"Soul Murder" and Voluntary Servitude: A Transgenerational Trauma?

March 24, 2017

Josette Garon

Friday, March 24, 6:00PM–8:00PM, Room 7000, SFU Harbour Centre

Cosponsored by SFU's Institute for the Humanities, the Western Branch Canadian Psychoanalytic Society (WBCPS), and the Lacan Salon

I wish to address the question of how can familiarity with Sandor Ferenczi’s ideas and theory concerning trauma allow us a diiferent insight into the destiny of patients grappling with transgenerational trauma on the one hand and, on the other hand, into some actual political and social trends. The nostalgia and illusion of unity, of a single worldview and thought, can lead to the fear and hatred of the other, to voluntary servitude, to terror. Is there still place, in our times, for plurality and difference instead of forced unity, for creative and generative contradiction and critic instead of totalitarian thought, for uncertainty and questioning instead of comfortable and sterile certitude, for emancipation and liberty  instead of domination and terror? Ferenczi’s work is a source of inspiration for our process of reflexion on these crucial matters.


Josette Garon was first trained in philosophy and did her psychoanalytic training in Paris, from 1968 to 1973. She has taught philosophy, history of arts and psychology. She is a member of the SPM (Société psychanalytique de Montréal), and the IPM (Institut psychanalytique de Montréal). She is the current Director of the IPM and the CIP and is the Associate Editor of the Canadian Journal of Psychoanalysis. She has a deep interest in trauma, its consequences and its trans-generational transmission. Her other main interests are the transmission of psychoanalysis and treatment of individuals who would have traditionally been considered «non analysable». She supervises therapists at Maison Jacques Ferron, a transition home for psychotic young adults. She leads workshops at various Canadian Society branches, the Argyle Institute, etc. In 2009 she won the Miguel Prados prize. She has presented papers at many national and international conferences. She is a founding member of the International Ferenczi Society and has published numerous articles in different languages. 


Vanessa de Oliveira Andreotti holds a Canada Research Chair in Race, Inequalities and Global Change, at the Department of Educational Studies, University of British Columbia. Her work has been described as a decolonial psychoanalytic sociology of knowledge production focusing on analyses of historical and systemic patterns of reproduction of inequalities and how these mobilize global imaginaries that limit or enable different possibilities for (co)existence. 

Karin Holland Biggs, Ph.D. (Communications, McGill), maintains a private psychoanalytic and psychodynamic therapy practice in Vancouver (Gastown) where she works with young adults and adults in individual and couple treatment. Her special interest are ways of thinking that develop out of a commitment to looking inward and outward simultaneously and to examine the interface between in order to understand the grounds of personal and social transformation. 

Jerry Zaslove has taught at Simon Fraser University since 1965 in the fields of Comparative Literature, the Social History of Art, with attention to psychoanalysis in history, culture, political reality and the aesthetics of violence.