We look forward to welcoming you to the 2018 James Hillman Symposium. Sign up for our mailing list to receive official dates, program, and registration information in 2018. Click here to register.
Never attended? Read about our history on this page and explore Past Symposia, including the 2017 James Hillman Symposium.
Inaugurated and supported by friends of James Hillman and by scholars of his founding work in archetypal psychology, the James Hillman Symposium is the leading forum for an ongoing discussion of the Uniform Edition, a 10-volume collection of his writings, co-published by the Dallas Institute and Spring Publications. The mission of the conference is to encourage conversations about Hillman’s major ideas and concepts in conjunction with psychological as well as cultural topics and pay tribute to his life and career.
Each of the James Hillman Symposiums takes for its subject a volume of the Uniform Edition of the Writings of James Hillman. The Symposiums encourage participants to deepen their understanding of Hillman’s writings by listening to talks given by leading scholars in diverse fields of psychology, art, theater, literature, and film—united by an appreciation of James Hillman’s innovations—as well as by contributing to lively, stimulating discussions.
Birth is often a traumatic event. Not true for the Dallas Institute, because we were a close-knit group of six friends who shared a similar vision of what was vital, and what was merely pleasant. We knew that we wanted to make a difference in the life of the city. In those days, 36 years ago, in 1981 Dallas was a far different sort of place than it is today. . . .
—DR. JOANNE H. STROUD, Director of Publications and the James Hillman Symposium
THE BIRTHING OF THE DALLAS INSTITUTE
Birth is often a traumatic event. Not true for the Dallas Institute, because we were a close-knit group of six friends who shared a similar vision of what was vital, and what was merely pleasant. We knew that we wanted to make a difference in the life of the city. In those days, 36 years ago, in 1981 Dallas was a far different sort of place than it is today. It was full of spunk but lacking in cultural institutions. Its downtown area had fallen into decrepitude, like so many other city centers at that time when the suburbs attracted all the life, leaving the downtown streets to the homeless at nighttime.
Let me introduce these six fabulous friends: undoubtedly, Drs. Louise and Don Cowan were our Zeus and Hera. Their ideas were evident at the University of Dallas where they had honed a classic core program that guaranteed a sense of the span of Western civilization to all its students, not just Humanities majors. The additional four of us—Drs. Robert Sardello, Gail Thomas, James Hillman and myself all taught classes at the University of Dallas—and knew that we could count on each other. We spent hours discussing “What Makes a City?” Or, even “What makes a Great, Enduring City?“ We knew that to honor its spirit that it would have to include inspiring, imaginative ideas and possibilities. We knew that it must have soul places as well as commercial ones (though Stanley Marcus‘s store, Neiman Marcus, managed to do both). We knew it would have to honor learning and language. Other great cities, Alexander, Athens, Rome, Paris, London, New York, Washington, San Francisco (to mention a few) had a longer, illustrious history. Ours was quite truncated and also involved the shame we felt at John F. Kennedy’s death on our streets as a recent reminder of violence. But today, with many conferences and classes plus the work with the teachers of Larry and Claudia Allums, we can feel a sense of bringing into being a place that gathers under an umbrella all who yearn to learn.
—DR. JOANNE H. STROUD
In 2012, the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture hosted a Celebration of the Life and Work of James Hillman to honor the memory of Hillman, who had died in 2011. The friends and scholars attending this first celebration vowed to continue meeting every year. In 2013, the Celebration doubled in size, and scholars from around the United States presented on the first volume of the Uniform Edition, Archetypal Psychology. After 2013, the conference was renamed the James Hillman Symposium for each subsequent year (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017); it now attracts an international audience of psychologists, artists, filmmakers, authors, community workers, students, and others from diverse fields who wish to learn from Hillman’s work.
Joanne H. Stroud received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Psychology and Literature from the University of Dallas and lectures in Dallas, New York City, and Connecticut. She is Co-founder and a Founding Fellow of the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, Director of Institute Publications, and Editor of the Gaston Bachelard Translation Series, which consists of seven works on elemental imagination written by the French twentieth-century philosopher of science. The 2002 Bachelard Symposium she chaired in Dallas, “Matter, Dream, and Thought,” attracted international attention. The series completion in 2011 was celebrated with a Bachelard Day on the 30th Anniversary of the Dallas Institute. She served on the Boards of Overseers of Harvard University (12 years) and the University of Dallas (15 years) and serves currently on the Southwestern Medical Foundation. She has taught literature and psychology and is author of: The Bonding of Will and Desire; the four-volume series Choose Your Element; and Time Doesn’t Tick Anymore. Gaston Bachelard: An Elemental Reverie on the World’s Stuff and Towers 2 Tall. In 2017 the University of Dallas honored with her the Distinguished Alumni Award for sustained, distinguished accomplishment and contribution to any field of human endeavor. Selection as a Distinguished Alumna is one of the highest honors the university can bestow.
Gail Thomas, Ph.D., served as President and CEO of The Trinity Trust Foundation in Dallas to remake the Trinity River Corridor. She is Co-founder and a Founding Fellow of the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture and served as its Director for seventeen years. Dr. Thomas’ life work has been the study and transformation of cities. For over thirty years she has conducted seminars and conferences on cities and city life. She began in 1982 a series of conferences called What Makes a City?, attended by city planners, artists, scientists, poets, teachers, and business and civic leaders. She was instrumental in the creation of Pegasus Plaza in downtown Dallas and co-chaired the Dallas Millennium Project to restore Dallas’ icon, Pegasus, the Flying Red Horse. For the Trinity project, her efforts helped inspire the design of and philanthropic gifts for Dallas’ two Santiago Calatrava bridges. Her book Healing Pandora: The Restoration of Hope and Abundance was released in 2009. Her other books include: Stirrings of Culture, with Robert Sardello; Images of the Untouched, with Joanne Stroud; Imagining Dallas; and Pegasus, the Spirit of Cities. She has a book in progress entitled Recapturing the Soul of the City.
Robert Sardello, Ph.D, is Co-founder and Co-director of The School of Spiritual Psychology, which began in 1992, and Co-editor of Goldenstone Press. He is author of six books. His main emphasis has been to develop theoretical and practical approaches to perceiving and being in right relation with the Soul of the World, showing that humans are pulled from the time stream from the future rather than pushed from the past, and developing the interior consciousness of the heart. He has created new, yet very practical cultural visions in areas such as the meaning of books, the essence of service, the virtues, money, business, giving, healing, religion, living through the heart, and how to be in right relationship with and in the earth. He is an independent teacher and scholar. He is Co-founder and a Founding Fellow of the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture.