New Imago Forum

The New Imago Forum was founded in 2012 to provide an arena for interdisciplinary exchange and the cross-fertilisation of ideas between academics (in fields Classics and French to Economics and Social Studies) interested in psychoanalytic thought and practising psychoanalysts.

Its establishment followed a series of meetings and colloquia (initiated by Roger Kennedy, Neil Vickers, and David Bell) between academics and psychoanalysts that took place between 2009 and 2012. The name was chosen on the model of American Imago, a journal founded by Freud in 1939 to explore the role of psychoanalysis in relation to contemporary culture.

NIF holds an annual conference at Jesus College Oxford in a ’round table’ format for around 30-40 invited participants consisting of psychoanalysts, psychotherapists, and academics in various fields who employ psychoanalytic thinking and theory. Topics so far have been:

2012   Evil

2013   Belonging

2014   Time

2015   Money

2016   Shame

2017   Knowing and Not Knowing

2018    Presence and Absence

2019   Judgment

The conferences regularly include the commission and reading of a new short story on the conference topic (so far five have been written and read by Ardu Vakil) and an evening recital by the London Brahms Trio.

New Imago Forum 2019: Judgment

Saturday 14 – Sunday 15 September

Coline Covington ‘What does it mean to be ‘true to oneself’?’

David Bell ‘Truth and Judgment’.

Chris MawsonAspects of Judgement’.

Richard Gipps ‘Narcissistic Evasion of Judgment’.

Armand D’Angour ‘Judgment and misjudgment in Ancient Greece’Judgment and Misjudgment in Ancient Greece

The New Imago Forum 2018: ‘Presence and Absence’

Saturday 8 September

Donna Savery   ‘The character Echo as a symbol of the absent female voice in psychoanalytic literatures’.

David Bell ‘Bion, the phenomenologist of absence’.

Margot Waddell  ‘All the Light we cannot see: psychoanalytic reflections on the thinking of W.R. Bion’.

Karl Figlio ‘The Shadowing of Presence by Absence

Sue Gottlieb ‘The active pursuit of passivity: some thoughts on hysteria’.

Roger Kennedy   ‘The Presence of Others in Early Experience’.

The New Imago Forum 2017: ‘Knowing and Not Knowing’             

Saturday 9 September

1115-1145  Session I: Mark Stein ‘The Whistleblower as the lost good self
Chair: Karen Ciclitira

1400-1430 Session 2: Michael Rustin ‘Epistemic Anxiety’
Chair: Annie Pesskin

1545-1615  Session 3: Lesley Caldwell   ‘Silence and the Setting’
Chair: Dermot Reilly

1715-1745  Session IV: Ardu Vakil, Short Story
Chair: Juliet Newbigin

Sunday 10 September
0930-1000  Session V: Neil Vickers ‘On Knowing and Not Knowing About Illness’
Chair: Armand D’Angour

1115-1200  Session VI: Karl Figlio ‘Certainty, Doubt and Discovery’
Chair: Roger Kennedy


The New Imago Forum 2016: ‘Shame’

Saturday 10 September
1115-1200 Session I: MARGARET RUSTIN  Shame in Childhood
Chair: David Bell

1400-1430 Session II: ARMAND D’ANGOUR  Shame and Guilt in ancient Greece
Chair: Jerry Sokol

1545-1615 Session III: JULIET NEWBIGIN  Sexual Excitement and Shame
Chair: Neil Vickers

1715-1745 Session IV: ARDU VAKIL  Short Story
Chair: David Black

Sunday 11 September
0930-1000 Session V: JOSH COHEN Shame in the age of ‘excess positivity’
Chair: Karen Ciclitira

1115-1200 Session VI: SUE GOTTLIEB ‘I never promised you a rose garden’
Chair: Michael Rustin


The New Imago Forum 2015: ‘Money’

Saturday 12 September
11.15-11.45     MICHAEL RUSTIN What’s wrong and what’s right with money?
Chair: Margot Waddell

15.00-15.30  D’MARIS COFFMAN Money as fetish: reading Marx, Freud, and (lately) Tuckett.
Chair: Roger Kennedy

17.00-17.30  ARMAND D’ANGOUR ‘The uselessness of money and the perversity of unlimit’.
Chair: Juliet Newbigin

Sunday 13 September
9.30-10.00 KARL FIGLIO Money as the currency of relationships.
Chair: Neil Vickers

11.15-11.45   DAVID BELL All that is solid melts into air: Reflections on Marx, Freud, and the socio-economic crisis
Chair: Karen Ciclitira

The New Imago Forum 2014: ‘Time’

Friday 12 September
17.15-17.45 KARL FIGLIO Does Time Heal? On Time and Reparation
Chair: Marie Bridge

Saturday 13 September
9.15-9.45 COLINE COVINGTON Time, the Destruction of Time, and Unconscious Time
Chair: Alistair Ross

11.15-11.45 JERRY SOKOL Time as kairos in Shakespeare and Milton
Chair: Neil Vickers

15.15-15.45 STEPHEN FROSH Haunted by the Future and the Past
Chair: David Bell

17.15-17.45 ARDU VAKIL Short Story
Chair: Juliet Newbigin

Sunday 14 September
10.00-10.30 MARGOT WADDELL There’s no clock in the Forest: the ‘Green Worlds’ of adolescent development
Chair: David Black


The New Imago Forum 2013: ‘Belonging’

Friday 6 September
5.15-5.45  MICHAEL BREARLEY   Homecomings
Chair: Karen Ciclitira

Saturday 7 September
9.15-9.45  AGNIESZKA PIOTROWSKA  Belonging in Harare
Chair: Roger Kennedy

11.15-11.45 MICHAEL RUSTIN  Belonging in an individualist society
Chair: Lene Auestad

3.15-3.45  NICOLA ABEL HIRSCH On Bion’s ‘socialism’
Chair: Neil Vickers

5.15-5.45  ARDU VAKIL   Short Story
Chair: Juliet Newbigin

Sunday 8 September
10.00-10.30  MARGARET RUSTIN Where do I belong?
Chair: Alistair Ross

The New Imago Forum 2012: ‘Evil’

Friday 7 September
5.30-6.00 RON BRITTON “Where wounds of deadly hate have pierced so deep” (Milton, Paradise Lost 4.1.99)

Saturday 8 September
9.30-10.00 KARL FIGLIO Evil, Memory, and Reparation
Chair: Karen Ciclitira

11.15-11.45 DAVID BELL Othello and Iago: a most peculiar couple
Chair: Armand D’Angour

2.00-2.30 NAOMI SEGAL Needing to talk about Kevin: first-, second- and third-person narratives
Chair: Denis Flynn

3.15-3.45 LOUISE BRADDOCK Natural evil: extreme states of mind and the disruption of sympathy
Chair: Edward Harcourt

5.00-5.30 ARDU VAKIL Hormuz and Xerxes A short story about evil
Chair: David Black

Sunday 9 September
10.00-10.30 STEVEN FROSH The Evil Eye
Chair: David Bell

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