Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Making of a Paper




I'm working on a paper I'll present at the 2007 Conference of the International Federation for Psychoanalytic Education in a few weeks. Because of the gyrations inherent in many organizations, the panel I organized isn't going to work in the way I was planning. We'll have less time than planned. Sparing you all the bloody details, I've decided (with my panelists) that for a variety of reasons my co-presenter would basically keep her paper at original length, while I would drastically cut mine. Because I was going to tweak the paper anyway, I thought I was simply going to tweak then cut. But, I could see that wasn't going to work. Instead, I used some pieces of the paper I was working on, but reworked it in a very different way.

My paper is titled, "Why Can't the English Learn to Speak", a titled derived from Lerner & Lowe's My Fair Lady. The musical is based upon George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion. I use the fictional account of Henry Higgins teaching Eliza Doolittle to speak as proper lady as the backdrop to discuss some of the assumptions behind the push to manualize psychotherapy.

Writing a condensed paper has been quite a challenge, but I let some of the lyrics do the talking, and I try to write this version in a style, which I hope will work for condensing this subject. We shall see. It has been fun in its own way. The posters above show the various versions, and that also illustrates part of the theme of my paper.

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