Posts Tagged ‘ Literature ’

New book – A history of the case study: Sexology, psychoanalysis, literature


H-madness readers might be interested in the book A history of the case study: Sexology, psychoanalysis, literature written by Birgit Lang, Joy Damousi and Alison Lewis. The abstract reads:

Starting with Central Europe and concluding with the United States of America, this volume tells the story of the case study genre as inseparable from the foundation of sexology and psychoanalysis, and integral to the history of European literature. It examines the nineteenth and twentieth century pioneers of the case study who sought answers to the mysteries of sexual identity and shaped the way we think about sexual modernity. These pioneers include members of professional elites (psychiatrists, psychoanalysts and jurists) and creative writers writing for newly emerging sexual publics.

Among the figures considered in this volume are prolific Austrian writer Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, the psychoanalytic master of case-writing Sigmund Freud and the influential New York psychoanalyst Viola Bernard, who all embraced the case study genre for its ability to convey new knowledge—and indeed a new paradigm for knowledge—in an authoritative manner. At the same time, these writers reinvented the genre’s parameters, reflecting constantly on its pertinence to definitions of the modern subject.

Where previous accounts of the case study have approached the history of the genre from a single disciplinary perspective, this book stands out for its interdisciplinary approach, well-suited to negotiating the ambivalent contexts of modernity. It focuses on key formative moments and locations in the genre’s past, those occasions when and where the conventions of the case study were contested as part of a more profound enquiry into the nature of the human subject.

Call for chapter proposals: Literature, Trauma and the Self


Centuries ago, Aristotle fashioned a term that brought literature and psychology face to face: catharsis (psychological or mental purification of the feelings). From that time onwards, literature and human psyche have been correlated either by various writers, philosophers, critics, or by means of several techniques or movements. Not only was it tragedy that combined the elements of psychology with literary production, it was also novel, poetry, short story and even some psychoanalytical theories that brought psyche and literature together. There has always been a mutual partnership of the two: psychology of men and literature of men.  It was Sigmund Freud, for instance, who introduced Oedipus complex from what Sophocles held as the plot of Oedipus the King. It was Samuel Richardson who carried the earlier features of sentimental novel and the early flashes of psychological novel through his Pamela. It was Henry James who borrowed the stream of consciousness technique from psychology and introduced it to be used in literature, and then was subtly employed by James Joyce in Ulysses and by Virginia Woolf in Mrs. Dalloway. Charles Dickens, with his famous industrial novel Great Expectations, reflected the well-established norms of psychological realism. George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion was named after the mythological figure of Greek Pygmalionand the name was also adapted into the Pygmalion effect to emphasize the observable phenomena related to the psychology and performance of men. Similarly, Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita became a focal work that impacted the birth of Lolita complex. Friedrich Nietzsche’subermensch (just as it is employed by Bernard Shaw in Superman)MartinEsslin’s theatre of the absurd (employed by Samuel Beckett in Waiting for Godot), Antonin Artaud’s theatre of cruelty (employed by Edward Bond in Saved) and etc. all could be tackled in terms of interrelation of human psyche and literariness.
Psychology has also some observable impacts on the writer’s writing skill. Causing extreme changes in mood, bipolar disorder is addressed by many critics to be the central origin behind creativity. Such writers and critics as John Ruskin, Virginia Woolf, Edgar Allan Poe, Alan Garner, Hams Christian Anderson and Sherman Alexei among others are known to have bipolar disorder that impacted their literary creativity. Feminist urges also produced the female creativity within some genres of literature. It was Emily Dickenson, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Virginia Woolf, George Eliot, and Bronte Sisters that embraced the psychology of the power of female creativity on the way to writing. For that reason, psychology and literature live in each other’s pockets.
This proposal suggests a forum of differing ideas on the link between literature and psychology, psychology of writing, traumatic literature, the construction of the Self within literature, the psychology of characterization, psychoanalytical approaches, and the psychology of literary creativity.
The topics of interest include but not limited to the following titles:
Psychology of Literature
Literature of Psychology
Psychology and literary genres
Psychological theories and movements
Traumatic literature
Literature and psyche
Auto/biography and  psyche
Psychoanalytical approaches
The psychology of Self and Literature
The Psychology of Writing
Trauma and Writing
The Self and Writing
Psychology and  Creativity
Submission Procedure
Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit on or before March 31, 2017, a chapter proposal of 1,000 to 2,000 words clearly explaining the mission and concerns of his or her proposed chapter. Authors will be notified by April 30, 2017 about the status of their proposals and sent chapter guidelines. Full chapters are expected to be submitted by October 30, 2017, and all interested authors must consult the guidelines for manuscript submissions at prior to submission. All submitted chapters will be reviewed on a double-blind review basis. Contributors may also be requested to serve as reviewers for this project.
Note: There are no submission or acceptance fees for manuscripts submitted to this book publication, Cambridge Scholars Publishing. All manuscripts are accepted based on a double-blind peer review editorial process.
This book is scheduled to be published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing, UK. For additional information regarding the publisher, please visit This publication is anticipated to be released in 2018.
Important Dates
March 31, 2017: Proposal Submission Deadline
April 30, 2017: Notification of Acceptance
October 30, 2017: Full Chapter Submission
December 30, 2017: Review Results Returned
January 30, 2018: Final Acceptance Notification
February 15, 2018: Final Chapter Submission
April 15, 2018:Manuscript delivery date
Editor’s Name: Önder Çakırtaş
Editor’s Affiliation: PhD, Assistant Professor, Bingol University (Turkey), Department of English Language and Literature
Editor’s Contact Information
Bingöl Üniversitesi
Fen Edebiyat Fakültesi
Oda No:D2-8 12000 Bingöl/TÜRKİYE

