Sabina Spielrein and the Early Female Pioneers of Psychoanalysis

The International Association for Spielrein Studies

International Psychoanalytic University in Berlin
& Psychology and Religion Program of Union Theological Seminary in New York


The First International Conference

Sabina Spielrein and the Early Female Pioneers of Psychoanalysis

April 10, 2022
12:00 noon – 4:00 P.M. Eastern (New York) Time (Sunday)

The conference is a combination of pre–recorded presentations and a webinar. The pre–recorded presentations will be made available to registered conference participants by March 25, 2022. The webinar will take place on April 10, 2022.

There will be no presentations given during the webinar. Its purpose is to engage with the speakers and other participants in a discussion.

Structure of the Webinar:

12:00 – 12:10:  Welcome

12:10 – 12:40   Panel I: Sabina Spielrein and Carl Jung

12:40 – 1:10     Panel II: Sabina Spielrein and medical science

1:10 – 1:40       Panel III: Sabina Spielrein and the death drive

1:40 – 2:00       Coffee break

2:00 – 2:30       Panel IV: Sabina Spielrein and Language

2:30 – 3:00       Panel V: More Female Pioneers of Psychoanalysis, Holocaust, and

3:00 – 3:30       Panel VI: More Female Pioneers of Psychoanalysis: Escaping Holocaust and Tyranny?

3:30 – 4:00       Conclusions

To register for the conference (pre–recorded presentations & webinar), please go to:

If you are interested in access to the open–access presentations only, please email us at: to pre–register.

List of Presentations:

Open-Access Presentations: 

Sabina Spielrein. Introductory lecture
Klara Naszkowska

Between Bolsheviks and Nazis: A tragic story of Sabina’s family
Vladimir Shpilrain

Psychoanalysis and emancipation: First female psychoanalysts from Poland –
a country that did not exist
Paweł Dybel

Presentations for Registered Participants:

Panel I: Sabina Spielrein and Carl Jung

The miss-treatment of the little Russian patient
Nina Clara Schnall

Sabina Spielrein’s influence on C. G Jung, as case, collaborator, and projected anima
Felicity Kelcourse  

Analytical psychology: Comparative analysis
Valentin Balanovsky

Sabina Spielrein and #MeToo movement
Kathy Sinsheimer

Panel II: Sabina Spielrein and medical science

Sabina Spielrein as a pioneer of evolutionary psychology and psychiatry
John Launer 

Spielrein, materialistic psychoanalysis and holistic neurology
Ana Tomcic​

Panel III: Sabina Spielrein and the death drive

Death instinct and mental conflict in Spielrein’s work
Fatima Caropreso

We could just as readily derive everything from the nurturing drive: Spielrein as a proto-Relational theorist
Esther Rapoport

Is the death drive gendered?
Adrienne Harris & Eyal Rozmarin

Panel IV: Sabina Spielrein and Language

Sabina Spielrein as linguist
Katalin Faluvégi

Sabina Spielrein’s language of the mother: Anticipation of the ideas of Hélène, Cixous and Luce Irigaray
Klara Naszkowska

Panel V: More Female Pioneers of Psychoanalysis, Holocaust, and Tyranny

 Erzsébet Kardos, the promise of the Budapest School of psychoanalysis
Anna Borgos 

What do we know about Tatiana Rosenthal?
Pamela Cooper-White & Leonid Kadis​

An unknown heroine’s mission on the eve of the second world war: Erzsébet Farkas’ work in a Jewish foster home in Hungary
Dóra Szabó

Eugenie Sokolnicka, Sophie Morgenstern: Forgotten pioneers of psychoanalysis in the field of female psyche and child psychology
Ursula Prameshuber

Panel VI: More Female Pioneers of Psychoanalysis: Escaping Holocaust and Tyranny? 

The artist as narcissus: Lou Andreas-Salomé on Artistic Creativity
Shira Dushy 

Beyond the Nirvana principle: Barbara Low’s contributions to psychoanalysis
Richard Theisen Simanke​

Speaking in Tongues. Nic Waal (1905—1960): Norwegian Psychoanalyst and Resistance Fighter
Håvard Friis Nilsen

Sabina’s Faces: Work-in-progress presentation of a theatrical performance

  • Gunilla Bergerham
  • Matilda Strand
  • Eveline Grassman
  • Alexandra Ekelo
  • & Bob Dolman​

The program is subject to changes.

