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Past events, lectures and courses

The Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture Series

Since 1952, the Institute of General Semantics has sponsored the annual Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture (AKML), a presentation given by a distinguished individual on a topic of interest to the field of general semantics.

History

In 1952, two years after founder Alfred Korzbyski’s sudden death, Institute of General Semantics Director M. Kendig initiated an annual program to remember Korzybski and celebrate the continuation of his goals for human development and progress.

This program became known as the Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture Series, or “AKML.” Kendig viewed this series as a means not only to remember Korzybski, but also to celebrate the contributions of those whose work is scientifically oriented and promotes what Korzybski termed “time-binding,” the unique human ability to build on the achievements of others through the use of symbols and languages.

Prestige

An impressive lineup of speakers has added significant prestige to the AKML, which over the years has featured prominent authors, scientists, psychologists, educators, and individuals from varied backgrounds.

A few of the more recognizable names include Abraham Maslow, Buckminster Fuller, Albert Ellis, Steve Allen, Leonard Shlain, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Lou Marinoff, Ellen Langer, J. Allan Hobson, Robert Carneiro, James Van Allen, Karl H. Pribram, Deborah Tannen, Sherry Turkle, and others.

Past AKML Speakers

A complete list of past speakers, along with transcripts of their presentations and audio and video recordings (where available), is below. The listed affiliations for each speaker were current on the date of the lecture and may have since changed.

2020s

2021 - Siva Vaidhyanathan

Siva Vaidhyanathan

Robertson Professor of Media Studies and the director of the Center for Media and Citizenship at the University of Virginia, Cultural historian, media scholar, and lecturer

Lecture Title: “Making Meaning through Facebook: A Semantic and Visual-Culture Tour through Social Media”

 

2020 - Corey Anton

Corey Anton

Author and professor of communication studies at Grand Valley State University

Lecture Title: “Lessons Learned from Lee Thayer”



2010s

2019 - Nadine Strossen

Nadine Strossen

John Marshall Harlan II Professor of Law at New York Law School, First woman national president of the American Civil Liberties Union (1991-2008)

Lecture Title: “Hate Speech, Counterspeech …”


2018 - Lance Strate

Lance Strate

Professor of Communication and Media Studies and Associate Chair for Graduate Studies at Fordham University

Lecture Title: “Amazing Ourselves to Death: Contemplating the Technological Tempest of Our Times”

Introduction & Presentation Videos:


2017 - Terence P. Moran

Terence P. Moran

Professor of Media Ecology, Department of Media, Culture, and Communication, at New York University

Lecture Title: “Crazy Talk, Stupid Talk: Politics in America 2017”

Read the Lecture


2016 - Iain McGilchrist

Iain McGilchrist

Psychiatrist and writer
Author of The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World



2015 - Andrew Keen

Andrew Keen

Author of The Internet Is Not the Answer

Lecture Title: “The Internet Is Not the Answer”


2014 - Jack El-Hai

Jack El-Hai

Author of The Nazi and the Psychiatrist: Hermann Göring, Dr. Douglas M. Kelley, and a Fatal Meeting of Minds at the End of WWII Lecture Title: “The General-Semantics Psychiatrist and the Nazi”




2013 - Terrence Deacon, Ph.D.

Terrence Deacon, Ph.D.

Professor of biological anthropology at University of California, Berkeley

Author of Incomplete Nature: How Mind Emerged from Matter


2012 - Shawn Lawrence Otto

Shawn Lawrence Otto

Science advocate, humanitarian, and screenwriter
  • Author of Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America


2011 - Sherry Turkle

Sherry Turkle

Abby Rockefeller Mauze Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Author of Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other


2010 - Deborah Tannen

Deborah Tannen

University Professor and Professor of Linguistics at Georgetown University.

Author of many books and articles about how the language of everyday conversation affects relationships, including You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation (New York Times Best Seller)

2009 - Mary Catherine Bateson

Mary Catherine Bateson

President of the Institute for Intercultural Studies.

Author of eleven books including Full Circles, Overlapping Lives: Culture and Generation in Transition; With A Daughter’s Eye: A Memoir of Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson; and most recently, Willing to Learn: Passages of Personal Discovery

2008 - Douglas Rushkoff

Douglas RushkoffTeacher and documentarian

Author of Screenagers, host of Frontline’s The Persuaders

Read the Lecture | Listen to the Lecture (Intro by Lance Strate) | Listen to the Lecture (Alternate Version) 



2007 - Leonard Shlain

Leonard Shlain

Chairman of Laparoscopic Surgery at the California Pacific Medical Center

Author of The Alphabet Versus The Goddess, Art & Physics, and Sex, Time & Power

Read the Lecture

2006 - Renee Hobbs

Renee Hobbs

Director, Media Education Lab, Temple University, Founder of the Alliance for a Media Literate America (AMLA)

