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Diane M. Gartland Psy.D. will be presenting her paper "Reverie on the Animation of the Stranger." 

Presentation takes place at the 4th Asia-Pacific Conference of the International Psychoanalytic Association in Sydney, AU on May 2-4 2024.  The details of the conference will be published on the IPA web site or within the coming weeks.  The abstract will be available as the sponsor releases it.  

Ellen Toronto's book; Maternal Subjectivity: A Dissociated Self-StateRoutledge; 1st edition (September 28, 2023)

The premise of this book is that maternal subjectivity is a dissociated self-state and that that continued “absent presence” defines and sustains the patriarchal structure.  Her inner world may be described as Bollas’ unthought known’ (1987) or Stern’s “unformulated experience” (1997) but, as of yet, we have not, with few exceptions, connected those feeling states to our ongoing understanding of motherhood.  Andre Green has termed it a “private madness.”  It is private because it is largely unknown in any public settings—historical, cultural, political—and it is unknowable even to mother herself. It is madness because it is chaotic, unpredictable, loving, vulnerable and primal. Within the prevailing patriarchal structure, motherhood is either idealized, idolized, denigrated, objectified or the familiar villain in therapy offices. Mother’s personal narrative is seldom spoken or written from her own perspective. She is the Biblical “pillar of salt”, punished by God for her disobedience. She is the “mad women in the attic” of literary fame—sequestered and abandoned for her apparent insanity. She is an “environment”—facilitating to be sure but never, certainly never, in her own behalf.

It is the argument of this book that while the patriarchal structure defines the mother role, it fails to identify her selfhood insofar as it differs from her focus on her children.  Highly influential religious texts such as the Old Testament; myths such as the tales of Clytemnestra; and evidence of her “anonymous” contributions in important scientific and cultural discoveries have either failed to acknowledge her at all or have considered her a commodity, a product, or merely a womb that is essential to the continuation of the male line. The Supreme Court decision of 2022 has solidified this position.

Susan Miller's 2nd Novel & Podcast

Susan Miller published her second novel, A Beautiful Land, this October (Boyle&Dalton). A Beautiful Land is a story of menace, the maternal imagination, and the ancient forest.

Susan also participated in a podcast, From the Belly (episode 18, “An Emotional Imagination”)  where she discussed her experiences as a psychologist and a fiction writer.

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