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The Jeremy D. Safran Memorial Conference

Invitation for Submissions

In April 2023, the Jeremy D. Safran Memorial Conference, hosted by the Sándor Ferenczi Center, will celebrate the scholarship, teaching, and supervision of Jeremy Safran, whose wide-ranging intellectual curiosity led to significant contributions in many areas of scholarly inquiry. We seek to foster revitalized conversation around central themes in Jeremy’s work and teaching.

We invite topic proposals for both scholarly essays and a trainee fellowship. Topic proposals should include both a brief sketch (general outline) of the topic or theme to be engaged as well as a description of how the topic develops Jeremy’s work.

Topic proposals may engage any of the following themes stemming from Jeremy’s work:

Rupture and repair
Grace and Surrender
Agency and Will
Agency and the limits to change
Zen principles and human change
Buddhism and Psychoanalysis
Relational principles
Therapeutic Alliance
Supervision (including reflections on supervision with Jeremy and/or his writing on supervision)
Humility in the clinician
I and Thou (ethics and object relations)
Spirituality and clinical work
Phenomenology of change
Psychotherapy research methodology
Psychotherapy integration

Scholarly Essays: Topic proposals for scholarly essays may include personal reflection, theoretical development, clinical case studies and reflections on Jeremy’s writing. The day-long conference will feature the developed essays of a number of voices, put in conversation with each other on panels organized by theme.

Safran Memorial Fellowship: In addition to submitting a topic proposal, students/candidates may apply for support in developing ideas for presentation at the conference through a five month fellowship inclusive of funding (a generous stipend) and mentorship by experienced psychoanalytic writers.
To apply: Along with topic proposal, attach a <250 word submission detailing how you would utilize mentorship to support the development of your ideas.

Send submissions, applications, and questions to SafranMemorialConference@gmail.com

Timeline of Due Dates:
Topic Proposal Submission: August 31
Invitations to present: by October 1




Lewis Aron (1952-2019)

Written by Adrienne Harris

On Thursday, February 28, 2019, our dear colleague and friend and leader and brave man, Lewis Aron, died in New York City. It was the end we had all feared and mostly denied, as we accompanied Lew on a long and courageous voyage fighting and living with a life-threatening cancer.

There is so much to say about Lew’s life and work but I want to begin with his way of combatting and living with his illness. He was brave but most powerfully he was generous with family, friends and colleagues. He has provided an amazing lesson in how to be open and available and at the same time continue to work for health and survival.  We badly need, in our field, to be able to face difficulty, support each other as life and work patterns are put in question, and to create a climate of honesty and responsibility.

Yesterday I taught a class in which we were reading Ghent’s great paper on submission and surrender. I feel such admiration and love for Lew as he went through the health circumstance and death he had been handed. Surrender is not giving up. It is acceptance. It is opening to experience and what it will teach you.

When I think of his work life and when I read the wonderful messages of love and admiration, I am struck by the mixture of pleasure and admiration in so many reminiscences. He had a rock band. Sig. He could build and maintain a serious psychoanalytic institution. He could work in systems – local and national.  He built structures.

Our work together included the Ferenczi Conferences starting in 1991, the Sandor Ferenczi Center beginning in 2008 with Jeremy Safran and me, the Relational Perspectives Book Series, with Steve from the inception, later with me, and adding Steve Kuchuck and Eyal Rozmarin.  That series is closing in on 100 volumes.

The work we did to bring the first conference on Sandor Ferenczi to the US was motivated – dictated one might say – by Steve Mitchell.  Cannot speak for Lew but I had no idea who Ferenczi was. Steve was so amazingly good at empowering people, sending them on various errands, and so we did a conference – held in NYC – and sat in the audience, amazed at the European analysts, who in so many ways had kept the tradition and writings and work of Ferenczi alive. Judit Mészarós, André Haynal, György Hidas, Judith Dupont joined with American analysts; Stephen Mitchell, Bromberg, Shapiro, Therese Ragen, Arnold Rachman, Benjamin Wolstein, Jay Frankel, Christofer Fortune and William Brennan.

