A Conversation between Therapy and Vodou


Event Date: Monday, 10 March at 6:30 p.m.

Location: The Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY.
Rooms 9204/9205

The City College’s MA in the Study of the Americas and the PhD Program in French at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York presents:

Possession and Inspiration – Between the Psyche and the SpiritsA Conversation between Therapy and Vodou, with Gina Athena Ulysse and Craig E. Stephenson, moderated by Jerry W. Carlson.

What does it mean to inherit spiritual responsibility? What does ‘possession’ really mean, and how does it translate itself into French theory, for example, by De Certeau or Foucault? What are the correspondences between embodied practices and therapy? This conversation looks at the notion of ‘possession’ as it appears both in the Haitian Vodou context and that of European psychoanalytic theory. Although they may seem unrelated, through the originally intimate disciplinary relationship between anthropology and psychoanalysis, it is not really such a great leap to put an anthropologist and psychoanalyst in conversation.

Please RSVP to ma.americas@ccny.cuny.edu (This is only to gage food for the reception. The event is first-come. Also be sure to bring a photo i.d. for building security.) *FREE event*

Gina Athena Ulysse was born in Pétion-Ville, Haiti. Trained as a cultural anthropologist, an associate professor at Wesleyan University and author of Downtown Ladies: Informal Commercial Importers, a Haitian Anthropologist and Self-Making in Jamaica (University of Chicago Press) and the forthcoming Why Haiti Needs New Narratives: A Post-Quake Chronicle (Wesleyan University Press), she is also a performance artist and multi-media artist. Her work weaves history, statistics, personal narrative, theory, with Vodou chants to dramatize and address issues of social (in)justice, intersectional identities, spirituality and the dehumanization of Haitians and other marked bodies. She is currently developing a performance-installation project VooDooDoll, What If Haiti Were a Woman: On ti Travay sou 21 Pwen or An Alter(ed)native in Something Other than Fiction, which will debut at Encuentro in Montreal this June.

Craig E. Stephenson, author of Possession: Jung’s Comparative Anatomy of the Psyche (Routledge, 2009), Anteros: A Forgotten Myth (Routledge, 2011), and Jung and Moreno: Essays on the Theatre of Human Nature (Routledge, 2013), is a graduate of the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich, the Institute for Psychodrama in Zumikon, and the Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Essex. He is a Jungian analyst in private practice.

Jerry W. Carlson is chair of the Department of Media and Communication Arts where he also directs the Cinema Studies Program. He is a member of the doctoral faculty in the Ph.D. Programs of Comparative Literature, French, and Film Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center, as well as a Senior Fellow of the Bildner Center for Western Hemispheric Studies. Moreover, he is a multiple Emmy award-winning Senior Producer for City University Television (CUNY-TV). He created and produces the series CITY CINEMATHEQUE about film history, CANAPE about French-American cultural relations, and NUEVA YORK (in Spanish) about the Latino cultures of New York City.

Special Thanks

This event is co-sponsored by the MA in the Study of the Americas at Division of Interdisciplinary Studies at the City College of New York’s Center for Worker Education and the PhD Program in French at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. It is funded by the PSC-CUNY Research Award Program, for a specific project titled: “An Island and Two Metropoles: The Dominican Republic, Haiti, New York, and Paris.”

Above adapted from email announcement.