“Writing Madness” – BBC Radio 4

Currently streaming on BBC Radio 4 is a programme entitled “Writing Madness” that explores the links between modern psychiatric thought and great works of fiction.

Contributors include psychotherapist and essayist Adam Philips, leading psychiatrist Simon Wessely, cultural historian Lisa Appignanesi and Chris Thompson, psychiatrist and medical director of The Priory.

The website offers us a taste of the programme:

How did modern literary and psychiatric ideas meet and how did each shape the other? Do these heroines show literature of the period to be a critical – and even emancipating – force…or is fiction really medicine’s stooge? Novels on the couch include Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night and Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway….interestingly with both novels there’s a tendency to base the heroines on real people – Nicole Diver is based on the case history of Fitzgerald’s own wife Zelda, whereas Woolf’s Mrs.Dalloway comes very close in literary terms to what Freud calls ‘self-analysis’ – one difference is that Woolf sometimes believed ‘madness’ was necessary to be creative, while Scott Fitzgerald depicted it as disastrous drain on creativity (ie. his). And both novels have the dynamic and lucrative new industry of psychotherapy in their sights. Vivienne compares fiction in the age of Freud to literary ideas of mental health in the Victorian age and in Dickens specifically, using Great Expectations’ Miss Havisham as a case study.

Click here to stream the 30-minute clips.

New Issue of Perspectives in Biology and Medicine

The last issue of Perspective in Biology and Medicine has just been released online. Included in this issue is an article by Amy Yang entitled Psychoanalysis and Detective Fiction: a tale of Freud and criminal storytelling. The abstract reads:

Much has been written about Freud’s influence on popular culture. This article addresses the influence of literature on Freud’s psychoanalytical theory, specifically the role that modern detective fiction played in shaping Freudian theory. Edgar Allan Poe gave Freud the literary precedent; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s creation Sherlock Holmes gave him the analytical model. In turn, the world of crime story-telling embedded Freudian theories in subsequent forms, spinning the tales of crime into a journey into the human mind. As these tales were popularized on the silver screen in the early 20th century, psychoanalytical ideas moved from the lecture halls into the cultural mainstream.

Much has been written about Freud’s influence on popular culture. This article addresses the influence of literature on Freud’s psychoanalytical theory, specifically the role that modern detective fiction played in shaping Freudian theory. Edgar Allan Poe gave Freud the literary precedent; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s creation Sherlock Holmes gave him the analytical model. In turn, the world of crime story-telling embedded Freudian theories in subsequent forms, spinning the tales of crime into a journey into the human mind. As these tales were popularized on the silver screen in the early 20th century, psychoanalytical ideas moved from the lecture halls into the cultural mainstream.

Colloque – Psychanalyse, littérature, cinéma

Samedi 6 novembre 2010

11e colloque de l’Association pour L’Étude de la Psychanalyse et de son Histoire

Colloque franco-allemand

Dessins de lettres  II. Psychanalyse, littérature, cinéma.

