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  • A two-day symposium sponsored by the Helix Center of NYPSI, La Fondation Agalma - Genève & the Consulate General of Switzerland in New York

    Aby Warburg: Art, Neuroscience, and Psychoanalysis

    Saturday, October 12, 2013
    9:00 AM

    The Helix Center (, in conjunction with the Agalma Foundation ( will be hosting this international gathering of scholars drawn from the arts and sciences to participate in informal roundtable conversations exploring Warburg’s ideas and their adumbrations, e.g., his preoccupations with--and intuitions about--memory, both in relation to different forms of artistic creation and in anticipation of concepts related to neuroplasticity and neuroesthetics; the significance and fluency of the image--its elliptical and metaphoric functions--and of affect for the phenomena and qualia of chronology and memory, in concert with contemporary understanding of the dynamic unconscious; and the interdisciplinary mode of thought--the philosophical and art historical, cosmographic and historical--at the heart of Warburg’s atlas. The conference is devoted to informal roundtable discussions focussing on one of the following four topics related to Warburg and his work: Psychosis and Creativity: Binswanger and Warburg; Classical and Renaissance Art; Mnemosyne: Memory and Unconscious; and Neuroesthetics.

    Registration is not necessary, but seating is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis.

    Donations Accepted.

    New York Psychoanalytic Society & Institute
    247 East 82nd Street (between 2nd and 3rd Avenues)
    The Marianne & Nicholas Young Auditorium

    Saturday, October 12th

    9:00 am - 9:15 am:

    9:15 am - 11:30 am:
    Neuroesthetics roundtable:
    Anjan Chatterjee, David Freedberg, Vittorio Gallese, Ludovica Lumer,
    Edward Nersessian, and Andrea Pinotti

    11:45 am - 12:30 pm:
    An Eccentric Science:
    Georges Didi-Huberman

    12:30 pm - 2:00 pm:
    Lunch break

    2:00 pm - 4:15 pm:
    Classical & Renaissance Art roundtable:
    Georges Didi-Huberman, Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann, François Quiviger,
    Dorothea Rockburne, and Christopher Wood

    Sunday, October 13th

    9:30 am - 11:15 am:
    Psychosis & Creativity: Binswanger & Warburg roundtable:
    François Ansermet, Peter Loewenberg,
    Spyros Papapetros, Robert Penzer, and Louis Rose

    11:30 am - 1:15 pm:
    Mnemosyne: Memory & Unconscious roundtable:
    Cristina Alberini, Siri Hustvedt, Christopher Johnson,
    Joseph LeDoux, and Pierre Magistretti

    1:15 pm - 2:45 pm:
    Lunch break

    2:45 pm - 4:15 pm:
    Additional questions/comments regarding both
    Sunday roundtables and wrap-up
    Cristina Alberini, Professor in the Center for Neural Science, New York University, has been studying the biological mechanisms of long-term memory for the last 20 years. Her studies explore the biological mechanisms of memory consolidation and reconsolidation, the processes by which newly learned information become long-lasting memories, and how memories are modulated and integrated into complex behavioral manifestations, respectively. Her studies also aim at utilizing the basic understandings of the mechanisms of memory formation to enhance memories and prevent forgetting, or disrupt pathogenic memories. Both approaches have important translational applications.

    François Ansermet practices as a psychoanalyst in Geneva, and is a member of the School of the Freudian Cause, the New Lacanian School of Psychoanalysis and the World Association of Psychoanalysis. He is currently Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Geneva and Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Children's Hospital of the University Hospitals of Geneva. He is also Professor ad personam at the University of Lausanne, facilitating neuroscientific developments between
    the University of Geneva and University of Lausanne and the establishment of a research program in perinatal and children's clinic. Since 2009, François Ansermet is the Academic Director of the University Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine of the University of Geneva.

    Anjan Chatterjee is a Professor of Neurology, and a member of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, and the Center for Neuroscience and Society at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his B.A. in Philosophy from Haverford College and M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. His clinical practice focuses on patients with cognitive disorders. His research focuses on spatial cognition and language, attention, neuroethics, and neuroaesthetics.

    He co-edited Neuroethics in Practice: Mind, Medicine, and Society. His co-edited book, The Roots of Cognitive Neuroscience: Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychology, and a single-authored book, The Aesthetic Brain, are forthcoming. He is on the editorial boards of: Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology; Behavioural Neurology; Neuropsychology; Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience; Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society; European Neurology; Empirical Studies of the Arts; American Journal of Bioethics: Neuroscience; and Policy Studies in Ethics, Law and Technology.

