On reading the Plumsock Prize winning papers as a unified body, we wondered if the function of the prize was to encourage a documentation of the culture of the CFS related to incorporation of theories not taught in the curriculum. We also thought that the prize provided a platform for the synthesis of theories that may have been previously viewed as conflicting. Some of our former candidates/current members brought their academic expertise to bear and used their new psychoanalytic knowledge to expand both their “home” field and ours. Many of our authors used the writing experience to document their problem-solving process: how they engaged and treated patients who may in the past have been thought of as unreachable.
The founder of the Plumsock Prize is Edwin Fancher. There is a clear parallel between his role in publishing the Village Voice, which provided a platform for alternative journalism and an entree into alternative theater and other artistic endeavors, and his role in creating what the Plumsock Prize has realized as another platform for original thought.
The Plumsock Award for both Candidates and new graduates has at its core the intention to encourage writing and the expression of psychoanalytic ideas by early career thinkers. The New York /Contemporary Freudian Society has accrued a rich array of papers that bring together theoretical ideas with clinical practice. Each paper, with its unique focus, shows the author’s way of linking their clinical work with a specific facet of theory. While incredibly diverse, one profound commonality is that the Plumsock winners each move psychoanalysis forward in development. Each paper was written at a certain moment in time, and each author, in close consideration of clinical process, expounds an area of psychoanalytic understanding, and then adds a new original layer of thinking that further enriches that area.