Posts Tagged ‘ freud ’

New issue – Bulletin of the History of Medicine


The Bulletin of the History of Medicine published its first issue of 2017 and includes at least two articles that could be of interest to H-madness readers.

Benjamin Zajicek, ‘Banning the Soviet Lobotomy: Psychiatry, Ethics, and Professional Politics during Late Stalinism’. The abstract reads:
This article examines how lobotomy came to be banned in the Soviet Union in 1950. The author finds that Soviet psychiatrists viewed lobotomy as a treatment of “last resort,” and justified its use on the grounds that it helped make patients more manageable in hospitals and allowed some to return to work. Lobotomy was challenged by psychiatrists who saw mental illness as a “whole body” process and believed that injuries caused by lobotomy were therefore more significant than changes to behavior. Between 1947 and 1949, these theoretical and ethical debates within Soviet psychiatry became politicized. Psychiatrists competing for institutional control attacked their rivals’ ideas using slogans drawn from Communist Party ideological campaigns. Party authorities intervened in psychiatry in 1949 and 1950, persecuting Jewish psychiatrists and demanding adherence to Ivan Pavlov’s theories. Psychiatrists’ existing conflict over lobotomy was adopted as part of the party’s own campaign against harmful Western influence in Soviet society.
Jennifer Lynn Lambe, ‘Revolutionizing Cuban Psychiatry: The Freud Wars, 1955–1970’. The abstract reads:
This article traces the battle over Freud within Cuban psychiatry from its pre-1959 origins through the “disappearance” of Freud by the early 1970s. It devotes particular attention to the visit of two Soviet psychiatrists to Cuba in the early 1960s as part of a broader campaign to promote Pavlov. The decade-long controversy over Freud responded to both theoretical and political concerns. If for some Freud represented political conservatism and theoretical mystification, Pavlov held out the promise of a dialectical materialist future. Meanwhile, other psychiatrists clung to psychodynamic perspectives, or at least the possibility of heterogeneity. The Freudians would end up on the losing side of this battle, with many departing Cuba over the course of the 1960s. But banishing Freud did not necessarily make for stalwart Pavlovians—or vanguard revolutionaries. Psychiatry would find itself relegated to a handmaiden position in the work of revolutionary mental engineering, with the government itself occupying the vanguard.


New book: Freud in Cambridge

51+1VWKEa6L._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_Cambridge University Press has published a book on Freud that might be of interest to readers of h-madness. Freud in Cambridge, written by John Forrester and Laura Cameron, wants to shed light on his influence on Cambridge intellectuals.

The abstract reads as follows:

Freud may never have set foot in Cambridge – that hub for the twentieth century’s most influential thinkers and scientists – but his intellectual impact there in the years between the two World Wars was immense. This is a story that has long languished untold, buried under different accounts of the dissemination of psychoanalysis. John Forrester and Laura Cameron present a fascinating and deeply textured history of the ways in which a set of Freudian ideas about the workings of the human mind, sexuality and the unconscious, affected Cambridge men and women – from A. G. Tansley and W. H. R. Rivers to Bertrand Russell, Bernal, Strachey and Wittgenstein – shaping their thinking across a range of disciplines, from biology to anthropology, and from philosophy to psychology, education and literature. Freud in Cambridge will be welcomed as a major intervention by literary scholars, historians and all readers interested in twentieth-century intellectual and scientific life.

“Cold War Freud” and “Freud: An Intellectual Biography” reviewed by Lisa Appignanesi (The Guardian)

H-Madness readers might be interested in the following article by Lisa Appignanesi. The piece, which was published today in The Guardian, is a review of Dagmar Herzog’s Cold War Freud (Cambridge University Press, 2016) and Joel Whitebook’s Freud: An Intellectual Biography (Cambridge University Press, 2016).

Still many strands to pursue … Sigmund Freud.

Cold War Freud and Freud: An Intellectual Biography review – the politics of psychoanalysis

A pair of rich, illuminating studies epitomise a new wave of thinking about the Freud wars and the history of analysis

If Freud, as Auden wrote in his 1939 elegy, is “a whole climate of opinion / under whom we conduct our different lives”, then it would be fair to say that the local weather patterns around him shift from temptestuous to clement with uncanny regularity. Geography inevitably plays into the picture.

There are actually only two (relative) constants in the diffusion of Freud’s invention, psychoanalysis, from 1906 on. One is the acceptance of the fact that each of us has an unconscious life: parts of ourselves that are hidden from our own view inform dreams, and shape unwitting remarks and behaviour. The second is the talk and listening technology of two people – the free-associating patient and the analyst engaged in an intimate therapeutic conversation. The rest of the huge and often subtle panoply of Freud’s ideas, developed and revised over a lifetime of practice and writing, has been – and is – up for grabs.