Language of the conference: English
Polish/English and German/English translators will be present at the webinar

Scientific and organizational committee:
Klara Naszkowska (Chair, International Association for Spielrein Studies) 
Adrienne Harris (International Association for Spielrein Studies)
John Launer (International Association for Spielrein Studies) 
Bernhard Bolech (International Psychoanalytic University Berlin)

Pamela Cooper-White (International Association for Spielrein Studies) 


Balanovsky, Valentin
Ph.D. in philosophy, LL.M, senior researcher at Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University (Kaliningrad). Research interests: history of philosophy and psychology (particularly Jung, Spielrein, Lossky). Recent publications: “Sabina Spielrein (1885-1942), czyli o prawdziwych przyczynach sukcesów Freuda i Junga (2021); “S.N. Spielrein’s Contribution to Development of Key Notions of C.G. Jung’s Analytical Psychology”; “Role of Sabina Spielrein in Forming Theoretical Basis of the Analytical Psychology” (both in Russian, 2020).

Bergerham, Gunilla
Playwright and actress working on stage, and in film and TV productions. Now touring is her musical for children about the environments of the oceans. Gunilla is also a certified dream coach of the Institute for Dream Psychology and a gestalt practitioner. 

Bolech, Bernhard
Ph.D., historian, researcher and librarian at the International Psychoanalytic University Berlin. Most recent publication: “Rudolf M. Loewenstein and psychoanalysis of antisemitism” (in German, 2019; in Polish, 2020); “Galician Psychoanalysts at Freud’s Side. On the Epistemic Benefits of Social Marginalization” (in German, 2018).

Borgos, Anna
Ph.D., research fellow at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychology, Budapest, editor-in-chief of the psychoanalytic journal Imágó Budapest. Research interests: life and work of Hungarian women intellectuals with focus on psychoanalysis and literature. Recent book publication: Women in the Budapest School of psychoanalysis: Girls of Tomorrow (2021), “Alice Bálint and her diaries” (2019).

Caropreso, Fatima
Ph.D., historian of psychology and psychoanalysis, associate professor at the Federal University of Juiz de Fora (Brazil). Recent publications: “Subliminal thought according to Sabina Spielrein’s psychoanalytic theory” (2021); “Sabina Spielrein’s theory of the origin and development of language” (2020); “The death instinct and the mental dimension beyond the pleasure principle in the works of Spielrein and Freud” (2017).

Cooper-White, Pamela
Ph.D., Academic Dean/Vice President, and C.B. Johnson professor of psychology & religion, Union Theological Seminary, New York. Recent publications: Sabina Spielrein and the Beginnings of Psychoanalysis: Image, Thought, and Language (co-editor, 2019); Old and Dirty Gods: Religion, Antisemitism and the Origins of Psychoanalysis (2017).

Dolman, Bob
Canadian-born painter, writer, filmmaker and teacher, living in California. Film and TV credits include SCTV, Willow, The Banger Sisters. Paintings exhibited in Los Angeles and Stockholm. Consultant for the development and presentation of Sabina’s Faces.

Dumas, Candice
M.A., clinical psychologist and psychoanalytic psychotherapist from Cape Town, South Africa. Research interests: the history of the first generation of female psychoanalysts in Western Europe.

Dushy, Shira
Ph.D. student of Psychoanalysis and its Interfaces at Tel Aviv University, M.A.s in Psychology and in Philosophy. In her M.A. thesis she dealt with Lou Andreas-Salomè’s writings about art and narcissism. Current research interests: psychoanalytic conceptualisation of the Ageing Subject, psychoanalysis, philosophy and the arts, and how they integrate in clinical practice. She makes art and music, and has recently become a mother. 

Dybel, Paweł
Professor Dr. habil., IFiS at the Polish Academy of Sciences; Pedagogical University of Krakow. Author of many books on psychoanalysis and hermeneutics. Recent publications: Affinities from the era. Associations between Polish modernism and interwar literature with psychoanalysis (editor, in Polish, 2018); A Past Messiah. Bruno Schulz and Psychoanalysis (in Polish, 2017).

Ekelöf, Alexandra
Actress, composer, violinist, singer and songwriter. Alexandra comes from the physical theatre tradition. She works mainly in touring plays and in her own solo performance “The Ordinary Princess” in which she plays 30 characters in less than an hour – just by changing voice and posture.

Faluvégi, Katalin
M.A., Ph.D. student, linguist, Germanist, university lecturer at Budapest Business School. Research interests: encounter of linguistics and psychoanalysis in Spielrein’s oeuvre. Recent publication: “Linguistic approaches of the early psychoanalysts: Freud, Ferenczi, Spielrein and Hollós” (in Hungarian, 2018).

Grassman, Eveline
Actress, writer, film director, journalist and lecturer of journalism at the University of Stockholm. She works with film and television. Recipient of the Manhattan Short Film Festival award for the short film “Lili can see you” (as director and writer, 2019) that investigates psychological and technological dilemmas in the modern age. 

Harris, Adrienne
Ph.D., faculty and supervisor at NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, faculty and supervisor at the Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California, co-founder of the Sándor Ferenczi Center at the New School University. Her current work is on analytic subjectivity, intersectional models of gender and sexuality, and ghosts.