Author of Reading the Media

Read the Lecture | Listen to the Lecture


2005 - Robert L. Carneiro

Curator, Anthropology Division, American Museum of Natural History

Author of Evolutionism in Cultural Anthropology and The Muse of History and the Science of Culture

Read the Lecture | Listen to the Lecture


2003 - Sanford I. Berman

Motivational speaker and nightclub hypnotist, Student of Dr. Irving J. Lee, Long-time supporter of general semantics

Editor of Logic and General Semantics and author of Words, Meanings and People

Read the Lecture | Listen to the Lecture


2002 - J. Allan Hobson

Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, Director of the Laboratory of Neurophysiology at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center

Author of The Dreaming Brain, Sleep, Dreaming as Delirium, and, with Jonathan A. Leonard, Out of its Mind: Psychiatry in Crisis: a Call for Reform

Read the Lecture

2001 - Lou Marinoff

Chair of Philosophy, City College of New York, Founding President of the American Philosophical Practitioners Association

Author of Plato, Not Prozac!

Read the Lecture


2000 - Robert P. Pula

Robert PulaDirector Emeritus, Institute of General Semantics

Author of A General-Semantics Glossary

Read the Lecture


1990s

1999 - Ellen J. Langer

Professor of Psychology, Harvard University

Author of Mindfulness and The Power of Mindful Learning

Read the Lecture

1998 - Theodore R. Sizer

Educator and author of Horace’s Hope, Horace’s School, and Horace’s Compromise

Read the Lecture

1997 - Robert Anton Wilson

Author of The Illuminatus Trilogy and Prometheus Rising

Read the Lecture


1996 - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Professor of Human Development, University of Chicago

Author of Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience and Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention

Read the Lecture

1995 - Nicholas Johnson

Former Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Professor of Law, University of Iowa College of Law

Son of Dr. Wendell Johnson, the author of the popular general semantics text People in Quandaries

Read the Lecture

1994 - Lotfi A. Zadeh

Professor Emeritus and Director of the Berkeley Initiative in Soft Computing

Known for his contributions to machine intelligence, particularly through “Fuzzy Logic”

Read the Lecture

1993 - William Lutz

Professor of English and Director of the English Graduate Program at Rutgers University, Camden, New Jersey

Author and “doublespeak” authority

Read the Lecture

1992 - Steve Allen

Author, entertainer, songwriter

Creator of NBC’s Tonight Show

Read the Lecture

1991 - Albert Ellis

President and Founder, Institute for Rational-Emotive Therapy, now the Albert Ellis Institute

Author of numerous books on personal adjustment

Read the Lecture | Read an Addendum to the Lecture

1990 - Warren M. Robbins

Founder, Director Emeritus and Senior Scholar, Smithsonian National Museum of African Art

Read the Lecture

1980s

1989 - William V. Haney

Educator and author

Authority on interpersonal communication

Read the Lecture

1988 - Jerome Bruner

Psychologist

Research Fellow, Russell Sage Foundation

Read the Lecture

1987 - Richard W. Paul

Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Center for Critical Thinking and Moral Critique, Sonoma State University, California

Read the Lecture

1986 - George F. F. Lombard

Louis E. Kirstein Professor Emeritus of Human Relations and former Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Business, Harvard University

Read the Lecture

1985 - Russell Meyers (See Also: 1958)

Neurologist, Neurosurgeon, author

Read the Lecture

1984 - Karl H. Pribram

Professor of Neuroscience, Stanford University

Read the Lecture

1983 - Allen Walker Read

Allen Walker ReadEmeritus Professor of English, Columbia University

Read the Lecture



1982 - Robert R. Blake & Jane Srygley Mouton (Co-Presenters)

Robert R. Blake

President , Scientific Methods, Inc. Now Grid International, Inc.

Jane Srygley Mouton

Vice President, Scientific Methods, Inc. Now Grid International, Inc.

Read the Lecture

1981 - Thomas Sebeok

Distinguished Professor of Linguistics and Semiotics, Indiana University

Read the Lecture

1980 - Barbara Morgan

Photographer, painter, and author

Read the Lecture

1970s

1979 - Don Fabun

Author and lecturer

Formerly Director of Publications, Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Corporation

Author of Communications: The Transfer of Meaning

Read the Lecture

1978 - Elwood Murray

Emeritus Professor of Speech Communication, University of Denver

Read the Lecture

1977 - Ben Bova

Author and Editor of Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact Magazine

Read the Lecture

1976 - Roger W. Wescott

Professor of Linguistics and Anthropology, Drew University

Read the Lecture

1975 - Harley C. Shands

Director, Department of Psychiatry, Roosevelt Hospital, New York

Read the Lecture

1974 - Kenneth G. Johnson & Neil Postman (Co-Presenters)

Kenneth G. Johnson

Professor of Mass Communication, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Neil Postman

Professor of Media Ecology, New York University

Author of numerous books on media and culture

Read the Lecture

1973 - J. Samuel Bois, Elton S. Carter & Walter Probert (Panel)

“General Semantics: Whence 1920…Where 1973…Whither”

Panel with:

J. Samuel Bois

Viewpoints Institute, Los Angeles. Author of The Art of Awareness

Elton S. Carter

Dean for Graduate Studies, University of Nebraska

Walter Probert

Professor of Law, University of Florida, Gainesville

Read the Lectures

1972 - George Steiner

Extraordinary Fellow, Cambridge University

Internationally-known writer, scholar, literary critic and analyst of culture

1971 - Henry Margenau

Professor of Physics and Natural Philosophy, Yale University

Read the Lecture

1970 - Gregory Bateson

Associate Director for Research, Oceanic Institute, Waimanalo, Hawaii

Read the Lecture

1960s

1969 - Lancelot Law Whyte

Pioneering scientist-philosopher, lecturer, and author of The Next Development of Man, The Unconscious Before Freud, and The Unitary Principle in Physics and Biology

Read the Lecture

1968 - Alastair M. Taylor

Professor of Political Studies and Geography, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario

President of the Canadian Association for American Studies

Read the Lecture

1967 - J. Bronowski

Author of Science and Human Values and The Identity of Man

Read the Lecture

1966 - Alvin M. Weinberg

Physicist

Director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee

Read the Lecture

1965 - Henry Lee Smith, Jr.

Professor of Linguistics and English, Chairman, Department of Anthropology and Linguistics, State University of New York at Buffalo

Read the Lecture

1964 - Joost A. M. Meerloo

Psychiatrist and psychoanalyst

Associate Professor of Psychiatry, New York School of Psychiatry

Read the Lecture

1963 - Henri Laborit

Chief of Research of the Health Services of the Armies of France

Director of Physio-Biological Research and Physician-in-Chief of the National Navy

American Public Health Associations’ Albert Lasker Award, 1957

Read the Lecture

1962 - Harold G. Cassidy

Professor of Chemistry, Yale University

Author of The Sciences and the Arts: A New Alliance

Read the Lecture

1961 - Robert R. Blake

Professor of Psychology, University of Texas

Author of The Managerial Grid and co-founder of Managerial Grid Theory

Read the Lecture

1960 - Warren S. McCullough

Research Laboratory of Electronics, M.I.T.

Author of Finality and Form

Read the Lecture

1950s

1959 - Charles M. Pomerat, William J. Fry & James A. Van Allen (Symposium)

“Extending the Parabola”

Symposium with:

Charles M. Pomerat

Professor of Cytology and Director of the Tissue Culture Laboratory, University of Texas, Galveston

William J. Fry

Research Professor of Physics and Director of Biophysical Research Laboratory, University of Illinois

James A. Van Allen

Professor and Head, Department of Physics, State University of Iowa

Read the Lectures

1958 - Russell Meyers (See Also: 1985)

Professor of Surgery, College of Medicine, State University of Iowa

Chairman of Division of Neurosurgery, University of Iowa Hospitals

Author of “Preface to the 4th edition of Science and Sanity“

Read the Lecture

1957 - Abraham Maslow

Professor of Psychology, Brandeis

Author of Motivation and Personality

Read the Lecture

1956 - Clyde Kluckhohn

Professor of Anthropology, Harvard University

Author of Mirror for Man and What is Science?

Read the Lecture

1955 - R. Buckminster Fuller

Distinguished engineer, mathematician, inventor, designer, mechanic, writer and philosopher

Author of Nine Chains to the Moon and Dymaxion Air-Ocean World Map

1954 - F. S. C. Northrop

Professor of Philosophy and Law, Yale University

Author of The Meeting of East and West and The Logic of the Sciences and Humanities

Read the Lecture

1953 - F. J. Roethlisberger

Professor of Human Relations, Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration

Author of Management and Morale

Read the Lecture

1952 - William Vogt & M. F. Ashley Montagu (Co-Presenters)

William Vogt

Author of Road to Survival

National Director of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America

Read the Lecture

M. F. Ashley Montagu

Professor of Anthropology, Rutgers University

Author of On Being Human and Statement on Race

Read the Lecture


Past Classes & Seminars

Summer Seminar-Workshops

The Institute has sponsored summer seminar-workshops for over 50 years that focus on teaching theory and practical applications of general semantics.

The goal of these programs is to apply general semantics to help you restructure your view of yourself and the world to create more satisfying personal and professional relationships. Attendees can participate in lectures, small group discussions, exercises, demonstrations, sensing practices, and social events to experience the rewards of “living through” general semantics.

2006 Seminar  - Workshop Notebook Materials

These materials come from the June 2006 Seminar-Workshop participant notebook.  They include an abundance of lessons and instruction for teaching and learning general semantics.

Overview

Spiral Overview

Scientific Approach

Abstracting, Evaluating

Verbal Awareness

Sensory Awareness

Integration

Presentation Videos

The following video clips (.wmv) come from past seminar-workshop presentations.

Archival Footage

The following videos and supplementary material provide insight into what past summer seminar-workshops hosted by the Institute of General Semantics were like for the participants.

