The Self Industry. Therapy and Fiction

My Brain by Marina PetroMy Brain by Marina Petro

www.selfindustry.us.edu.pl
International Conference

September 22 – 24, 2011
Ustroń, Poland

No one remains quite what he was when he recognizes himself.
      Thomas Mann
Becoming conscious is of course a sacrilege against nature; it is as though you had robbed the unconscious of something.
      Carl G. Jung

One's own self is well hidden from one's own self; of all mines of treasure, one's own is the last to be dug up.
    Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

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The last 200 years have produced a staggering wealth of writing on the Self, at first mainly belles-lettres, later also non-fiction. Whether we take into consideration the High Romantics, such as E. A. Poe, E. T. A. Hoffman, and P. B. Shelley, pursuing the Self through archetypes of the Self, or George Eliot's fiction of apparently social concern (The Mill on the Floss, Middlemarch), or D. H. Lawrence's and W. Faulkner's narratives, we are confronted with dramas of consciousness. The advent of analytical psychology afforded not only insights into the workings of the literary text, but also pointed to its frequent therapeutic meaning for the author, individual reader, and community. The work of C. G. Jung and S. Gooch, exploring the duality of man and stressing the need to foster a new consciousness by integrating the feminine and the masculine, V. Frankl's doctrine of overcoming the 'tragic triad' (suffering, guilt, and transitoriness) and inner void by affirming Urvertrauen zum Dasein ('the basic trust in Being') in existential acts of the 'will to meaning', provided two frameworks for therapy. Freud's system provided another framework, but what is perhaps as significant, it was admired for two different reasons. H. Hesse admired the clarity of Freud's thinking combined with beauty of language while T. Mann - his literary characteristics: structure and form. This interface of writing and therapy, much as in such famous accounts as Augustine's or Rousseau's Confessions, constitutes an intellectual challenge in that its paradigms of exposure and suppression follow both tangled personal and rhetorical agendas.

Scholars are welcome to submit proposals from a wide range of areas (including literary and cultural studies, sociology, psychology, art, religious studies, and others).

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • writing as therapy/healing/purification
  • writing and reading as autotherapy
  • psychology in art/art in psychology
  • therapeutic functions of participation in high/low culture
  • illness, therapy, and catharsis in film and theatre
  • discourses on the Self/identity/subjectivity
  • writing and suffering/destruction/guilt/transitoriness
  • therapy and the sub/un/conscious
  • acculturation as therapy

Scholars from diverse fields are invited to participate in The Self Industry. Therapy and Fiction, a conference to be held on 22nd - 24th September 2011 in Ustroń, Poland. We expect your presentation abstracts (150-200 words) by 31 March 2011. Should you have any queries, do not hesitate to contact us at Ten adres pocztowy jest chroniony przed spamowaniem. Aby go zobaczyć, konieczne jest włączenie obsługi JavaScript. .

The organizing committee:

Krzysztof Kowalczyk-Twarowski, Ph.D.
Chair of the Organising Committee

Marta Mamet-Michalkiewicz, Ph.D.
Jarosław Szurman, Ph.D.

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Instytut Kultur i Literatur Anglojęzycznych

 

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