There is a wealth of material to pick over. From Freud’s first book, On Aphasia, published when he was 35, to his last, Moses and Monotheism, written just before his death at 83, there are 23 volumes of the standard edition, not to mention many thick tomes of reflective and revealing letters to his fiancee (then wife), Martha, and to friends andcolleagues, plus proceedings of international psychoanalytic meetings. Followers, interpreters, critics and bashers, reinventors and film-makers, slipper and watch manufacturers, in America, India, China, Europe, Africa and Latin America, can thus dispute, develop or make jokes about everything from the importance of the sex drive or libido to the dynamics of memory and repression; the relations between ego, id and superego; identification; therapeutic practice; cultural liberation and much more, including, of course, Freud’s own integrity – his scientific and medical status.

To read the rest of the article, click here.


Book announcement – Freud by Elisabeth Roudinesco


The French Freud biography by Elisabeth Roudinesco has now be translated and published by Harvard University Press. The blurb reads

Élisabeth Roudinesco offers a bold and modern reinterpretation of the iconic founder of psychoanalysis. Based on new archival sources, this is Freud’s biography for the twenty-first century—a critical appraisal, at once sympathetic and impartial, of a genius greatly admired and yet greatly misunderstood in his own time and in ours.

Roudinesco traces Freud’s life from his upbringing as the eldest of eight siblings in a prosperous Jewish-Austrian household to his final days in London, a refugee of the Nazis’ annexation of his homeland. She recreates the milieu of fin de siècle Vienna in the waning days of the Habsburg Empire—an era of extraordinary artistic innovation, given luster by such luminaries as Gustav Klimt, Stefan Zweig, and Gustav Mahler. In the midst of it all, at the modest residence of Berggasse 19, Freud pursued his clinical investigation of nervous disorders, blazing a path into the unplumbed recesses of human consciousness and desire.

Yet this revolutionary who was overthrowing cherished notions of human rationality and sexuality was, in his politics and personal habits, in many ways conservative, Roudinesco shows. In his chauvinistic attitudes toward women, and in his stubborn refusal to acknowledge the growing threat of Hitler until it was nearly too late, even the analytically-minded Freud had his blind spots. Alert to his intellectual complexity—the numerous tensions in his character and thought that remained unresolved—Roudinesco ultimately views Freud less as a scientific thinker than as the master interpreter of civilization and culture.

For more information, click here.

New Book – Political Freud by Eli Zaretsky


Eli Zaretsky, Professor of History at Lang College an eminent specialist, among others, of the history of psychoanalysis, has written a new book on Sigmund Freud.

Eli Zaretsky reveals the power of Freudian thought to illuminate the great political conflicts of the twentieth century. Developing an original concept of “Political Freudianism” he shows how twentieth century radicals, activists and intellectuals used psychoanalytic ideas to probe consumer capitalism, racial violence, anti-Semitism, and patriarchy. He also shows the continuing influence and critical potential of those ideas in the transformed landscape of the present.

Zaretsky’s conception of Political Freudianism unites the two overarching themes of the last century—totalitarianism and consumerism—in a single framework. He shows that theories of mass psychology and the unconscious were central to the study of fascism and the Holocaust, to African American radical thought, particularly the struggle to overcome the legacy of slavery, to the rebellions of the 1960s and to the feminism and gay liberation movements of the 1970s. Nor did the influence of Political Freud end when the era of Freud-bashing began. Rather, Zaretsky shows that political Freudianism is alive today in cultural studies, the study of memory, theories of trauma, post-colonial thought, film, media and computer studies, evolutionary theory and even economics.

“Conversations Between Bloomsbury & Psychoanalysis: Mutual Influence or Incomprehension?” (London, 12 September)

Conversations Between Bloomsbury & Psychoanalysis:
Mutual Influence or Incomprehension?

UCL Health Humanities Centre, 12 September, 2015, 11.30am-5.30pm

In histories of modernist literature and psychoanalysis in Britain, few
topics have been as much discussed and mythologised as the relations
between Bloomsbury and Psychoanalysis. This conference reexamines the
meeting point between psychoanalysis and the Bloomsbury group, and the
tensions and contradictions that occur when such large appellations are
linked. The topic has been approached from an array of perspectives,
ranging from gender studies, discourses of modernism to literary
history. However, the first hand testimony of figures, such as James
Strachey and Virginia Woolf, is often as odds with the considered views
of subsequent critics and theorists. Literary scholars and historians
will bring to bear new research and fresh perspectives on this
intersection and discuss the possibilities of a new understanding of the
relations between Bloomsbury and Psychoanalysis. There will be
contributions from those studying Bloomsbury writers, the critics of
Bloomsbury and British psychoanalysts in the pre-World War Two period.


