The Wise Child in Literature and Psychoanalysis: Conference on Children's Literature and Psychoanalysis. October 2,2010

full name / name of organization: 
Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia

Lois Lowry will be the featured author at this conference on The Wise Child in Literature and Psychoanalysis.

It was Sandor Ferenczi who first wrote about the dream of the "clever baby" and related it to a number of typical analytic concerns: the anxiety of unmastered early trauma; the wish to "reverse or overcome the situation of the child" in relation to its smart and powerful elders; and the universal fact of the repression of infantile sexuality, making infancy a time when the baby was wise or clever in ways it later needed to forget. The subject is rich in as yet unexplored psychoanalytic possibilities. However, in children's literature we find wise, sensible and good children everywhere, often in conflict with stupid, silly and bad adults as well as formidable environmental crises.

This conference will provide a meeting place for explorations of this theme in children's literature generally, in Lowry's books in particular, and in both the theoretical and clinical aspects of psychoanalysis. It is designed as a forum for papers by graduate students and analytic candidates. Two or three papers will be selected, anonymously, for a panel discussion with the author, a child analyst and a professor of children's literature. Please submit completed papers of 8-10pp., names on cover letters only.