    He was awarded the 2002 Norman Geschwind Prize in Behavioral and Cognitive Neurology by the American Academy of Neurology. He is a founding member of the Board of Governors of the Neuroethics Society, the President of the International Association of Empirical Aesthetics, and the President of the Behavioral and Cognitive Neurology Society. He is on the Board of Haverford College, the Associated Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and Universal Promise.

    Georges Didi-Huberman, philosopher and art historian, teaches at the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales) in Paris, where he has been a lecturer since 1990. He is a winner of the Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing on Art given by the College Art Association.

    Born in Saint-Etienne on June 13, 1953, Didi-Huberman is the son of a painter. He studied philosophy and art history in Paris, complementing his studies in Rome (Academy of France), Florence (Villa I Tatti, Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies), and London (Institute of Advanced Study, Warburg Institute).

    He has written many books, including Images in Spite of All: Four Photographs from Auschwitz; Confronting Images: Questioning the Ends of a Certain History of Art; and Invention of Hysteria: Charcot and the Photographic Iconography of the Salpêtrière.

    David Freedberg is Professor of Art History at Columbia University, and Director of its Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America. He is best known for his work on psychological responses to images. His initial publications were on the problems of iconoclasm and censorship, but in The Power of Images he moved on to discuss a whole range of the ways in which images evoke emotional, behavioral and social responses.

    In addition, he is known for his research on more traditional art historical areas such as Dutch, Flemish and French painting, as well as his study of the relations between art and science in the seventeenth century exemplified by his book on early natural history around Galileo, The Eye of the Lynx.

    He has long written about Warburg, and for the last fifteen years has been working on integrating the possibilities offered by the cognitive neurosciences for the understanding of art and the role of images in society more generally. He is now turning back to develop some of his earliest interests – the paleolithic art of Southern Africa and the rock arts of the aboriginal cultures of North America.

    Vittorio Gallese, M.D., is a neurologist and Professor of Physiology at the Department of Neuroscience of the University of Parma, Italy. He is Coordinator of the Ph.D. Program in Neuroscience and Director of the Doctoral School of Medicine of the University of Parma.

    A cognitive neuroscientist, his research interests focus on the cognitive role of the motor system and on an embodied account of social cognition. His major contribution is the discovery, together with his colleagues of Parma, of mirror neurons and the elaboration of a theoretical model of social cognition, Embodied Simulation Theory. He worked at the University of Lausanne, at the Nihon University of Tokyo, and at the University of California at Berkeley.

    Among his honors are the Grawemeyer Award for Psychology in 2007, Doctor Honoris Causa from the Catholic University of Leuven in 2010, the Arnold Pfeffer Prize for Neuropsychoanalysis in 2010, and the KOSMOS Professor Fellowship, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany in 2013-14.

    Siri Hustvedt has a Ph.D. in English literature from Columbia University. She is the author of a book of poems, Reading to You, three books of essays Mysteries of the Rectangle: Essays on Painting; A Plea for Eros; and Living, Thinking, Looking; a work of nonfiction, The Shaking Woman or A History of My Nerves; and five novels: The Blindfold; The Enchantment of Lily Dahl; What I Loved; The Sorrows of an American; and The Summer Without Men.

    Her sixth novel, The Blazing World, will be published in March of 2014. What I Loved and The Summer Without Men were on the short list for the Prix Femina Etranger in France. What I Loved won the Prix des Librairies de Quebec in 2003.

    She was the recipient of the 2012 International Gabarron Prize for Thought and Humanities. Her work has been translated into over thirty languages.

    Christopher D. Johnson, when he is not meandering on Warburg’s Wanderstrassen, teaches Spanish early modern literature at UCLA.

    Previously he taught comparative literature at Harvard University and early modern English literature at Northwestern University. He is the author of Hyperboles: The Rhetoric of Excess in Baroque Literature and Thought (Harvard Studies in Comparative Literature, with Harvard University Press, 2010) and Memory, Metaphor, and Aby Warburg’s Atlas of Images (Cornell University Press and Cornell University Library, 2012). He also translated the Selected Poetry of Francisco de Quevedo: A Bilingual Edition (University of Chicago Press, 2009).

    A native New Yorker, he received his Ph.D. in comparative literature from New York University. Not always a scholar, he has also worked as a bread baker, farmer, and journalist. Inspired in part by Warburg, he is currently writing a book on the “kinds” or genres of early modern encyclopedism.

    Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann is Frederick Marquand Professor of Art and Archaeology, Princeton University. He received degrees from Yale, the Warburg Institute, and Harvard, and has been awarded honorary doctorates by the Technical University, Dresden, and the Masaryk University, Brno. The holder of the Palacký medal from the Czech Academy of Sciences, he is a member of the Swedish, Flemish, and Polish Academies of Science, and has been a Fellow of the American Academies in Berlin and Rome, among other honors and Fellowships. He is the author or editor of many books and articles on historiography, geography of art, art and science, Central European art and architecture 1450-1800, and global exchange in art.

    Among his books are Arcimboldo: Visual Jokes, Natural History, and Still-Life Painting; Painterly Enlightenment: The Art of Franz Anton Maulbertsch, 1724-1796; The Eloquent Artist: Essays on Art, Art Theory and Architecture, Sixteenth to Nineteenth Century; Toward a Geography of Art; Court, Cloister, and City: The Art and Culture of Central Europe, 1450 1800; The Mastery of Nature: Aspects of Art, Science, and Humanism in the Renaissance; and The School of Prague: Painting at the Court of Rudolf II, which won the Mitchell Prize as the best book of the year in art history.

    He is now writing about global exchange in art and world art history.

    Joseph LeDoux is the Henry and Lucy Moses Professor of Science at New York University in the Center for Neural Science, and he directs the Emotional Brain Institute of NYU and the Nathan Kline Institute. His work is focused on the brain mechanisms of memory and emotion and he is the author of The Emotional Brain and Synaptic Self.

    He has received a number of awards, including the Karl Spencer Lashley Award from the American Philosophical Society, the Fyssen International Prize in Cognitive Science, Jean Louis Signoret Prize of the IPSEN Foundation, the Santiago Grisolia Prize, the American Psychological Association Distinguished Scientific Contributions Award, and the American Psychological Association Donald O. Hebb Award.

    He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the New York Academy of Sciences, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

    He is also the lead singer and songwriter in the rock band, The Amygdaloids.

    Peter Loewenberg is a Professor Emeritus of Modern European Cultural and Intellectual History and Political Psychology at UCLA. He is a Training and Supervising Analyst and former Dean of the New Center for Psychoanalysis, Los Angeles. He is former Chair of the International Psychoanalytical Association \\[IPA\\] China Committee and currently teaches Psychoanalysis in Shanghai, Wuhan, and Beijing. He is the former Chair of the Committee on Research and Special Training (CORST) of the American Psychoanalytic Association.

    He is the author of numerous books and papers on history, psychoanalysis, and their integration, including Decoding the Past: the Psychohistorical Approach (1996) and Fantasy and Reality in History (1995). He is Editor (with Nellie Thompson) of 100 Years of the IPA: The Centenary History of the International Psychoanalytical Association (1910-2010): Evolution and Change (2011). He was the Sir Peter Ustinov Visiting Professor at the University of Vienna and received the Nevitt Sanford Award for his professional contributions to the field of Political Psychology.

    His current research is on “Aby Warburg, the Hopi Snake Ritual, and Ludwig Binswanger.”

    Ludovica Lumer, a philosopher and neurobiologist, was born in Milan in 1971 and, since 1997, has been working with Semir Zeki at the Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology (University College London), where she started researching in the field of neuroesthetics, studying the relationship between visual perception and artistic representation. In 2005 she opened an art gallery in Milan.

    She teaches in the Psychology Faculty of the Università degli Studi Milano-Bicocca. She is on the Advisory Board of the Montessori Foundation.

    She has published many scientific articles in major international journals and art catalogues. Together with Marta dell’Angelo, she published C’è da perderci la testa: Scoprire il cervello giocando con l’arte (Laterza, 2009, Le Pommier, 2010) and, with Semir Zeki, La bella e la bestia: Arte e neuroscienze (Laterza, 2011).

    She recently moved to New York where she is attending the Scholars Program of the New York Psychoanalytic Society & Institute.

    Pierre Magistretti received his M.D. from the University of Geneva in 1979 and his Ph.D. in Biology from the University of California at San Diego in 1982. He is Professor and former Director (2005-2012) of the Brain Mind Institute and Professor at the Center for Psychiatric Neuroscience at the University of Lausanne Medical School.

    His laboratory has made seminal contributions to the understanding of the cellular and molecular bases of brain energy metabolism and their relevance for functional brain imaging. More recently, his research has focused on the behavioral, cellular, and molecular determinants of neuronal and glial plasticity, and the role of glia in memory. He is the author of over 180 original articles in high impact journals.