A Silent Film from the 1961 Summer Seminar-Workshop

Over 16 days in mid-August, 1961, the Institute of General Semantics hosted its first-ever West Coast Summer Seminar-Workshop.

Held at the University of California at Santa Barbara, the 1961 seminar-workshop had 58 enrollees — the most ever to that date — and was regarded then as “probably the most productive seminar-workshop in the Institute’s history.”

Event Roundup

M. Kendig, Charlotte Schuchardt Read, O. R. Bontrager,  Russell Meyers, Catherine Minteer, Edward L. Gates, Nathaniel Hollister, Elwood Murray, Michael Walsh, and Kenneth Johnson staffed the seminar-workshop in various capacities.  J. Talbot Winchell, in whose name is one of the distinctive awards offered by the Institute of General Semantics, was in attendance.  Former host of The Tonight Show, Steve Allen, was among the registrants.

Click here to read a roundup of the 1961 Summer Seminar Workshop in the General Semantics Bulletin Nos. 28 & 29 (1961-1962).

Click here to purchase the General Semantics Bulletin Nos. 28 & 29 from the IGS Store.

Video

Participant Karl Hinkle kept a “movie record” of the seminar-workshop.

Captured in the footage are teachers and participants in lectures, downtime during the intense seminar-workshop, awareness training led by Charlotte Schuchardt Read, and a glimpse at the participant photo shoot.

This silent film lasts nearly 22 minutes before it starts to loop briefly at the end.

Photo

The photo below depicts those in attendance at the 1961 Summer Seminar-Workshop.  Click the photo to enlarge it.

1961 Summer Seminar-Workshop

The Institute of General Semantics 1961 Summer Seminar-Workshop at the University of California at Santa Barbara

First Row

KARL HINKLE, Lockheed Missles & Space Co., Sunnyvale, Cal. GENEVIEVE OSLUND, Probation Officer, Los Angeles County. GEORGE STANLEY, El Camlno College, Cal. GENE ELBINGER, Senior Probation Officer, Los Angeles County. E. F. MCDANIEL, Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy (Ret.), Oakland, Cal. JAMES VAUGRAN, University of Pittsburgh, Pa. TALBOT WINCHELL, South Pasadena, Cal. JAMES NEWMAN, (Pres.) Advsnced Seminars, Los Angeles. GEORGE COOK, Saskatchewan Teachers College, Saskatoon, Canada. LILLY MILIGAN, Grtffith Co., Los Angeles. NORMAN HARRINGTON, San Quentin Prison, Cal. PAUL COOPER, Central Management Services, Los Angeles.

Second Row

GRANT ANGELL, Audio-Dynamics Corp., Portland, Oregon. ANN MARTINOVICH, John Muir School, San Francisco. EVAN AIKEN, Bendix Corp., North Hollywood. EDEN RYL, Communication and Sales Consultant, Hollywood. MARTHA YORKSTON, Everett Junior College, Washington. JOAN THROOP, Poughkeepsie, New York. MONTGOMERY THROOP, IBM Laboratory, Poughkeepsie, N. Y. JAMES MOFFETT, Philips Exeter Academy, New Hampshire. FRED BISSELL, MD, Aurora, Ohio. ROLLY HILLIARD, Psychtatric Social Worker, Los Angeles. ETHEL LONGSTREET, Viewpoints Inc., Beverly Hills, Cal.

Third Row

BLANCHE SANDERS, Santa Cruz, Cal. ROBERT HASLER, Stockbroker, Palm Beach, Florida. JUDITH HARRINGTON, (student) Radcliffe College, Mass. [Staff: EDWARD L. GATES, Institute of General Semantics. NATHANIEL HOLLISTER, MD, Dayton, Ohio. CHARLOTTE SCHUCHARDT READ, New York. O. R. BONTRAGER, PhD, California (Pa.) State College (1962-Arizona State University). M. KENDIG, Institute of Gereral Semantics. RUSSELL MEYERS, MD, FACS, State University of Iowa. KENNETH JOHNSON, PhD, University of Wisconsin.] JOYCE COOTZ (graduate student) San Diego state College. MEYER BRAUDE (Colonel, USA), Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana. MARY MORAIN, San Francisco. HELEN RINGROSE, County Welfare Dept., Riverside, Cal. CLINTON HEATH (USN, Ret.), Westinghouse Electric Corp., Sunnyvale, Cal. JUNE HEATH, Palo Alto, Cal.

Fourth Row

BURYL PAYNE, Boeing Airplane Co., Seattle, Wash. CHARLES TAYLOR, PhD, Fresno State College, Cal. JOSEPH STEWART, Salida, Colorado. ROBERT BUCKLEY, Paisley School, Oregon. KENNETH HOOVER, PhD, Arizona State University. MARY MORRIS, Arizona State University, THOMAS WEISS, PhD, Arizona State University. MARC HOWENSTEIN (student) University of California, Santa Barbara. EUGENE PECKHAM, Western Executive Training Services, Burlingame, Cal. HOWARD CAMPBELL, EdD, Fresno State College, Cal. JOAN SCHOETTLER, Lincoln Jr. High School, Santa Monica, Cal. IONE HARRINGTON, San Francisco. KENNETH MANSUY, Picatinny Arsenal, Dover, New Jersey.

