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Thinking About Place: Fall Conference Examines the Role of Place and the Formation of Identity

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Fall Conference posterby Aaron Beatty

Individual and group identities may be thought of as occurring at the intersection of literal and metaphorical place(s). The 2014 Fall Conference at Riggs explored the various meanings of place in relation to identity. In a global world, our capacity to “be” in several places at once, to travel to other places via technology and to experience place in a more diverse and complex manner shapes our identity and our identifications in complex ways. In this conference, participants learned together about the social and clinical implications of these shifting experiences of place and identity.

The conference presenters each explored different aspects and experiences of how place and identity intersect. 

Keynote: Sudek, Janáček, Hukvaldy, and Me
Presenter: Adele Tutter, MD, clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College and the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and faculty member at Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Research and Training and the New York Psychoanalytic Institute. 

“I Knew That My Mind Could Take Me Anywhere:” Psychodynamic Reflections on the Development of a Secure Identity in a Racist World
Presenter: Dorothy Holmes, PhD, professor emeritus of clinical psychology at the George Washington University and teaching, training and supervising analyst emeritus at the Baltimore-Washington Institute for Psychoanalysis. 

Catastrophic Loss of Place and its Impact on Mental Health Professionals’ Identity After Hurricane Katrina
Presenter: Ghislaine Boulanger, PhD, psychologist-psychoanalyst in private practice in New York City and a member of the relational faculty at New York University’s Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. 
Discussant: Kai Erikson, PhD, past president of the American Sociological Association, the Society for the Study of Social Problems and the Eastern Sociological Society

Enhancing Identity by Fostering Understanding of Place
Presenter: Linda Mayes, MD, the Arnold Gesell Professor of Child Psychiatry, Pediatrics and Psychology in the Yale Child Study Center. 
Presenter: Karen Yu, PhD, professor of psychology at The University of the South in Sewanee, TN

The Journey for “Home”: Drawing on the South African Experience of Emigration
Presenter: Maria Marchetti-Mercer, PhD, head of the School of Human and Community Development at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.

View the full presentations of the 2014 Fall Conference

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