    He was Secretary General of the International Brain Research Organization (IBRO) (2009–2012) and President of the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (2002-2004). He was awarded the Camillo Golgi Medal Award and the Emil Kraepelin Professorship of the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich. He was elected Professor at the College de France to the annual International Chair in 2007-2008, and he is a member of the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences and the Academia Europaea.

    With François Ansermet, he has written two books, Biology of Freedom (Other Press) and Les Enigmes du plaisir (The Puzzles of Pleasure) (Odile Jacob), on the relationship between psychoanalysis and neuroscience.

    He is the President of the Agalma Foundation in Geneva, which promotes research and dialogues in the field of psychoanalysis, neuroscience and culture.

    Edward Nersessian is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Weill-Cornell Medical College, Training and Supervising Psychoanalyst at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute, Distinguished Life Member of the American Psychiatric Association, and Corresponding Member of Société Psychanalytique de Paris. He is co-founder and first co-editor of the journal Neuropsychoanalysis, co-editor of the Textbook of Psychoanalysis and of Controversies in Contemporary Psychoanalysis. He has published papers on a variety of psychoanalytic subjects and his current interest is reassessing the fundamental tenets of psychoanalytic theory.

    Co-founder of the Philoctetes Center, he is the founder and current Director of the Helix Center for Interdisciplinary Studies.

    Spyros Papapetros is Associate Professor of Art and Architectural Theory and Historiography, a member of the executive committees of the Program in European Cultural Studies and the Program in Media and Modernity, and a Behrman Faculty Fellow in the Humanities at Princeton University. He studies the intersections between art, architecture, historiography, psychoanalysis, and aesthetics. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Getty Research Institute, the Institute for Advanced Study, the Canadian Center for Architecture, the Barr Ferree Foundation, the Townsend Center for the Humanities, and the Fulbright Program. During 2002-2003, he was an associate fellow at the Warburg Institute in London where he researched the unpublished manuscripts of Aby Warburg.

    He is the author of On the Animation of the Inorganic: Art, Artchiture, and the Extension of Life (University of Chicago Press, 2012) and the editor of Space as Membrane by Siegfried Ebeling (Architectural Association Publications, 2010). His essays and reviews have appeared in the journals October, Grey Room, Perspecta, RES, AA Files, Art Bulletin, Oxford Art Journal, Journal for the Society of Architectural Historians, and in numerous edited anthologies. He is also the co-editor of Retracing the Expanded Field, an edited book publication mapping the intersections between architecture and the visual arts during the last three decades (MIT Press, 2014).

    He is currently completing a second personal book project under the general title, World Ornament, on the historiography of architectural ornamentation and bodily adornment from the mid 19th to the mid 20th century.

    Robert Penzer, M.D. is Associate Director of the Helix Center for Interdisciplinary Investigation. A graduate of Queens College of the City of New York and Harvard Medical School, he completed his residency and fellowship training at New York-Presbyterian/ Weill-Cornell Medical College, where he is Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, and his psychoanalytic training at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute, where he is on the faculty and has served in various teaching and administrative capacities. He maintains a private practice in New York City.

    Andrea Pinotti teaches Aesthetics at the Università degli Studi di Milano and is “Directeur de Programme” at the Collège International de Philosophie in Paris on the project Monument Nonument. His topics are the “Kunstwissenschaft” (Riegl, Wölfflin, Warburg & company), the image-theories, and the empathy-theories. He was a Fellow at the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America of Columbia University, Directeur d’études associé at the EHESS in Paris, Senior Fritz Saxl-Fellow at the Warburg Institute in London, Gastwissenschaftler at the ZfL in Berlin.

    He has edited Italian texts by empathy-theorists and art-theorists such as Robert Vischer, Friedrich Theodor Vischer, Theodor Lipps, Moritz Geiger, Alois Riegl, Heinrich Wölfflin, Wilhelm Worringer, Hans Sedlmayr.

    Among his publications are: The Body of Style: History of Art as History of Aesthetics in Semper, Riegl, Wölfflin (Il corpo dello stile: Storia dell’arte come storia dell’estetica in Semper, Riegl, Wölfflin, Palermo 1998); Memories of the Neutral: Aby Warburg and the Morphology of the Image (Memorie del neutro: Aby Warburg e la morfologia dell’immagine, Milan 2001); Empathy: History of an Idea from Plato to the Post-Human (Empatia: Storia di un’idea da Platone al postumano, Rome-Bari 2011; French translation in preparation at Vrin’s).

