9th international conference for infant observation 2024
Psychoanalytic observation, intersectionality and the social matrix: implications for infant observation and its applications
5 – 6 April 2024
Returning in-person at the Tavistock Centre in London, the 9th international conference for infant observation and its applications will focus on how social forces and structures (including social class, gender, race, sexuality, neurodiversity and disability) influence the infant’s emotional experience and developing social identity within their family and wider community. Across two days, speakers from across the world will consider how these structures inform and shape the observer’s and seminar group’s capacity to observe unconscious processes.
For the very first time, the initial day will be open to both teachers and students of infant observation. The second day, which focusses predominantly on the teaching of infant observation, will be open to teachers only.
About this conference
Papers will be announced shortly, but are likely to consider the following:
- How are changing ideas about gender identity and development influencing the teaching and learning of infant observation?
- In what way does the observer’s lens shape what can be seen or apprehended?
- How does the institutional setting help or hinder the exploration of sexuality, class, gender, race, and disability in the teaching of infant observation?
- Race and racism: can it be thought about in the teaching and learning of infant observation?
- Does psychoanalytic observation have something particular to contribute to our understanding of how identity is shaped by wider social structures?
- What challenges does the examination of wider social structures pose to the tradition of psychoanalytic observation and its practice?
- What do we want today’s students to learn from taking up the observer role? Has this changed over time?
During the conference, we will hear international perspectives on how psychoanalytic observation, with its emphasis on close attention to detail, unconscious processes and the emotional impact upon the observer, can deepen our understanding of infant development. Drawing upon their own experiences, our speakers will also explore the role that wider social forces play, and their interaction with internal and interpersonal experiences that shape the infant’s developing subjectivity.
In particular, the conference will focus upon how our identities as teachers and students of infant observation shape and inform our psychoanalytic pedagogy and learning experience.
Speakers and papers to be announced soon.
Conference chair: Matthew Chuard
Who is this conference for?
The first day of this conference will be open to both teachers and students of infant and psychoanalytic observation, whilst the second day will only be open to teachers of infant and young child observation.
Date and time:
Friday 5 and Saturday 6 April 2024 – full days. Precise start and end times to be confirmed.
Fees and booking:
Friday 5 April and Saturday 6 April 2024: Book the full conference. Open to teachers of infant observation only – Fee £240
Friday 6 April 2024: Book attendance at the first day of the conference only. Open to both teachers and students of infant observation – Fee £140
Call for papers
Due to the extension of the programme for our postponed in-person conference we are inviting presentation proposals for the 9th International Conference for Teachers of Infant Observation and its Applications under the theme ‘Psychoanalytic observation, intersectionality and the social matrix: implications for infant observation and its applications’.
We invite ideas and offers for plenary presentations (45 minutes) and shorter parallel papers/workshops (35 minutes). Based upon the theme of the conference, we would also welcome shorter pieces from individual or groups of infant observation teachers which reflect upon their experiences in the teaching and learning of infant observation and its applications. For further information and the list of possible themes or questions to explore, please refer to the ‘About this conference’ section.
Please submit abstracts by email to firstname.lastname@example.org of no more than 500 words on or before Friday 15 December 2023. Please get in touch if you would like to discuss any potential proposals.
Conference organising group: Matthew Chuard, Katie Argent, Alexandra de Rementeria, Dexter Benjamin, Trudy Klauber, Biddy Youell and Margaret Lush.