Bion 2016 International Congress

I’ll be delivering my paper ‘These worms are terrible to look at’: Attacks on and of Linking in the case of the Morgellons at the forthcoming Bion 2016 International Congress in Milan at the end of September.

I’m excited to be presenting to a group of fellow Bion researchers, and the Milanese setting doesn’t hurt, either. Sometimes I suspect that Bion is better known in Italy than he is in his (second…) native land, thanks to efforts by his late daughter, Parthenope Bion Talamo, to introduce his work within Italian psychoanalysis circles. While I’m not presenting in Italian, I did have to prepare an Italian translation of my paper.

The phenomenon of morgellons, or morgellons disease, remains a disputed and largely rejected term among the medical profession, who have dismissed it as a delusional parasitosis. For a worldwide community of self-identified sufferers, the name – ‘morgellons’, drawn from a little known text by the 17th century physician and man of letters, Sir Thomas Browne – provides a stable site of enquiry for a bewildering and unexplained range of dermatological and nervous system ailments that include skin lesions, debilitating itchiness and chronic fatigue, along with the appearance of tiny, multi-coloured threads that extrude from the skin.