Letters to the Editor

Lucking Out

I have just hung the beautiful 2008 UNH Calendar with President Mark Huddleston on the fly leaf. Having read "Flying Start" in the fall issue, I was impressed with his academic credentials but even more so with his humanity. There is no question but that he will be just as proficient at the helm of the university as he is at the controls of his plane. We lucked out with him!

All in the Family?

Upon reading the greeting from new UNH president Mark Huddleston, one obvious question came to mind. Is there any ancestral link to teacher and architect Eric Huddleston to whom Huddleston Hall was dedicated?

Editor's note: President Mark Huddleston is no relation to the late Eric Huddleston (1888-1977), although the coincidence may make it easier for UNHers to remember the new president's name.

Analyze This

The otherwise informative and laudatory article about memory research, "Repeat After Me," in the fall issue carried a bias against psychoanalytic theory that was both gratuitous and uninformed. For example, it is incorrect to call so-called recovered-memory therapy "a form of psychoanalysis." In fact, recovered memory therapy in the 1980s and 1990s was used by social workers, most with a feminist orientation, and by psychiatrists fascinated with so-called Multiple Personality Disorder. Their notions of repressed memories bore no resemblance or relationship to psychoanalytic theories of repression. (Many, indeed, repudiated Freud as denying real sexual abuse.) Therapists with a psychoanalytic orientation during that time tended to have much more nuanced concepts of both trauma and memory.

Elsewhere, the simplistic assertion that "Freudians tended to attribute infant amnesia to sexual repression" distorts a far more complex discussion about infantile and childhood sexuality that still has much richness and validity (even if irrelevant to modern memory research). Finally, stating that the subject of adult memories was once dismissed as "good for novelists and psychoanalysts" displays ignorance of how psychoanalytic therapy has used memories.

Author C.W. Wolff replies: I am grateful to Professor Frankfurter for his clarifications of some of the subtle (and not so subtle) distinctions among various schools of mental health therapy. As to the subject of adult memories, I never intended to globally dismiss the brilliant work that novelists and psychoanalysts have done with episodic memory. The point was only that among nonclinical psychologists focusing on quantifiable memory mechanics 40 to 50 years ago, this particular type of memory was not being extensively explored.

Hear! Hear!

As merely one of the 117,000-plus members of the UNH Alumni Association, I take great satisfaction in having been able to follow and read your magazine over the past 69 years, with the exception of the overseas years during World War II. I have seen your magazine grow from a comparatively simplistic, abbreviated and lacking-in-color one to the preeminence of its Fall 2007 issue. Not only would it be outstanding among all previous issues, I dare say it would be also outstanding among all other alumni magazines of the colleges and universities of America. To note in particular: the high-class photography, Class Notes, editorials and many reports. To substantiate this observation, I would simply ask any fellow alumni to look again at recent issues. Without question or any reservation, I would say that your magazine has done a tremendous job in furthering the well-being of UNH.