Salle du Sénéchal 17 rue du Rémusat, 31000 Toulouse

Le succès du colloque de Lille en mars 2010 nous conduit cette année à étaler le fruit de notre travail sur deux sessions. Ceci est lié tant à l’ampleur du thème abordé, qu’au nombre important et à la qualité des propositions qui nous sont parvenues. C’est donc la deuxième partie d’un projet de travail tournant autour de l’articulation toujours enrichissante de la psychanalyse et de la littérature que nous nous proposons d’exposer à Toulouse en novembre 2010.
Argument du colloque
En  1908, Sigmund Freud compare la littérature à une activité « de fantasme ». Son article va plus loin que le titre ne le laisserait entendre : il ne suffit pas de fantasmer pour écrire.  Le fantasme soutient le désir, il ouvre une fenêtre sur le réel –  Fenêtre sur cour, le film d’Alfred Hitchcock, illustre bien cette « ouverture ». Mais le désir, bien qu’articulé, reste inarticulable, comme l’observe Lacan. Et le réel ne pointe, la plupart du temps, que sous la forme de l’angoisse dans l’embrasure de la fenêtre du fantasme. Aussi est-ce par le rejet que réagit l’être parlant à l’impossibilité d’exprimer son désir et à l’angoisse causée par le réel. Il ne veut rien en savoir : il refoule ou rejette son désir et fuit le réel. Cependant, depuis la nuit des temps, le chant des sirènes attire les poètes. L’écriture leur permet de les approcher, mais ils restent attachés au mât d’une réalité rassurante, ainsi qu’Ulysse sur son navire. Féru de lettres, grand lecteur de Shakespeare et jaloux de certains écrivains comme Arthur Schnitzler, Freud a frayé une autre voie vers ces zones où l’homme rencontre son destin. Il a inventé la psychanalyse dont on peut, avec Lacan, définir l’objectif : libérer le désir inconscient par la répétition de la demande, adressée par un sujet à un psychanalyste, de trouver son chemin dans une vie dont le langage voile les vrais enjeux, ceux de la sexualité, et avant tout, la question de savoir si un homme et une femme peuvent se rencontrer. Dans le projet freudien de fonder de « hautes études » de psychanalyse (La question de l’analyse profane, 1927), la littérature joue un rôle  éminent. Et pourtant, ce n’est par goût des belles lettres. Freud, s’il appréciait le théâtre d’Henrik Ibsen, ne méprisait pas pour autant la littérature mineure (La Gradiva de W. Jensen, par exemple), prenant son matériel là où il le trouvait. Lacan s’oppose à son tour aux lubies des beaux esprits en jouant volontiers sur l’équivoque du mot « lettre » : le « ruissellement des petites lettres » des mathématiques lui importait  autant que celui des textes littéraires. De tout temps, des hommes et des femmes ont avoué qu’il leur aurait été impossible de se maintenir dans l’existence s’ils n’avaient pas écrit. C’est sur cette fonction salvatrice de la littérature que Lacan pouvait se fonder quand il faisait de celle de Joyce un symptôme, voire un « sinthome ». Terme de l’époque de Rabelais, le « sinthome » désigne sous la plume de Lacan un lien réparateur sans lequel un sujet risque de sombrer dans la folie. À Joyce et quelques autres, l’écriture a servi d’un tel lien. Loin de renforcer le narcissisme ou la simple demande de reconnaissance sociale, l’écriture peut s’avérer nécessaire. Aussi la psychanalyse se laisse-t-elle instruire par la littérature. L’écriture et la psychanalyse sont solidaires puisque toutes les deux, et chacune à sa façon, défendent l’existence du sujet contre la jouissance dévastatrice qui parfois menace de l’annihiler. L’écriture dans ce sens débroussaille « ce qui ne cesse pas de s’écrire » de façon sauvage dans les symptômes morbides. On peut dire que le sinthome littéraire est un antidote du symptôme ravageur. À cet égard, le psychanalyste qui veut dissoudre ce dernier par son interprétation doit beaucoup apprendre des poètes.   Non, la psychanalyse ne se laisse ni réduire, ni « appliquer » à la littérature ! L’une rencontre plutôt l’autre sur certains points nodaux de la structure dans laquelle nous évoluons. Nous avons déjà insisté sur la fonction du sinthome.
Voici encore deux autres points de rencontres :
1. Et l’inconscient et les poètes jouent avec la lettre – mais pas de la même façon, comme on le voit avec  l’auteur de Finnegans Wake, qui était « désabonné à l’inconscient ».
2.  « La vérité a structure de fiction », rappelle Lacan dans son écrit « Lituraterre ». Certaines œuvres (de Kleist jusqu’à Borges) dramatisent le caractère fictionnel de la vérité tandis  que les paradoxes de la logique  décrivent les voies par lesquelles la vérité se soustrait à la formalisation.À la différence du signifiant qui représente le sujet, la lettre touche à la jouissance qui, elle, n’est pas représentable. Lacan pense la lettre comme située à la lisière entre le savoir et la jouissance, comme orientée vers ce que Freud, dans son Interprétation des rêves, a appelé  « l’inconnu » (das Unerkannte). Elle ne peut pas représenter mais seulement cerner ce réel.Notre colloque réunira des chercheurs (en histoire, comme aussi en critique littéraire et artistique), des hommes et des femmes de théâtre ainsi que des psychanalystes. Ils confronteront le fruit de leurs recherches sur les dessins de la lettre, dans le double sens de cette expression : du fait de leurs constellations, les lettres de tout texte littéraire sérieux dessinent la frontière entre le savoir et la terre inconnue à laquelle se heurte ce savoir, montrant ainsi que le savoir lui-même ne nous est pas si familier, même quand nous pensons le maîtriser. « Dessin » renvoie, en plus, à « destin », voire à « destination ». En effet, la lettre entretient aussi une dynamique. C’est pourquoi les chercheurs, orateurs de notre colloque, s’intéresseront également aux voies des lettres quand elles interviennent dans le destin de l’être humain, incarné par les héros des romans de toutes les époques.