Kadis, Leonid
Specialist in criminal psychology and psychopathology. He is a member of the Leningrad Regional Forensic Psychiatric Team and also a psychotherapist at St. Basil the Great Center for rehabilitation of adolescent offenders. His areas of research are forensic psychotherapy and psychodynamics of criminal behaviour, and the history of Russian psychoanalysis. Recent publication: “I Am Young, I Live, I Love…”: The Tragedy of Tatiana Rosenthal (2018, in Russian).

Kelcourse, Felicity
Min., Ph.D., LMHC, associate professor of Clinical Mental Health Counselling and Psychology of Religion at Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis. Recent publications: Sabina Spielrein and the Beginnings of Psychoanalysis: Image, Thought, and Language (co-editor, 2019), Transforming Wisdom: Pastoral Psychotherapy in Theological Perspective (co-editor, 2015).

​ Launer, John
M.D., family physician and family therapist by background, founding member of the International Association for Spielrein Studies, author of the first full-length biography of Spielrein in English, Sex versus Survival: the life and ideas of Sabina Spielrein (2015).

Lothane, Henry Zvi 
M.D., internationally known as biographer of Paul Schreber and Sabina Spielrein. Published on Spielrein 1987—2016, disproving allegations of illicit sex between Spielrein and Jung. Recent publication: “Lessons Learned” in The Handbook of Psychoanalytic Holocaust Studies (2019).  

Naszkowska, Klara
Ph.D., Cultural and Personal Historian, Fulbright Scholar, Postdoctoral Visiting scholar at Union Theological Seminary in NYC, and Center for Jewish History, Founding Director of the International Association for Spielrein Studies. Recent publications: “A Psychoanalyst, a Jew, a Woman, a Wife, a Mother, an Emigrant: Multiple Identities of the First–generation Émigré Foremothers of Psychoanalysis to the United States” (in Hungarian, 2021); “Sabina Spielrein: Searching for her own path” (in Polish, 2020); “Passions, Politics, and Drives: Sabina Spielrein in Soviet Russia” (2019).

Nilsen, Håvard Friis
Ph.D., historian of science and modern political history, professor of social science at Ostfold University College, Norway. Life Member of Clare Hall, University of Cambridge. Recent publication: “Resistance in Therapy and War. Psychoanalysis Before and During the Nazi Occupation of Norway 1933-45” (2013).

Prameshuber, Ursul
PsychD., Jungian psychoanalyst in private practice in Rome. M.A. in English literature from the University of Salzburg. Research interests: early female psychoanalysts, expats, nostalgia and exile. Recent publications: “Sabina Spielrein’s contribution to psychoanalysis” (in French, 2009); “Nostalgia” (in Italian, 2020).

Rapoport, Esther
PsyD., clinical psychologist at the Academy of Clinical and Applied Psychoanalysis. Interested in Spielrein as a proto-relational theorist and in possible applications of her thought to queer theory. Recent publication: From Psychoanalytic Bisexuality to Bisexual Psychoanalysis (2019).

Rozmarin, Eyal
Ph.D., co-editor of the book series Relational Perspectives in Psychoanalysis, associate editor of Psychoanalytic Dialogues and Studies in Gender and Sexuality, faculty member at the White Institute, in private practice in NYC. Research interests: intersection of psychoanalysis, social theory, and philosophy. Recent publications: “The Subject of Otherness, the Subject as Otherness” (2019). 

Schnall, Nina Clara
M.A., M.F.A., Writer, cultural anthropologist, 1999/2000 Fulbright Visiting Scholar, Artistic Director of the Yoga of Writing. Recent publications: “The Patient Writes Back; Psychoanalysis from the Other Side of the Couch” (2016) and “African Dance in Paris” (2018).

Shpilrain, Vladimir
Professor of mathematics at the City University of New York. Great-nephew of Sabina Spielrein. Together with Henry Lothane, Vladimir is currently involved in a project of translating Spielrein’s diaries and letters from Russian into English.

Simanke, Richard Theisen
Ph.D., Chair Professor at the Federal University of Juiz de Fora (Brazil), author of many works on history and philosophy of psychology, psychoanalysis, psychiatry, and biology. Some recent publications: Biosemiotics and Evolution: The Natural Foundations of Meaning and Symbolism (with Elena Pagni, 2021).; “Freud and his Bahnung in the history of dynamic theories of memory” (in Portuguese, 2019); “Meaning and object in Freud’s theory of language” (2017).

Sinsheimer, Kathy
MFT, personal and supervising analyst and faculty member at the Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California, in private practice for psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. Research interest: the history of ethics in the field of psychoanalysis. Recent paper on the subject: “Silencing” (2014).

Strand, Matilda
Swedish actress, dancer and musical theatre performer. Matilda has performed in film and stage productions at Kulturhuset Stadsteatern and at the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm. She is also a drama and dance teacher for adolescents and children with neuropsychiatric conditions. 

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