School of Advanced Study, University of London and Institute of English Studies Present
Psychoanalysis, Literature and Practice
Convenors: Jan Campbell (University of Birmingham) and Emma Francis (University of Warwick).

This group focuses on psychoanalysis in relation to contemporary debates about sexuality, affect, time, trauma, memory, space, virtual life and the life of objects. We bring texts under theoretical and clinical scrutiny, with the aim of creative engagement and cross-fertilisation between ideas of what ‘practice’ might mean within literature, culture and psychoanalysis. There is an emphasis on a return to texts by Freud and his immediate circle as well as later 20th century theorists such as Winnicott, Lacan, Klein, Milner and Bion.  Contemporary work by Laplanche, Bollas, Phillips and Eigen also falls within our view.  Our reading of the theoretical work is inflected by attention to literary, art, dance, photographic or theatre texts and other cultural practices.   Each week a commentator makes c. 30 minutes of remarks on the reading and then the discussion opens to the seminar.


October 26th 2012
Text: Marion Milner, The Suppressed Madness of Sane Men: Forty-Four Years of Exploring Psychoanalysis (London: Tavistock, 1987) Ch12 ‘1956: Psychoanalysis and Art’ (pp.192-215) and Ch 10 (excerpt) ‘1955: The Communication of Primary Sensual Experience’ (pp 114-137) Cultural text: art by William Blake and by Milner’s patients embedded in the text. Commentator: Maud Ellmann (University of Chicago)

November 9th 2012
Text: Freud, ‘Mourning and Melancholia’ (SE XIV); Alfred Tennyson, In Memoriam (1855), selected lyrics. Commentator: Darian Leader (Psychoanalyst)

December 7th 2012
Text: Freud, ‘The Theme of the Three Caskets’ (SE XII); Erich Fromm, The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness (London: Pimlico, 1973) Chapter 12 ‘Malignant Aggression: Necrophilia’ Shakespeare, the Merchant of Venice. Commentator: Christian Smith (University of Warwick)

January 25th 2013
Text: Freud, ‘The Uncanny’ (SE XVII); Joseph Conrad, ‘The Secret Sharer’ (1910)    . Commentator: Nicholas Royle (University of Sussex)

February 22nd 2013
Text: Christopher Bollas, The Shadow of the Object: Psychoanalysis of the Unthought Known (London: Free Association, 1987) Chapter 8, ‘The Normotic Illness’ Cultural practice: money. Commentators: Steve Cross (University of the Arts) and Liz Moor (Goldsmiths, University of London)

March 15th 2013
Text: Ella Sharpe, ‘Certain Aspects of Sublimation and Delusion’, International Journal of Psychoanalysis 11 (1930), 12-23; Isadora Duncan, ‘The Dance of the Future [1902] rpt in Sheldon Cheney (ed) Isadora Duncan: The Art of the Dance (New York: Theatre Arts Books, 1969); George Balanchine, Chaconne (Farrell/ Martin, 1976). Commentator: Kirsty Hall (Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist)

The Group meets on Fridays 5-7pm, at the Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Study, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E   For more information email Jan Campbell and Emma Francis.


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