A Commemorative Conference on Foulkes 40th Anniversary, as well as Cervantes and Shakespeare’s 400th 

    Saturday 8th October 2016, 9.30 am - 5.00 pm
    Venue: Tavistock Clinic, 120 Belsize Lane, London NW3 5BA


    Convenor: Dr Arturo Ezquerro

    Speakers: Prof Michael Bell, Dr Arturo Ezquerro, Prof Bob Hinshelwood and Dr Morris Nitsun

    Death is ubiquitous and, ultimately, a traumatic rupture of attachments – as Bowlby put it. Europe is going through its deepest crisis since WWII. Hundreds of people have been killed in recent years by atrocious terrorist slaughter and by murderous, suicidal plane crashing. And, in the last year alone, more than six thousand people have drowned while desperately trying to reach the shores of Southern Europe in their fight for survival. Does Europe need to become an island and Brexit an isle within an island?

    Foulkes suddenly died on 8th July 1976; he was running a group for IGA colleagues. A couple of weeks earlier he had written about death for the first time. Before WWII, he fled from death in Europe to the relatively safety of Great Britain. In WWI, Bion was the only survivor of his regiment; death stayed present in the back of his mind for the rest of his life. Bion and Foulkes created leading schools of psychoanalytic group work: the Tavistock and group-analytic models.

    Why has group analysis often turned a blind eye to death? Is death not a group concept? Different members die at different times; but the group goes on, or does it? According to Freud personal death cannot be present in the Unconscious because we have never experienced our own death: it is always the death of the other!

    The sense of death is not separable from, or comprehensible apart from, the sense of life. We shall explore life and death focusing on Bion, Foulkes and the current landscapes in Europe, as well as the wider world views represented by Shakespeare and Cervantes who died within a glimpse of one another: Cervantes on 22nd and Shakespeare on 23rd April 1616. The hybrid nature of the conference is a challenge; but the experience should be well worth it. 


    Click here for more information about the presentations 



    09.30 - 09.50     Registration

    09.50 - 10.00     Introduction: Dr Arturo Ezquerro

    10.00 - 10.40     S. H. Foulkes: Silence on Death and some Resonances – Dr Arturo Ezquerro

    10.40 - 11.20     Life and Death in the Worlds of Cervantes and Shakespeare – Prof Michael Bell

    11.20 - 11.35     Coffee break

    11.35 - 11.40     Transition to group rooms (IGA)

    11.40 - 12.55     Small discussion groups (IGA and Tavistock)

    12.55 - 13.00     Transition to canteen (Tavistock)

    13.00 - 14.10     Lunch

    14.10 - 14.50     Bion: With Death in Mind – Prof Bob Hinshelwood

    14.50 - 15.30     Between Life and Death: Dialectical Tension in Group Analysis – Dr Morris Nitsun

    15.30 - 15.45     Coffee break

    15.45 - 17.00     Large group plenary 


    Ticket prices


    Public                                                  £125

    IGA Members /Tavistock staff         £109

    IGA/Tavistock Students                      £95



    Prof Michael Bell: English and Comparative Literary Studies, University of Warwick. Author of Sentimentalism, Ethics and the Culture of Feeling, of Literature, Modernism and Myth, and of H. D. Lawrence: Language and Being.

    Dr Arturo Ezquerro: Consultant psychiatrist, psychoanalytic psychotherapist, group analyst and former Head of Medical Psychotherapy Services, Brent, London. Author, Encounters with John Bowlby: Tales of Attachment.

    Prof Bob Hinshelwood: Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Essex. Consultant psychiatrist and psychoanalyst. Author of What Happens in Groups, of Research on the Couch, and of Psychoanalysis and History.

    Dr Morris Nitsun: Consultant psychologist and group analyst, Camden & Islington NHS Trust and Fitzrovia Group Analytic Practice. Author of The Anti-group, of The Group as an Object of Desire and of Beyond the Anti-group.




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