Archive for September, 2017

New book – The Arabic Freud: Psychoanalysis and Islam in Modern Egypt

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The book The Arabic Freud: Psychoanalysis and Islam in Modern Egypt by Omnia El Shakry might be of interest to H-Madness readers. On the publishers website you can read the introduction of the book. The abstract reads as follows:

The first in-depth look at how postwar thinkers in Egypt mapped the intersections between Islamic discourses and psychoanalytic thought.

In 1945, psychologist Yusuf Murad introduced an Arabic term borrowed from the medieval Sufi philosopher and mystic Ibn ‘Arabi—al-la-shu‘ur—as a translation for Sigmund Freud’s concept of the unconscious. By the late 1950s, Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams had been translated into Arabic for an eager Egyptian public. In The Arabic Freud, Omnia El Shakry challenges the notion of a strict divide between psychoanalysis and Islam by tracing how postwar thinkers in Egypt blended psychoanalytic theories with concepts from classical Islamic thought in a creative encounter of ethical engagement.

Drawing on scholarly writings as well as popular literature on self-healing, El Shakry provides the first in-depth examination of psychoanalysis in Egypt and reveals how a new science of psychology—or “science of the soul,” as it came to be called—was inextricably linked to Islam and mysticism. She explores how Freudian ideas of the unconscious were crucial to the formation of modern discourses of subjectivity in areas as diverse as psychology, Islamic philosophy, and the law. Founding figures of Egyptian psychoanalysis, she shows, debated the temporality of the psyche, mystical states, the sexual drive, and the Oedipus complex, while offering startling insights into the nature of psychic life, ethics, and eros.

This provocative and insightful book invites us to rethink the relationship between psychoanalysis and religion in the modern era. Mapping the points of intersection between Islamic discourses and psychoanalytic thought, it illustrates how the Arabic Freud, like psychoanalysis itself, was elaborated across the space of human difference.

New book – On the Couch: A Repressed History of the Analytic Couch from Plato to Freud

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The book ‘On the Couch: A Repressed History of the Analytic Couch from Plato to Freud‘ by Nathan Kravis could be of interest to h-madness readers. The abstract on the website of MIT Press reads as follows:

The peculiar arrangement of the psychoanalyst’s office for an analytic session seems inexplicable. The analyst sits in a chair out of sight while the patient lies on a couch facing away. It has been this way since Freud, although, as Nathan Kravis points out in On the Couch, this practice is grounded more in the cultural history of reclining posture than in empirical research. Kravis, himself a practicing psychoanalyst, shows that the tradition of recumbent speech wasn’t dreamed up by Freud but can be traced back to ancient Greece, where guests reclined on couches at the symposion (a gathering for upper-class males to discuss philosophy and drink wine), and to the Roman convivium (a banquet at which men and women reclined together). From bed to bench to settee to chaise-longue to sofa: Kravis tells how the couch became an icon of self-knowledge and self-reflection as well as a site for pleasure, privacy, transgression, and healing.

Kravis draws on sources that range from ancient funerary monuments to furniture history to early photography, as well as histories of medicine, fashion, and interior decoration, and he deploys an astonishing array of images—of paintings, monuments, sculpture, photographs, illustrations, New Yorker cartoons, and advertisements.

Kravis deftly shows that, despite the ambivalence of today’s psychoanalysts—some of whom regard it as “infantilizing”—the couch continues to be the emblem of a narrative of self-discovery. Recumbent speech represents the affirmation in the presence of another of having a mind of one’s own.

Conference – Nerves and War. Psychological Experiences of Mobilization and Suffering in Germany, 1900-1933 (Berlin, 12-13 October 2017)

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The conference ‘Nerves and War. Psychological Experiences of Mobilization and Suffering in Germany, 1900-1933‘ might be of interest to H-Madness readers. The conference takes place on 12-13 October 2017 and is hosted by the Friedrich-Meinecke-Institut at the Free University of Berlin. You can register for the conference until 5 October 2017 by sending an email to: Deniza Petrova, dpetrova@zedat.fu-berlin.de. Below you find the conference programme:

Donnerstag, 12. Oktober 2017

12.00-12.30 Uhr Anmeldung 

Einführung (12.30-13.45 Uhr)

Gundula Gahlen (Freie Universität Berlin)
Nerven und Krieg. Psychische Mobilisierungs- und Leidenserfahrungen in Deutschland 1900-1933: Einführung

Bernd Ulrich (Berlin)
Keynote: Krieg der Nerven – Krieg des Willens

Kaffeepause

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