    He is also the co-editor of: Images of the Mind. Neurosciences, Art, Philosophy (Immagini della mente. Neuroscienze, arte, filosofia, Milan 2007; with G. Lucignani); Image-Theories. The Contemporary Debate (Teorie dell’immagine. Il dibattito contemporaneo, Milan 2009; with A. Somaini); and Art History and Visual Studies in Europe (Leiden 2012; with M. Rampley, C. Schoell-Glass, H. Locher, T. Lenain, and K. Zijlmans).

    François Quiviger took his Ph.D. from the Warburg Institute, London, where he works as curator of digital resources, librarian, and researcher. He has written, taught, and curated projects on early modern European academies, on mythology and on Renaissance material culture, art and art theory.

    His recent book, The Sensory World of Italian Renaissance Art (London, Chicago 2010), explores the presence and function of sensation in Renaissance ideas and practices, investigating their link to mental imagery and how Renaissance artists made touch, sound, and scent palpable to the minds of their audience.

    Read more at:

    Dorothea Rockburne was born in Montreal. She was educated at the Montreal Museum School and at Black Mountain College, where she studied with, among other contemporaries, Philip Guston and Franz Kline, as well as the German mathematician Max Dehn, whose teachings, merging the mathematical and natural worlds, provided her with new and complex approaches to her work. Her interests in the Golden Mean, astronomy, cosmology, and lifelong fascination with Egyptians’ use of proportion and light, additionally shaped her oeuvre.

    Working with both industrial and natural materials, she paints, cuts, draws, folds and calculates to create complex works of art built upon mathematical foundations.

    Selected museum exhibitions include Dorothea Rockburne: In My Mind’s Eye, Parrish Art Museum; On Line: Drawing Through the 20th Century, Museum of Modern Art; The Women of Black Mountain College, Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center; High Times, Hard Times, Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina; Dorothea Rockburne, Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University; and Dorothea Rockburne: Locus, Museum of Modern Art.

    Her work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Parrish Art Museum, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, Yale University Art Gallery, and the Auckland City Art Museum, among others. She has received numerous awards and honors, among them the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy, an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from the College for Creative Studies, Detroit, Induction into American Academy of Arts and Letters, Brandeis University, Creative Arts Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Her current exhibition, Drawing Which Makes Itself, is at the Museum of Modern Art through January 20th, 2014. Her show, Indication Drawings, at the Jill Newhouse Gallery, runs this October 2nd to November 15th.

    Louis Rose is Professor of Modern European History at Otterbein University in Ohio, a member of the Trustees of the Sigmund Freud Archives, Library of Congress, and the Editor of American Imago. His book, The Freudian Calling: Early Viennese Psychoanalysis and the Pursuit of Cultural Science (Wayne State University, 1998) received the 1999 Austrian Cultural Institute Prize for Best Book in Austrian Studies. He is the author of The Survival of Images: Art Historians, Psychoanalysts, and the Ancients (Wayne State University, 2001). He received his B.A. in History from Clark University and his Ph.D. in History from Princeton University, and was a Fulbright Fellow in Vienna. The Fall 2013 issue of American Imago builds upon themes in the study of mind, brain, and culture from Eric R. Kandel’s The Age of Insight, and is titled Psychoanalysis, Neuroscience, and European Modernism.

    Christopher Wood (A.B., Harvard 1983, Ph.D., Harvard 1991) has been teaching at Yale since 1992. He is currently Visiting Professor in the German Department, New York University, and has taught as a visitor at the University of California (Berkeley), Vassar College, and the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. In 1980 he was awarded Harvard's Jacob Wendell Scholarship. He has been a fellow at the Society of Fellows, Harvard University; the American Academy in Rome; the American Academy in Berlin; the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton; and the Internationales Forschungszentrum für Kulturwissenschaften, Vienna. In 2002 he was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. From 1999 to 2002 he was Book Review Editor of the Art Bulletin. He is the author of Albrecht Altdorfer and the Origins of Landscape (1993); Forgery, Replica, Fiction: Temporalities of German Renaissance Art (2008) (awarded the Susanne M. Glasscock Humanities Book Prize for Interdisciplinary Scholarship); and (with Alexander Nagel) Anachronic Renaissance (2010). He is the editor of The Vienna School Reader: Politics and Art Historical Method in the 1930s (2000).

guidance • support • stress • anxiety • depression • conflict • hyperactivity • identity disorders • socialization • self-esteem •
guidance • support • stress • anxiety • depression • conflict • hyperactivity • identity disorders • socialization • self-esteem •
guidance • support • stress • anxiety • depression • conflict • hyperactivity • identity disorders • socialization • self-esteem •