symposium explored how this relative erasure of the Father affects our theories and our lives.  The Symposium considered the impact of the Father's Death on:


Registration 8:30‑9:15
Introduction 9:15‑9:30

Lila J. Kalinich, President, The Association for Psychoanalytic Medicine

Stuart W. Taylor, Chair, Symposium Planning Committee

The Father and the Body 9:30‑11:30
moderator Maria Cristina Aguirre

Marilia Aisenstein: Two Fathers, Two Sons... How Many Bodies? 

Thomas Laqueur: Unmastered Remains: Fathers in Freud and Me

Eric Laurent: A New Love for the Father

Plenary Address 11:45‑12:30 André Green: Early Effects of Thirdness and the Hypothesis of the Dead Father
The Father and Theory 2:30‑4:30 moderator Arnold Richards

Christine Anzieu-Premmereur: The Dead Father Figure and The Symbolization Process

James Herzog: Constructing and Deconstructing the Conglomerate: Thoughts about the Father, in Life, in Death, and in Theory

Rosine Jozef Perelberg: The Dead Father and the Sacrifice of Sexuality

The Father and Culture 9:30‑11:30 moderator John Muller

Vincent Crapanzano: Live Dead Fathers, Dead Live Fathers: Frozen Discourse and the Passage of Trauma from Generation to Generation

Julia Kristeva: A Father is Beaten to Death

Edward Tayler: A Little Pedagogy Now, and Then

Response 11:45‑12:30 Helen Meyers
The Last Word 12:45‑1:30 discussion among panelists & audience questions

The American Psychoanalytic Association designates this educational activity for a maximum of 9.25  hours in category I credit towards the AMA Physician’s Recognition Award. [more on CME]

download registration form

download symposium brochure (730 KB .pdf)

download symposium booklet (560 KB .pdf)

directions to the symposium site

recommended reading list

short biographies of presenters

Shakespeare on the Dead Father

Symposium Study Groups for APM members

In conjunction with symposium the APM sponsored a yearlong study group. Each meeting focused either on the work of one of the symposium speakers or on the theme of the symposium—an exploration of the father in unconcsious mental life.

 Stuart W. Taylor, Chair
and the Symposium Planning Committee
last updated 9/6/08