9h15 Ouverture du colloque par Jean-Paul Kornobis, membre de l’A.l.e.p.h.
9h 30-11h Présidence, Jean-Paul Kornobis

Eric Le Toullec— Un regard étrangement inquiétant : Freud-Lubitsch 1919

Sylvie Nève— Des auteurs lisent publiquement à voix haute – quand une voix dessine quelque chose…
11h 30-13h Présidence, Geneviève Morel

Frédéric Yvan—Lettres de lieux, ruines et figures du réel

Pascal Bataillard — Nabokov le nymphome ou, le sinthome d’après Joyce
14h30 -16h00 Présidence, Brigitte Lemonnier

Sylvie Boudailliez— Première expérience d’écriture : une agonie

Anne Ermolieff— « Je ne veux plus parler, je suis trop en colère »; la lettre entre expériences visuelle et sonore
16h30-18h00 Présidence Franz Kaltenbeck

Sylvain Masschelier — L’instance de la lettre d’amour dans l’inconscient

Michael Meyer zum Wischen — Marguerite Duras : écrire en marge, au bord de la mer. Réflexions à propos de « Le ravissement de Lol V. Stein »

18h00-18h15 Conclusion du colloque : Franz Kaltenbeck

Pour plus d’informations, cliquez ici.

CFP – International Health Humanities Conference 2010 “Madness and Literature”


Madness and Literature”

The Institute of Mental Health is hosting The 1st International Health Humanities Conference at The University of Nottingham, UK from Friday 6th to Sunday 8th AUGUST 2010.

The theme of the conference, Madness and Literature, seeks to bring critical focus to three areas:

Literature, Psychiatry, Philosophy

Reflecting the interdisciplinary work of the Institute of Mental Health, and the multifaceted nature of the conference’s theme, we invite the participation of colleagues from both the humanities and from clinical backgrounds who wish to participate in an exploration of the conceptions of “Madness and Literature”. Furthermore, to be genuinely inclusive we encourage presentations arising from completed projects and work that is in progress or of an exploratory nature.

The Institute of Mental Health welcomes abstracts of approximately 250 words in length for twenty-minute papers in English dealing with the themes outlined above. We would also welcome the organization of panels (consisting of three speakers and a moderator) dealing with specific issues related to the overall themes of the conference. Issues to be considered at the conference may include:

  • What are the critical intersections between literature, psychiatry and philosophy?
  • How and why is psychiatry reflected and represented in fiction?
  • In what ways do fiction and autobiography treat issues such as gender, ethnicity, age, economics, sexuality and power in psychiatry?
  • How far can we pursue ideas concerning creativity and madness?
  • How might debates about literature and madness influence or be influenced by other disciplines, such as anthropology and sociology?
  • How can literature influence the education and practice of medical, health and allied disciplines?
  • What can literary studies learn from the ‘psych’ disciplines?

The Institute of Mental Health foresees the publication of papers (expanded, revised and submitted to a peer-review process) in one or more volumes post-conference, according to principles of intellectual and theoretical coherence that will give such publications editorial consistency.

Please send your abstracts as a Word attachment by email to Paul Crawford by 5th February 2010.

For more informations, click here.

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