Call for Papers

Association for the Psychoanalysis of Culture & Society
Call for Papers
2018 APCS Annual Conference

Disrupting Dystopian Futures

Rutgers University Continuing Education Conference Center, New Brunswick, NJ
October 19-20, 2018
(Journal Board Meeting, Sunday, October 21, 8:00-9:30am ~ Executive Board Meeting 9:45-12)

This conference takes up the issue of Transformations in relation to the fears currently contaminating our visions of the future.

We invite you to consider ways in which processes of idealization and demonization are permeating our psychic and social structures, and how a psychoanalytic lens might help to inform our conceptions and interventions.

Please think broadly about these issues from your own discipline and perspective, and consider proposing multidisciplinary conversations that discuss these issues across disciplines or that invite commentary from a different discipline or interdisciplinary perspectives that integrate concepts and modes of knowledge production from different disciplines. Engaging other fields is invited so that our discussions enrich and expand our ability to explore voices and voicing such that both problems and possibilities might be further revealed.

Consider, for example, how the perspectives of psychoanalysis, culture and social justice might inform the following:

  • How do othering processes undermine development and impede adaptive transformation of social problems?
  • How do media and public discourse support or undermine the possibility of an adaptive transformative process?
  • How do our ‘mental health’ systems subvert the possibility of transformative growth?
  • How do our schools support or subvert the possibility of transformative growth?
  • How do groups and organizations disrupt the possibility of free thought, in spite of their stated goals?
  • How do ideas and ideals either open up or close down the possibility of growth?
  • Ways in which literature, film, or other art forms disrupt our blindness to social problems.
  • Ways in which language obscures or disrupts the possibility of mindful thinking
  • Trans-formations: Journeying across gender boundaries
  • Transformations: Critical youth journeys
  • Transforming asylums: The healing potential of reparative communities
  • Transforming schools: The creation of emotionally reparative and critical spaces for children and youth
  • Transforming mental health work: Creating spaces for social justice, critique and activism 
  • Transforming politics: Resisting the dark triad of racism, populism
  • Re-thinking neoliberalism and the age of post-truth
  • Transforming politics: Resisting the dark triad of racism, populism and scapegoating
  • Transforming neoliberal and managerial discourses
  • Transforming our response to humanitarian crises
  • Transforming annihilation: understanding the contemporary nuclear threat and its metaphors
  • How can we understand and disrupt the states of mind that give rise to proliferation of fact-free information and a post-truth environment?

Individual paper proposals may be submitted, as well as symposium, roundtable, or working session proposals. Most sessions will be 90 minutes long. Individual papers will be grouped into themed panels

Panel and symposium formats presume no more than 15 minutes per speaker; roundtables presume no more than 7 minutes per speaker. All panels should reserve at least 30 minutes for audience participation. At APCS, we value conversation. Keeping your own remarks within the allotted time helps to ensure that all participants can engage in the dialogue.

We welcome proposals that include a required reading posted to our website that those planning to attend the session can read in advance. We hope that all presenters will offer their ideas in a conversational style (avoiding Powerpoint presentations where possible) and we also invite you to think of alternate formats that promote discussion.

Abstracts should be no longer than 300 words and will be published on our website and on our app. Review criteria will include relevance to the APCS mission and program theme, and appropriate grounding from a theoretical perspective Submissions are due by June 30, 2018.

On April 1, 2018 we will open our web-based submission process and you will be able to submit a proposal any time between April 1 and midnight on June 30, 2018. Please check our website at for updated submission details, which will be posted shortly.

Meanwhile, if you have any questions please contact conference co-chairs: Marilyn Charles, or Lita Crociani-Windland at

Submission Details:
Symposia and Roundtables: Submission should include both an overview of up to 300 words and individual presentation abstracts of up to 300 words each. Individual titles and abstracts are optional for roundtables.

Individual Paper Submissions: Individual presentation abstracts should be up to 300 words each.

Registration Waivers:
APCS is pleased to announce at least 20 registration waivers to graduate students and those earning under $50,000 in 2018 in return for 5 hours of time donated to conference activities such as the registration table. Preference will be given to those giving presentations. Please send your accepted abstract to our Volunteer Committee: Kritika Dwivedi (; María Mirόn (; Devon King ( and Marilyn Charles ( for committee consideration one week after proposal acceptances are sent out.

Please note that first consideration for waivers will be given to those with accepted proposals. Students who are not presenting may also apply during this period for consideration. All applications for waivers should be made within the week following acceptances. Students not planning to submit proposals may contact the volunteer committee to be placed on a waiting list.

APCS encourages all participants to reflect on the social importance of their contribution and to articulate that value in their presentation. It is our view that the psychoanalytic investigation of culture and society constitutes a unique and indispensable means of understanding AND intervening in our most serious social problems, and we encourage proposals that work to further this project.

We welcome submissions from a broad range of disciplines and psychoanalytic schools of thought. The conference will be of interest to psychoanalytically informed scholars in the social and political sciences, media, cultural and literary studies, and to clinicians and practitioners concerned to explore themes related to the psychic, the social and social justice.