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Illustrious Personalities I met at Conferences
Richard Koenigsberg
Please scroll down page for photos of illustrious personalities and me

I often mention that I’ve met and conversed with many of the world’s most prominent scholars. Not entirely an exaggeration—having attended over 125 academic conferences in a wide range of disciplines.

Among the memorable people I ran into:

  • In politics: Al Gore, Bob Dole, Michael Dukakis (see photo below) and Daniel Ellsberg.
  • In psychoanalysis: James Grotstein, Susan Kavaler-Adler, Tom Ferraro, Otto Kernberg, Janine Chasseguet-Smirgel, Patsi Turrini, and Joyce McDougal.
  • In anthropology: Eric Wolf and Philip Bock.
  • In political psychology: George Marcus, Jerry Post, Vamik Volkan and James Glass.
  • In history: Omer Bartov and Daniel Goldhagen.

I gave 51 presentations during the period 1990-2000. But often the most intense discussions occurred at the book exhibit. The role of scholar-salesman is unusual, but academics enjoyed my presence at their meetings: “There’s Koenigsberg again.”

By the end of the decade, I was giving plenary talks at:

  • The “18th Annual Holocaust at Millersville University, April 26, 1998, where I spoke on “The Symbolic Meaning of Genocide: What were the Nazis Trying to Destroy by Killing Jews?”
  • The Fourth Annual International Conference on Elvis Presley, Memphis, Tennessee, August 9-12, 1998. My keynote talk was, "I Move, Therefore I Am: Elvis, Rock n' Roll and the Liberation of the American Body."
  • The Biennial Meeting of the Society for Psychological Anthropology, where I spoke on September 21, 1999 on “Nazi Ideology and Genocide: Psychological Sources of Culture.”

I invited Barbara Ehrenreich to participate in an all-day Seminar I chaired ” at the 41st Winter Meeting of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis, “Psychoanalytic Interpretation of War and Conflict” (first time I participated in an event at New York City’s wondrous Plaza Hotel, after sitting longingly in the lobby for 20 years).

The highlight of my conference-going career occurred when I presented a paper on June 3, 1999 at the 8th Annual Meeting of the Colloquium on Violence and Religion (COV&R) at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia: “The Sacrificial Meaning of the Holocaust”. More about that in the next issue of the LSS newsletter. Please stay tuned. 

Please scroll down page for photos of me with illustrious persons.

Meeting of the Association for Politics & the Life Sciences in Boston, September 3-6, 1998. Michael Dukakis and I—with my book. I was surprised that Michael introduced himself to everyone at the meeting. Was he still running for office? Onsite manager Jay Bernstein said, “I voted for you, Michael.” He replied, “I wonder why I didn’t win?”
Meeting of Division 39 of the American Psychological Association, April, 1995, Santa Monica, California. I’m posing with Janine Chasseguet-Smirgel after she’d won an award. This world-renowned psychoanalyst—who visited me whenever she came to Manhattan—was one of my favorite people.
Meeting of the Association for Politics & the Life Sciences in Boston, September 3-6, 1998. Library of Social Science did a book signing for keynote speaker Edward O. Wilson. He’s holding my book and I’m holding his. I presented a paper, “The German Body Politic and the Jewish Disease: Genocide as an Immunological Fantasy.”
15th Annual Meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology, July 4-8, 1992, San Francisco. This photo of Vamik Volkan (the fellow with the name tag) and me was taken by Tom Ferraro on a boat-ride. The ISPP meetings organized by Denis Snook were among the most entertaining I’ve attended.