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Constructing Worlds: A Symposium to Honor Ken Gergen

Constructing Worlds: A Symposium to Honor Ken Gergen

Kenneth GergenOn Saturday, April 22, friends, colleagues, and former students will gather for a symposium to honor Kenneth Gergen, who is retiring from teaching at Swarthmore after 40 years of great distinction in the Psychology Department. In both his voluminous writings and his teaching, Gergen has challenged traditional conceptions of "the world as it is," and illuminated the possibilities and potentials of constructing alternative futures. Challenging dominant orders, creating generative theories, and placing theory into orbits of practice are prevailing themes.

Five former students of Ken's will amplify these themes, as they speak of their own work in theory, research, societal practice, and literary construction. Given the extraordinary breadth of Ken's interests and contributions over the course of his career, this gathering should be of interest to people throughout the social sciences and humanities.  A presentation by Ken will then complete the afternoon.

The symposium will be held in the Scheuer Room of Kohlberg Hall, 1:00 to 5:30 p.m., followed by a reception open to all who attend.

The Program

A Developmental, Social, and Dialectical Constructivist Interpretation of Psychotherapy: Blame it All on Ken

Michael Basseches '72
Professor of Psychology (and former Director of Clinical Training) at Suffolk University, and Staff Psychologist at the  Harvard University Bureau of Study Counsel.

Fighting Social Ghosts in Korean American Fiction: One Writer's Journey and Two-fold Strategy to Subvert Literary Convention

Yongsoo Park '94
 Writer and Independent Filmmaker

Locked Up and Locked Out: Women, Children and the Prison Industrial Complex

Ellen Barry '75
Consultant, Women and Justice Issues; co-chair, National Network for Women in Prison; founder, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children


Critique and Construction: Examining Interconnections between Academic Cognition and Social Identification

Stanton Wortham '85
University of Pennsylvania

Psychological Theory as Sociocultural Knowledge:  Honoring Gergen's Contributions

Suzanne Kirschner '78
College of the Holy Cross

Toward Relational Being

Kenneth Gergen




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