Who is Afraid of Michael Balint?

Monica Greco

Senior Lecturer in Sociology
Goldsmiths College

Wednesday 22 Feb, 5.15
St Chad’s College

Followed by
wine & canapés

Michael Balint and the Balint method are often invoked in the writings of medical humanities scholars as historical precedents and a source of inspiration.  There has been, however, little systematic engagement with Balint’s texts and with the psychoanalytic premises of his work.  This reflects a more general situation in the field, where discussion of the medical relevance of psychoanalysis is conspicuous by its absence, despite a number of recent contributions.  Taking Balint as a point of departure, this talk will look at the ambivalent relationship between medical humanities and psychoanalysis. Without adopting a psychoanalytic approach, I will propose that the question of the medical relevance of psychoanalysis can be a source of specific anxiety in so far as it points (too) directly to a critique of the medical scientific model.

Monica Greco is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London, and a Research Fellow of the Alexander Von Humboldt Stiftung. She is the author of Illness as a Work of Thought (Routledge, 1998), co-editor (with Mariam Fraser) of The Body: A Reader (Routledge, 2005) and co-editor (with Paul Stenner) of The Emotions: A Social Science Reader  (Routledge, 2008).

For more information about this event please download the Seminar Flyer or contact Polly De Giorgi. All welcome.


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