Fifth Row

GLORIA SMITH, Bay Area Air Pollution Control, San Francisco. MARCO JOHNSON, Boeing Airplane Co., Seatlle, Wash. BOB WANDERER, freelance writer, San Francisco. ORVIL WALKER, Lockheed Aircraft Corp., Sunnyvale, Cal. CHARLES BARTL, PhD, Portland State College, Oregon. WEBSTER AUGUSTINE, Boeing Airplane Co., Seattle, Wash. ROGER ESHLEMAN, Shimer College, Mount Carroll, lllinois. BETTY HOLLINGSWORTH, law office, San Francisco.

Not In Picture

Registrants: STEVE ALLEN, Encino, Cal. JOHN HOTCHKISS, MD, Kaiser Hospital, San Francisco. J. GORDON ROBERTS, (Pres.) Roberts Dairy Co., Omaha, Nebraska. MICHAEL TURETSKY, Los Angeles.
Visiting Lecturers: CATHERINE MINTEER, Santa Monica, Cal. ELWOOD MURRAY, PhD, University of Denver. MICHAEL WALSH, SeD, Beverly Hills, Cal.

Reports

A year after the 1961 Summer Seminar-Workshop, participants Robert Wanderer and Ethel Longstreet recounted their experiences.

Click here to read their reports from the General Semantics Bulletin Nos. 28 & 29 (1961-1962).

A Silent Film from the 1948 Summer Seminar-Workshop

The following film was made during the 1948 Summer Seminar-Workshop.  It features the founder of the Institute of General Semantics, Alfred Korzybksi.

Summer 1948 Seminar-Workshop Film (featuring Allfred KorzybskI) (1948)


A Recap Video of the 1992 Summer Seminar

The following recap was drawn from video recorded at the 1992 Summer Seminar at Alverno College in Milwaukee, WI.



Past Conferences & Symposia

Below is a selection of past conferences and symposia sponsored or co-sponsored by the Institute of General Semantics, along with roundups that include photos, video, papers, publicity, and more.

2020s

2021 - Science, Sanity, and the Semantic Environment

Event Roundup

Presented at the Players Club in New York City from October 1-3, 2021, attendees listened to over 25 presenters at the general semantics symposium titled Science, Sanity, and the Semantic Environment.

Videos


2020 - The Semantic Environment in a Time of Uncertainty

  • Featuring the 68th Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture by Corey Anton
  • October 9-11, 2020
  • Presented virtually over Zoom

Event Roundup

Presented virtually over Zoom from October 9-11, 2020, attendees listened to nearly 30 presenters at the general semantics symposium titled The Semantic Environment in a Time of Uncertainty.

Videos


2010s

2019 - The Tyranny of Words

  • Featuring the 67th Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture by Nadine Strossen
  • October 11-13, 2019
  • Princeton Club, New York, NY

Event Roundup

At the Princeton Club in New York City from October 11-13, 2019, attendees listened to more than 25 presenters at the general semantics The Tyranny of Words symposium.

Videos

 

2018 - Language and Meaning in the 21st Century

  • Featuring the 66th Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture by Terence P. Moran
  • October 26-28, 2018
  • Princeton Club, New York, NY

Event Roundup

At the Princeton Club in New York City from October 26-28, 2018, attendees listened to more than 25 presenters at the general semantics Crazy Talk, Stupid Talk symposium.

Videos

 

2017 - Crazy Talk, Stupid Talk

  • Featuring the 65th Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture by Terence P. Moran
  • October 27-29, 2017
  • Princeton Club, New York, NY

Event Roundup

At the Princeton Club in New York City from October 27-29, 2017, attendees listened to more than 25 presenters at the general semantics Crazy Talk, Stupid Talk symposium.

Videos

 

2016 - Language in Thought and Action

  • Featuring the 64th Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture by Iain McGilchrist
  • October 21-23, 2016
  • Princeton Club, New York, NY

Event Roundup

At the Princeton Club in New York City from October 21-23, 2016, attendees listened to more than 30 presenters at the general semantics Language in Thought and Action symposium.

Videos

 

2015 - Language and 'Reality'

  • Featuring the 63rd Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture by Andrew Keen
  • October 2-4, 2015
  • Princeton Club, New York, NY

Event Roundup

At the Princeton Club in New York City from October 2-4, 2015, attendees listened to over 20 presenters at the general semantics Language and “Reality” symposium.