Professor Sally Alexander, Goldsmiths College London – “Winnicott’s Women

Professor Fuhito Endo, Seikei University Tokyo – “Joan Riviere in
Masquerade, or Her Implicitly Kleinian Criticism of Freud.”

Dee McQuillan, University College London – “Documentation versus
Interpretation: James Strachey as a Link between Psychoanalysis and

Professor Kunio Shin, Tsuda College Tokyo – “Some Versions of
Anti-psychoanalysis: Lewis, Richards, and Auden in the 1930s.”

Helen Tyson, Queen Mary University London – “On ‘Freudian Fiction’
–Virginia Woolf, Modernist Readers and Psychoanalysis.”

Cost: £35; Registered students (with proof): £25; UCL staff and UCL
students: free


Financially supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science

Location: Room 103, 51 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PN

Colloque “Rêver sans Freud” (Lausanne, 29 mai 2015)


Journée d’études, Lausanne, 29 mai 2015

Organisée par Aude Fauvel (IUHMSP, CHUV-UNIL) et Rémy Amouroux (Faculté des SSP/UNIL)

Université de Lausanne, Bâtiment Geopolis, salle 2879
Métro M1, arrêt UNIL-Mouline

En occident, la question de l’interprétation des rêves demeure attachée au nom de Sigmund Freud, que l’on considère traditionnellement comme étant le premier à avoir ancré l’activité onirique dans la science et fait du rêve un vrai sujet d’exploration médicale. Par suite, depuis la première édition de son ouvrage fondateur en 1899, le débat s’est souvent posé en des termes binaires : avec ou contre Freud, pour ou contre son modèle interprétatif de la genèse onirique. Pourtant, ainsi que l’ont montré diverses études historiennes récentes, il n’a en réalité pas fallu attendre Freud pour que le rêve soit l’objet d’explorations scientifiques poussées, la vision freudienne s’ancrant elle-même dans l’apport de travaux antérieurs, un héritage qui a longtemps été éclipsé. Par ailleurs, il n’y pas non plus eu dans le domaine « psy » que des anti ou des pro-freudiens, de nombreux analystes du processus rêvant ne se partageant pas le long de cette ligne de démarcation, et suivant plutôt le fil de schémas interprétatifs situés en dehors et/ou à côté des problématiques liées à Freud.

Sans pour autant mettre en cause l’apport fondamental de l’œuvre freudienne, cette journée d’études aimerait donc contribuer au renouvellement du regard sur l’histoire du rêve, en interrogeant la généalogie de ces autres traditions scientifiques oniriques. Il s’agira, en particulier, d’explorer une culture plus « anglo-saxonne » de l’analyse des songes, où la figure du laboratoire et de l’expérimentation contrôlée (rêves sous drogues, sous influence, privation de sommeil, culture des tests psychométriques, etc.) joue un rôle spécialement prononcé. Il s’agira aussi d’examiner quels usages thérapeutiques ont été envisagés pour le rêve en dehors du cadre psychanalytique, en examinant, par exemple, comment certains spécialistes « psy » (psychiatres, mais aussi psychologues, psychothérapeutes, etc.) ont cherché à influencer le psychisme, voire à soigner des troubles mentaux, via des techniques de contrôles et/ou de modifications de la forme des songes.

Le colloque est libre et ouvert à toute personne intéressée.


9h00   Ouverture de la journée et accueil des participants

9h30-9h50    Présentation de la journée

Aude Fauvel (IUHMSP, CHUV-UNIL), Rémy Amouroux (Institut de psychologie, Fac. des SSP/UNIL)

Matinée : Président de séance : Mark Micale (University of Illinois)


9h50-10h30 Sciences et techniques du corps rêvant : jalons pour une histoire (Andreas Mayer, Centre Alexandre Koyré, Paris)

10h30-11h10   The television qualities of the nightlife of the mind – Dorothy Eggan’s dream-collecting practices among the Hopi (Rebecca Lemov, Harvard University)

11h10-11h30           Pause

11h30-12h10   Acid dreams. Tripping into the unconscious  (Jeannie Moser, Technical University of Berlin)


12h10- 14h   Pause repas

Après-midi : Présidente de séance : Jacqueline Carroy (Centre Alexandre Koyré, Paris)

14h-14h40   The (private) dreams of Aaron T. Beck  (Rachael I. Rosner, Independent Scholar, Boston)

14h40-15h20   Pourquoi notre cerveau rêve-t-il? (Sophie Schwartz, Université de Genève)

15h30-16h    Discussion finale / Table ronde

Pour les abstracts et plus d’informations :

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