Photo of Cecilia Taiana

Cecilia Taiana

Associate Professor, Retired

Degrees:Ph.D. (Carleton)

Short Bio:

Cecilia Taiana Ph.D. (Psychology) was trained in Buenos Aires, Paris, London and Ottawa. A region of central interest to Dr. Taiana is Latin America, and in particular, Argentina, a country marked by political trauma and dictatorships. In 1995, Dr. Taiana co-edited The Reordering of Culture: Latin America, the Caribbean and Canada in the Hood, an interdisciplinary book by sociologists, historians and cultural theorists that explores the vicissitudes of north–south cultural identities. More recently, she published an article in the History of Psychology (Nov.2005), entitled “Conceptual Resistance in the Disciplines of the Mind: The Buenos Aires-Leipzig Connection at the Turn of the Twentieth Century.”

Based on her research on the transatlantic migration of psychoanalytical discourse, she contributed a chapter to the book, Internationalizing the History of Psychology (Adrian Brock, Ed. 2006), entitled “Transatlantic Migration of the Disciplines of the Mind: An Examination of the Reception of Wundt’s and Freud’s Theories in Argentina.” This book was nominated by the American Psychological Association for the best book on psychology award in 2006. Her article “The Emergence of Freud’s Theories in Argentina: Towards A Comparison with the US” was published in November 2006 by the Canadian Journal of Psychoanalysis. Cecilia wrote a biographical note on Jacques Lacan for the editors of the Dictionary of Medical Biography published by Greenwood Publishers (2007). She continued her work on Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan during her sabbatical (2007-2008), when she began to document the disappearance, incarceration and exile of Argentine psychologists/psychoanalysts in the 1970s.

Courses Taught:

  • Trauma and Memory: An examination of current theoretical debates and the treatment of psychological trauma.
  • Advanced Seminar in Clinical Practice for Social Workers or The Science and Hermeneutics of the ‘Talking Cure’
  • Mind-Body Relations in the 20th Century: A Historical Analysis of the Theories of the Mind.
  • Women and Welfare
  • Cross-cultural Counselling
  • Mental Health policies and practices.

Research Interests:

History of the disciplines of the mind (psychiatry, psychology, psychoanalysis) and their transatlantic migrations.

History of the concepts of ‘trauma’ and ‘memory.’

  • Theoretical debates on trauma and memory.
  • Processes of unknowing and the analysis of forgetting.
  • Contributions of contemporary neuropsychoanalysis

The renewal of clinical theory and practice in the social work field:

  • Innovative treatment of trauma (war trauma, torture, sexual and violent crimes trauma).
  • Introduction to Jacques Lacan’s reading of Sigmund Freud’s theory.
  • The concept of filiation in Freudian/ Lacanian theory and its clinical implications.

Psychoanalysis and the Ontology Wars.

  • The Freudian/Lacanian subject.
  • The intentional and unintentional disappearance of the subject.
  • Dislocation (Insertion/dis-insertion) – From Symbolic Identification to Consumption
  • Psychoanalytical discourse and its role in the conflict between authoritarian/totalitarian and anti-authoritarian/totalitarian, and between theocratic and secular, worldviews.

Current Research Projects:

Monograph: Psychoanalysis and the Ontology Wars: The disappearance, incarceration and exile of Argentinean psychologists/psychoanalysts in the 1970s. (New York: Palgrave Mcmillan, forthcoming 2011).

Description of project: The turbulent decade of the 1970s in Argentina culminated in the bloody dictatorship installed by a military coup in 1976. This regime lasted until 1983 and was characterized by a growing intellectual polarization. Many intellectuals, among them practitioners and students of psychology/psychoanalysis, died or disappeared, others were forced into exile, and those who remained were subject to rigid censorship.

This investigation will provide an opportunity to contrast two discourses at play during this dictatorship period: the discourse of the military regime and psychological/psychoanalytical discourse as they pertain to the ontological notion of “man” in Argentina at the time, both of which are presented in spoken and written language and used to enact a specific given identity. An analysis of both ontologies will expose the antithetical counter-culture to the military regime embodied in psychological/psychoanalytical theory.

The proposed research therefore has two primary objectives: to study and document the disappearance, incarceration and exile of psychologists/psychoanalysts during the last dictatorship in Argentina and to produce a monograph that will bring together related aspects of a more general topic on psychological/psychoanalytical ideas and their role in the conflict between authoritarian/totalitarian and anti-authoritarian/anti-totalitarian, and between theocratic and secular, worldviews.

Construction of an Archive

Description of project:
In collaboration the Hoover Institution Archive, Stanford University, I am constructing an archive as a repository of key documents from the decade of the 1970 in Argentina.

In my last sabbatical leave (Jan-July 2004), I spent spend one week shadowing and interviewing therapists in each of the following Traumatic Stress Centres: Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto; Maudsley Hospital, London, England; University of Southern California Medical Centre, US, and at the Alvear Hospital in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This project resulted in an important contribution to the development of training opportunities for Carleton graduate students in social work and psychology interested in the treatment of severe trauma. I incorporated my findings into my graduate seminar “Trauma and Memory: An examination of current theoretical debates and clinical practice.”

Publications – Refereed Scholarly Publications

Article in Refereed Conference Proceedings:

Articles in Referred Journals:

  • “The Emergence of Freud’s Theories in Argentina: Towards a Comparison with the US” Canadian Journal of Psychoanalysis (CPJ), Vol. 14. No. 2, November, 2006, 269-295.
  • “Conceptual Resistance in the Discipline of the Mind: The Buenos Aires- Leipzig Connection at the Turn of the Twentieth Century”, History of Psychology, 2005, Vol 8, No.4, 383-402.

Articles in Refereed Conference Proceedings

  • “Confession and its twin, torture: rethinking the therapeutic alliance”, in I. Inbek, Rvan Hezewijk, G.Pheterson & C. Tolman (Eds.), Current trends in theoretical psychology, (Vol.4). New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company, 1995, 213-228.

Chapter in Refereed Book:

  • “Navigating the text: an exploration in comparative cross-cultural epistemology” in The Reordering of Culture: Latin America, the Caribbean and Canada in the Hood, Edited by A. Ruprecht and C. Taiana, Carleton University Press, November 1995.
  • “Transatlantic Migration of the Disciples of the Mind” in Adrian Brock (ed.), Internationalizing the History of Psychology, New York University Press, 2006, pp. 34-55.

Refereed Book:

  • Edited by Alvina Ruprecht and Cecilia Taiana, The Reordering of Culture: Latin America, the Caribbean and Canada in the Hood, Carleton University Press, November 1995, pp. 590.

Affiliations/Positions Held:

  • Foreign Honorary Associate Member to the Chair of the History of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  • Treasurer/Secretary: Canadian Psychological Association, Chapter: history and Philosophy of Psychology.
  • Honorary member of the Advisory Committee on Ethics in Research at the Faculty of Psychology, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Other Information:

Research Visiting Scholar at Stanford University, Palo Alto, California for two years (2007 and 2008).


The Miguel Prados Prize for presenting an article at the Buenos Aires Congress of the International Psychoanalytic Association, May, 26, 2017.