Videos

 

2014 - Making Sense through Time-Binding

  • Featuring the 62nd Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture by Jack El-Hai
  • October 24-26, 2014
  • Princeton Club, New York, NY

Event Roundup

At the Princeton Club in New York City from October 24-26, 2014, attendees listened to over 25 presenters at the general semantics symposium titled Making Sense through Time-Binding.

Videos


2013 - Language and Symbol Use in the Twenty-First Century

  • Featuring the 61st Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture by Terrence Deacon
  • October 25-27, 2013
  • Princeton Club, New York, NY

Event Roundup

At the Princeton Club in New York City from October 25-27, 2013, attendees listened to over 25 presenters at the general semantics symposium titled Language and Symbol Use in the Twenty-First Century.

Videos


2012 - Language and Symbol Use in Politics and Other Arenas

  • Featuring the 60th Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture by Shawn Lawrence Otto
  • October 26-28, 2012
  • Princeton Club, New York, NY

Event Roundup

At the Princeton Club in New York City from October 26-28, 2012, attendees listened to over 20 presenters at the general semantics symposium titled Language and Symbol Use in Politics and Other Arenas.

Videos


2011 - Communicating in the 21st Century

  • Featuring the 59th Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture by Sherry Turkle
  • October 28-30, 2011
  • Princeton Club, New York, NY

Event Roundup

At the Princeton Club in New York City from October 28-30, 2011, attendees listened to over 20 presenters at the general semantics symposium titled Communication in the 21st Century.

Videos


October 10 - Photography by Michael Dames

Photographer Michael Dames shot the presentations delivered during the Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture.

October 29 - 31 - Photography by Mariusz Han

Fordham University student Mariusz Han, SJ, photographed many presenters at the symposium.

2000s

2009 - Across the Generations: Legacies of Hope and Meaning

  • Featuring the 57th Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture by Mary Catherine Bateson
  • September 11-13, 2009
  • Fordham University Lincoln Center Campus, New York, NY

Event Roundup

At Fordham University’s Lincoln Center Campus from September 11-13, 2009, a large number of attendees listened to over 70 presenters at the international general semantics conference titled Across the Generations: Legacies of Hope and Meaning.

Photo Galleries

Three photographers covered the weekend’s events.


September 11 - Janet Faller Sassi

Photographer Janet Faller Sassi captured images from the Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture

September 11 - 13 - Mariusz Han

Fordham University student Mariusz Han, SJ, photographed many presenters at the conference.

Robert Barry Francos

Photographer Robert Barry Francos also documented the conference with photos.  He has created three galleries of photos from the conference.

2008 - Creating the Future: Conscious Time-Binding for a Better Tomorrow

  • Featuring the 56th Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture by Douglas Rushkoff
  • November 14-16, 2008
  • Fordham University Lincoln Center Campus, New York, NY

Event Roundup

On November 14, 2008, the Institute of General Semantics hosted the 56th Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture at the Princeton Club in New York City.  Douglas Rushkoff delivered the Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture, titled “Playing the Future: Towards a Creative Society.”

On November 15-16, 2008, IGS followed with a two-day symposium at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center Campus titled Creating the Future: Conscious Time-Binding for a Better Tomorrow.

The Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture

Douglas Rushkoff, teacher and documentarian, author of Screenagers, and host of Frontline’s The Persuaders, presented the 56th Alfred Koryzbksi Memorial Lecture to a large, attentive crowd at the Princeton Club in New York City.  His lecture, titled “Playing the Future: Towards a Creative Society,” is below.


New York Press Article

Brian Heater wrote an account the Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture that ran in the New York Press on November 18th, 2008.  It is now offline, but the text is preserved below.

Generational Semantics: Writer Douglas Rushkoff at the Institute of General Semantics Dinner

by Brian Heater

The writer and media theorist Douglas Rushkoff would, of course, have been remiss had he not addressed the polarized nature of his audience right off the bat. The front half of the room was monopolized by circular tables covered in white tablecloths, surrounded be gray-haired diners who had arrived at the Princeton Club at 6 p.m. to participate in the $90-a-plate meal. They made up a large portion of The New York Society for General Semantics, a 62-year-old offshoot of the Institute of General Semantics, which boasts the hopeful mission statement of, “improv[ing] one’s ability to evaluate the world and one’s place in it.”

The list of previous speakers at the event included such diverse luminaries as Buckminster Fuller, Steve Allen, Robert Anton Wilson—a list on which, the club’s acting president noted thoughtfully, Rushkoff’s name surely didn’t seem out of place.

Toward the back of the room were rows of chairs set up for the 8 o’clockers, those who poured into the room two hours later, forgoing that $90 meal, eager to watch the Ecstasy Club author in action. A motley assortment that were at least half the median age as those seated up in front.

“This is a really interesting mix,” Rushkoff smiled, at the top of his speech. “The half over here came because you’re members of the Institute of General Semantics and pay dues and get newsletters, and the other half of these people probably got a Facebook message…There’s two very different paths. Of course they wouldn’t have been able to come, were it not for the generosity of the [front] group. You guys, by paying your dues, made this possible. Instead of seeing your contribution as the privilege to get this thing, you decided that your contribution was about the privilege to share this thing.”

