CPOS Reading group

The CPOS reading group provides those interested in organizational, psychoanalytic, and political theories with an opportunity to expand their knowledge in specific topic areas. Attendees may include students, faculty, or community members.

Participants will read a series of 4-5 papers each spring and fall, and meet every third Thursday, September through May, to discuss the papers in the context of psychosocial organization studies.

Discussions are moderated by CPOS associates and are currently conducted in English.

The monthly meeting is held online and is open to the public. If you’d like to join our discussions please email Mindy Duncan: admin@surfacingtheorganization.com.

Discussion format

We use the thought circles in the diagram below to structure how we think through, and discuss, the readings. Each circle represents a perspective that we bring to the psychosocial study of organizations.

  • Clinician – moving outside of the consulting room
  • Educator – teaching, learning, students
  • Manager – application, action researchers
  • Consultant – the outside perspective
  • Researcher – modes of research, self-experience, participants’ experiences and reactions

thought circles

This model acknowledges that scholars use psychoanalytic theory, or that they could, whether they are primarily clinicians, educators, managers, consultants, or researchers. And, that very often we hold multiple roles all intersected by a psychosocial approach to studying organizations.

Current theme

Our current theme is “Maternal Eros: (De)vitalization in working relationships”. Our exploration of the concept of maternal Eros is intended to open a conversation about how “embodied affective energies” are both vitalized and devitalized by working relationships.

For this reading set we will be reading five pairs of papers, one psychoanalytic and in the management and organization studies arena. Our goal is to make connections and identify gaps in the translation from psychoanalysis to organization studies. This series will begin in September 2022 and conclude in January 2023. The full reading list is outlined below.


October 20

Goldberg, P. (2012). Active perception and the search for sensory symbiosis. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 60(4), 791-812.

Holm, D. V., & Beyes, T. (2022). How art becomes organization: Reimagining aesthetics, sites and politics of entrepreneurship. Organization Studies, 43(2), 227-245.


November 17

Anzieu-Premmereur, C. (2015). The skin-ego: Dyadic sensuality, trauma in infancy, and adult narcissistic issues. Psychoanalytic Review, 102(5), 659-681.

Elias, S. R., Chiles, T. H., & Crawford, B. (2022). Entrepreneurial imagining: How a small team of arts entrepreneurs created the world’s largest traveling carillon. Organization Studies, 43(2), 203-226.


December 15

Foehl, J. C. (2020). Lived depth: A phenomenology of psychoanalytic process and identity. Psychoanalytic Inquiry40(2), 131-146.

van Beekum, S. (2008). Erotic transference as a social defence. Organisational and Social Dynamics8(2), 154-168.


January 20

Celenza, A. (2022). Maternal erotic transferences and the work of the abject. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association70(1), 9-38.

Rizq, R. (2013). States of abjection. Organization studies, 34(9), 1277-1297.

If you’d like to join our discussions please email Mindy Duncan: admin@surfacingtheorganization.com. 

Most recent theme

Our most recent theme was “Critical psychoanalysis: Race, society, and organizations”, which included the following papers:

  • Young-Bruehl, E. (2011). Psychoanalysis and social democracy: A tale of two developments. Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 47(2), 179-203.
  • Hook, D. (2008). Postcolonial psychoanalysis. Theory & Psychology, 18(2), 269-283.
  • Stoute, Beverly J. (2021). Black rage: The psychic adaptation to the trauma of oppression. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 69(2), 259-290.
  • Stevenson, S. (2020). Psychodynamic intersectionality and the positionality of the group analyst: The tension between analytical neutrality and inter-subjectivity. Group Analysis, 53(4), 498-514.
  • Salmela, T., Valtonen, A., & Meriläinen, S. (2020). Accessing uncolonized terrains of organizations: Uncanny force of sleep and dreaming. Culture and Organization, 26(1), 33-47.

Past themes

  • Critiques
  • Countertransference
  • Therapeutic aims
  • Associate papers
  • Qualitative research