Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


Symbolisation Conference

12:30 pm to 5:45 pm, 06 May 2016


Event Information

Open to



Anna Freud Centre, 4-8 Rodney Street, London N1 9JH

The Institute of Advanced Studies is delighted to share this invitation for this half-day conference on Symbolisation, part of an interdisciplinary seminar series organised by Dr Lesley Caldwell in the UCL Psycholanalysis Unit.

From Freud's early work on hysteria and his account of the hysterical symptom as a representation of libidinal conflict, psychoanalysis has maintained a consistent interest in the human capacity to register how one thing may stand for another through symbolic structures and forms which can be identified and used in the consulting room. A concern with different forms of symbolising and of symbols themselves and what they make available to the human subject is central to all psychoanalytic theories. But these issues are by no means confined to psychoanalysis and have always been central to the human sciences and the humanities.The increased resort to questions of symbolisation so evident in contemporary psychoanalytic accounts derives from rather different theories of where symbols originate, their possible universality, and the psychological capacities on which they depend.

This conference brings together a range of scholars from the academy and the clinic to debate the continuing utility of a concept that seems indispensable but risks a serious loss of meaning through its over frequent invocation.

The papers will outline the specificity of different understandings across a range of theories and research to encourage discussion of how respective histories and emphases enable investigation of this concept's current fields of use. How diverse bodies of knowledge deploy 'symbolisation' should produce a more precise, more detailed understanding of the symbolic function.

Please download the conference flyer and programme.

To register, please visit: http://onlinestore.ucl.ac.uk/browse/extra_info.asp?compid=1&modid=2&deptid=125&catid=161&prodid=1341

Ticket Prices

Standard rate: £40

Student rate: Free admission

UCL staff rate: Free admission

*Costs will include tea and coffee, and evening drinks reception

For further information and any additional queries, please contact: events.psychoanalysis@ucl.ac.uk