It was a perfect entry point into a talk that would have no doubt immediately been written off as socialist rhetoric by “Joe the Plumber” and his ilk. Over the next two hours, Rushkoff traced the present-day economic collapse all the way back to the Renaissance and the birth of the self, largely succeeding in bringing the room’s binary attendance together, save for the occasionally alienating video game metaphor—which, while effective in illustrating his points using references to programming language and mods, was no doubt a touch baffling to those finishing up their meals, scratching heads at references to virtual worlds. Still, in all it was a rather compelling talk by one of our most prominent counter-cultural media theorists, particularly when he referred to president-elect Obama (of whom Rushkoff admitted he was certainly a fan) as, “playing president.” Whether or not you agreed with such sentiments, there was likely nary a person in the room not drawn in by Rushkoff’s assertions.

Blog Posts

Lance Strate

IGS Executive Director Lance Strate wrote two entries in his blog titled Blog Time Passing about the weekend.  The first was his personal account of the weekend, and the second was a corrigenda from the AKML.

Read Lance Strate’s first blog post about the weekend Read Lance Strate’s second blog post about the weekend

Robert Barry Francos

Not only did Robert Barry Francos photograph the weekend’s events, but he also provided a personal account of the weekend in his blog titled FFanzeen: Rock ‘n’ Roll With Integrity.

Read Robert Barry Francos’s account of the weekend

More photos by Robert Barry Francos are above in the Photo Gallery section.

Video

In the following video, Martin H. Levinson presents Allen Flagg the 2008 J. Talbot Winchell Award.


Photo Gallery

November 14 - 16

Special thanks to Robert Barry Francos for photographing the weekend’s events.

2007 - Mind and Consciousness: Understanding/Reconciling/Integrating Symbol Systems and Nervous Systems

  • Featuring the 55th Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture by Leonard Shlain
  • October 26-27, 2007
  • The Princeton Club and Fordham University Lincoln Center Campus, New York, NY

Event Roundup

The Institute of General Semantics was one of five sponsoring organizations for the 55th Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture and All-Day Symposium held on October 26-27, 2007, at the Princeton Club and Fordham University respectively. The Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture featured Dr. Leonard Shlain, M.D. whose lecture was titled “Right Brain/Left Brain: Hemispheric Lateralization and its Effects on Religion, Culture, Gender and History.” Shlain is the author of three best-selling books and a professor of laparoscopic brain surgery in California.

The symposium, titled “Mind and Consciousness: Understanding/Reconciling/Integrating Symbol Systems and Nervous Systems,” featured twelve speakers whose topics ranged from “Practical Fairy Tales for Everyday Living” to “Right Brain, Left Brain and How They Affect our Food Choices” to “Understanding the Decalogue through General Semantics and Media Ecology.”  Before the sessions began, New York Society for General Semantics Vice President Martin H. Levinson was presented with the Media Ecology Association’s Suzanne K. Langer Award for his book Sensible Thinking for Turbulent Times.

The room where the symposium was held was filled to capacity. Attendees at the Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture and the symposium were in general agreement that both these events were highly worthwhile learning experiences.

Photo Gallery

Special thanks to Katherine Liepe-Levinson for photographing the event and editing the images.

October 27

2006 - Making Sense Conference

  • Featuring the 54th Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture by Renee Hobbs
  • October 27-28, 2006
  • Arlington Hilton Hotel, Arlington, TX

Event Roundup

From October 27-28, 2006, the Institute of General Semantics sponsored the Making Sense Conference at the Arlington Hilton Hotel in Arlington, Texas.  Renee Hobbs delivered the 55th Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture titled “Literacy in the 21st Century,” the culmination of a weekend of over 20 presentations from national and international presenters.

Preceding the conference from October 24-26, the Institute of General Semantics hosted a special Pre-Conference Workshop on “Making Sense,” which offered participants a unique opportunity to review some of the basic principles of general semantics, then apply those principles toward major issues of the day.  The Pre-Conference Workshop was held at Read House, the headquarters for the Institute of General Semantics in Fort Worth, Texas.

The Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture

On the evening of October 28, 2006, Renee Hobbs, Director of the Media Education Lab at Temple University, Founder of the Alliance for a Media Liberate America (AMLA), and author of Reading the Media, presented the 54th Alfred Koryzbksi Memorial Lecture to a large crowd as the apex of the Making Sense Conference at the Arlington Hilton Hotel in Arlington, Texas.  Her lecture, titled “Literacy in the 21st Century,” is below.


Videos

Photo Gallery

Papers & Presentations

The following papers and presentations are pre-publication drafts from the Making Sense Conference.  A number of the items below were later edited and published in the General Semantics Bulletin, No. 73 (2006).