For me, it was an astonishing and life-changing introduction to Ferenczi and his work. I know Lew was technically my colleague in that venture but for me it was so new. I do think of him as also my guide into a new and amazing world. My image for that event is that it was like plate tectonics. Continents that were now far apart had once been joined. I knew my ancestors in psychoanalysis. I knew where object relations came from. Grandfather Ferenczi. Being part of that discovery with Lew was really wonderful, unexpected and surprising.  Really so much of his work life and career had that effect and involvement.

In 2009, with Jeremy Safran, Lew Aron and I inaugurated the Sandor Ferenczi Center at The New School.  Over a decade we developed programs, lectures, workshops devoted to Ferenczi’s model of interaction, elasticity of technique, trauma focused treatment and other psychoanalytic projects. We thought of this project as the site of ideals and projects at the heart of the historic mission of The New School and as a site for innovations in psychoanalysis along the lines of Ferenczi. It is shocking beyond measure that both my colleagues died within this past year. Miriam Steele has joined the center  representing The New School faculty. We have enlarged the board and we go in remembering Lew and Jeremy and working within their vision. But it has been overwhelming to absorb both these losses.  With regard to Lew, I/we are at the beginning.

There is a lot to remember and hold tight to as we register our loss of this amazing person. His career as a psychoanalytic educator, his director of institutions and so many structures: Psychoanalytic Dialogues, Div. 39, IARPP, and for over two decades, NYU Postdoc.

His career as a psychoanalytic educator, director of institutions and so many structures: Psychoanalytic Dialogues, Div 39, IARPP and others were handled with efficiency and grace. And of course there was his ability to take on so much of the continuation of Mitchell’s very premature death, through mentorship of students – local, national and international and an astonishing vocation as a teacher of psychoanalysis in a series of study groups which continued to meet right into January of this year.

Talk about playing well with others. He had fun. He was playful and funny, all the while accomplishing a stunning array of tasks, books, and creative endeavors.

We are all wishing that he could have had more time. There was more to do and more love to participate in. I think of the wonderful pleasure of Lew’s being with Galit’s children, Yali and Emma, at their bar and bat mitzvahs last summer and how much he helped with their preparation. And I know from my last visits with Lew that he was incredibly proud of how deeply his children Kiara, Raffi and Benjamin were participating in his care.

We hold him close as we say goodbye. We can only sit with such admiration and care for Galit Atlas who has held so much in these past years AND created with Lew a life of work and love.

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About the Sándor Ferenczi Center

The goals of the New School Ferenczi Center include 1) sponsoring lectures, conferences, and workshops relevant to Ferenczi’s legacy of clinical innovation, 2) promoting Ferenczi’s legacy of social and political progressivism, and 3) contributing to the ongoing vitality of psychoanalysis as a cultural, intellectual, therapeutic discipline.

TO MAKE A DONATION to the Ferenczi Center please click on this link.

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Jeremy Safran 4/23/1952 – 5/7/2018

With great sadness, we announce the passing of our founder and dear friend, Dr. Jeremy Safran. His dedicated commitment to psychoanalytic inquiry and his unflagging support for psychoanalytic scholarship is embodied by his co-founding of the Sándor Ferenczi Center. It was through his motivation and energy that we have offered, over the course of years, a steady stream of events, talks, book launches, screenings, and more. His passion for interdisciplinary community lives in this project and stands as a testimony to his hard work and unparalleled regard for the history, present, and future of relational psychoanalysis. For so many, Jeremy was a mentor and friend, a challenger, a supporter, and a provider of so many rich opportunities. May we as a community continue to provide for one another in his honor and memory an enduring dedication to the things he loved and taught.

Interview with Lewis Aron by Jeremy Safran

Please enjoy the following interview with Lewis Aron by Jeremy Safran, two of the founders of the Sándor Ferenczi Center: https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2009-04869-010

LINK TO BOOK: THE LEGACY OF SÁNDOR FERENCZI (1993). EDITORS: LEWIS ARON & ADRIENNE HARRIS.

We are pleased to inform you that “The Legacy of Sándor Ferenczi: From ghost to ancestor” edited by Lewis Aron and Adrienne Harris (1993) is available for download on this website here.

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