Download GSB 73 from the IGS Store

Author Article Format
Ben Hauck On Knitting Sweaters during Conferences PDF
Bob Eddy Making Sense Constructively PDF
Jeffrey R. Dafler & Ross A. Jackson Freedom as Ego-Nihilism: The Deconstructive Art of Self-Awareness PDF
Bruce Kodish Korzybski in America (abstract) PDF
Robert Kerrick Murray Exploring a Fundamental, Non-Verbal Coherency PDF
Milton Dawes A Universe of Rhythms: Our Lives as a Complex of Rhythms PDF
C.A. Hilgartner A Neglected Aspect of Time-Binding: Rejecting Tacit 'Identity' PDF
C.A. Hilgartner A Neglected Aspect of Time-Binding: Rejecting Tacit 'Identity' PowerPoint
Michael Round Polite Discussion: A Play about Rational Discourse PDF
Martin H. Levinson Emotional Intelligence PDF
Charles E. Bailey, M.D. General Semantics: The Key to Understanding the Brain PDF
Charles E. Bailey, M.D. General Semantics: The Key to Understanding the Brain PowerPoint
Sandra S. Pate Changing Futures for Families PDF
Sandra S. Pate Changing Futures for Families PowerPoint
Sandra S. Pate Changing Futures for Families PowerPoint-PDF
Nora Miller Making Sense of Loss PDF
Laura Bertone From the Confusion of Babel (abstract) PDF
Vanessa Biard-Schaeffer On Regionalism PDF
Michael Fuhlhage What's the Matter with Kansas? PDF
Erica Gordon The Semantic Person PDF
Andrea Johnson Making Sense of Change Thinging PDF

2005 - Envisioning the Emerging Future

  • Featuring the 53rd Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture by Robert L. Carneiro
  • April 22-23, 2005
  • American Museum of Natural History, Linder Theater, New York, NY

Videos


2003 - Confronting the Challenges of Conflicting World Views

  • The Twelfth International Conference on General Semantics
  • Featuring the 52nd Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture by Sanford I. Berman
  • October 31 – November 2, 2003
  • Las Vegas, NV

Event Roundup

From October 31 to November 2, 2003, the Institute of General Semantics sponsored the Twelfth International Conference on General Semantics in Las Vegas, Nevada. Titled Confronting the Challenges of Conflicting World Views, the conference was co-sponsored by the International Society for General Semantics and the New York Society for General Semantics.  It featured the 52nd Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture, delivered by Sanford I. Berman.

The Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture

Sanford I. Berman, motivational speaker, nightclub hypnotist, editor of Logic and General Semantics and author of Words, Meanings and People, delivered the 52nd Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture titled “On the Teaching of General Semantics.”


Papers & Presentations

The following papers were accepted and their authors were invited to present them at the conference.

Author Article Note
Karen Van Hoof The Conundrum of Knowing What I Didn't Know Essay Award
Nan Bialek On Time-Binding as an Instrument of Peace
Kelly Duggan From the Unconscious to the Conscious
Bob Eddy On Belief Systems
Jon Bouknight Conspiracy Theory and Sound Argumentation
Kate Gladstone Beliefs Affecting Handwriting Communications
Allen Flagg Dreams, Nightmares and Non-Violence
Katherine Liepe-Levinson Workshop: Toward a Civil Society
Martin Levinson A GS Approach to Reducing Student Alienation
Milton Dawes Challenging Culturally-Expected Ways of Thinking
Gregg Hoffmann Seeking Unmediated Truths
Abdul Salaam Religion as a Belief System
Phil Ardery Ramifications of Julian Jaynes's Theory of Consciousness for Traditional General Semantics
Edward Korczynski 5th Resurrecting the Classic Skeptic: Defining Beliefs from a Classic Skeptic Perspective Special Submission
RaeAnn Burton, Beth Maryott & Megan O'Byrne PANEL: A General Semantics View of the Changing Perceptions of Christ
Jay Black Media Ethics Between Iraq and a Hard Place
Vanessa Biard-Schaeffer France - USA
Laura Bertone The Argentine Case
Chip Stewart The Language of Change: General Semantics and Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point Essay Award
Andy Hilgartner Replacing Our Patterns of Universal Discord
Maurine Eckloff & Jeanne Stolzer" DISCUSSION: Intrapersonal Evolution
Bruce Kodish Changing Reputations:De-marginalizing General Semantics
Gardner Gateley Resisting Our Demamaps (Not Presented)
Gardner Gateley Some Thoughts on the WWJD? (What Would Jesus Do?) Bracelet (Not Presented)
David Hewson Group Comparison Formulations (Not Presented)
Andrea Hyde Utilitarianism May be the Cure for What Ails Us (Not Presented)
Haiko Schmarsow Enforcing Rules (Not Presented)
Anthony Worrell Confronting the Challenges of Conflicting World Views (Not Presented)

Prior Conferences & Symposia

The Institute of General Semantics has sponsored congresses and conferences dating back to 1935.

Click here to view a list of prior conferences and symposia sponsored by the Institute of General Semantics.


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