5 Nov 2013 10:00am - 12:00pm CRASSH Meeting Room, Alison Richard Building


Mellon Teaching Seminar

Professor Peter Mandler
(Faculty of History)
Professor John Forrester (Department of History and Philosophy of Science)

With the possible exception of Marxism, psychoanalysis has had both a broader and a deeper influence on intellectual life in the West than any other movement. Developed as a therapeutic and psychological programme at the turn of the century, occupying like no other epistemic and institutional project could the no man’s lands between the human and the biological sciences and between the figures of ‘care’ and of ‘knowledge’, it also had great influence on the fledgling social sciences – psychology, sociology and anthropology – in the first half of the twentieth century and fused with revolutionary enthusiasms in politics and in social reform (relating in particular to sexuality and to the position of women).  Above all it stood at the head of the diverse array of ‘technologies of the self’ developed by Western cultures increasingly absorbed by the cultivation of ‘personality’ in an age of alleged massification.  This seminar will examine some of the uses to which psychoanalysis was put, focussing on both disciplinary and interdisciplinary developments and on the local milieux in which psychoanalysis developed most vigorously – urban, cosmopolitan, intellectually and artistically vibrant cities.

The interdisciplinary rationale of the seminar reflects accurately the interdisciplinary scope of psychoanalysis itself. In Cambridge, aspects of psychoanalysis figure in several different disciplines: in history, in philosophy, in psychology, in anthropology, sociology, modern languages (in particular in German and in French, on account of the enormous influence of psychoanalysis on twentieth century French and German cultures) and inevitably in the history and philosophy of science. The 8-week Seminar will bring together approaches from social and cultural history, intellectual history, and history and philosophy of science to survey and take stock of a range of episodes, drawn from US, British and French psychoanalytic cultures, across the twentieth century. The seminar leaders hope that graduate students and postdoctoral researchers from a very wide range of disciplines will be attracted by the Seminar.

The leaders of the proposed Mellon Teaching Seminar are senior figures in the Faculty of History and the Department of History and Philosophy of Science. Mandler, principally a cultural historian, has a long-standing interest in the history and influence of psychoanalytic ideas (and on the popular dissemination of social-science concepts more generally), most recently palpable in his work on mid-twentieth-century cultural anthropology, Return from the Natives: How Margaret Mead Won the Second World War and Lost the Cold War (Yale University Press, 2013). Forrester has worked on various aspects of psychoanalysis, particularly, but not only, its history, for forty years; his recent research projects include the reception of psychoanalysis in Cambridge, 1908-1927 and the development of the concept of ‘gender identity’ in Los Angeles by the psychoanalyst Robert Stoller, c. 1963.

For administrative enquiries please contact Michelle Maciejewska.


Course Outline

Outline Syllabus

The syllabus will consist of 8 independent historical ‘episodes’, situated in different places and at different times across the period 1920-2000. Each week’s reading will consist principally in three sources, most of them ‘primary sources’ from the episodes in question. Extensive background reading, both primary and secondary, will be supplied for each week’s seminar, but requirement for participation in the Seminar will consist solely in reading the three sources (or thereabouts) for each week.

1 Comparative cultures – New York, London, Paris (as scene-setter)

 Zaretsky, Eli, Secrets of the Soul. A Social and Cultural History of Psychoanalysis, New York: Vintage, 2005

Turkle, Sherry, Psychoanalytic politics: Jacques Lacan and Freud's French revolution, ‘Preface’ (1991 edition), pp. xiii-xxxiii and Ch. 3 ‘May 1968 and Psychoanalytic Ideology’ pp. 69-93

Rieff, Philip, The Triumph of the Therapeutic, London: Penguin, 1966, Introduction’ pp. 1-3 and Ch. 8 ‘The triumph of the therapeutic’, pp. 199-224

Thomson, Mathew, Psychological Subjects. Identity, Culture, and Health in Twentieth-Century Britain, Oxford: O.U.P., 2006, ‘Introduction’ and Ch. 1 ‘Practical Psychology’, pp. 1-53

Rose, Nikolas and Peter Miller, ‘On Therapeutic Authority: Psychoanalytical Expertise under Advanced Liberalism’ in: Rose and Miller, Governing the Present. Administering Economic, Social and Personal Life, Cambridge: Polity, 2008, pp. 142-172

2 Anthropology and the Oedipus Complex

 Malinowski, Bronislaw, Sex and Repression in Savage Society, London: Kegan Paul, Trench and Trubner, 1927. Excerpts: certainly Part III ‘Psycho-Analysis and Anthropology’ pp. 135-178. Alternatively the earlier versions of these chapters are less contentiously framed: ‘The Psychology of Sex and the Foundations of Kinship in Primitive Society’ Psyche 4 (1924): 98-128; ‘Psychoanalysis and Anthropology’ Psyche 4(1924): 293-332; ‘Complex and Myth in Mother-Right’ Psyche 5(1925): 194-216

Jones, E. (1925). Mother-Right and the Sexual Ignorance of Savages. International Journal of Psycho-Analysis  6: 109-130

Spiro, Melford, Oedipus in the Trobriands, Chicago: Chicago U.P., 1982. Ch. 3 ‘The Trobriand Oedipus Complex: A Hypothesis’ pp. 40-84; Ch. 6. ‘Is the Oedipus Complex Universal?’ pp. 144-180.

3 Marxism and Psychoanalysis: the Frankfurt School

Adorno, Theodor, ‘Freudian Theory and the Pattern of Fascist Propaganda’ (1951), in: Adorno, The Culture Industry, ed. J. Bernstein, London: Routledge, 2001, pp. 132-157

Fromm, Erich, Escape from Freedom (1941), New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1969) Ch. 4: 'The Two Aspects of Freedom for Modern Man'

Marcuse, Herbert, Eros and Civilization, London: RKP, 1956, Ch. 10 ‘The Transformation of Sexuality into Eros’

Jay, Martin, The Dialectical Imagination. A History of the Frankfurt School and the Institute for Social Research, Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California University Press, 1973, Ch. 3 ‘The Integration of Psychoanalysis’

4 Culture and Personality

Mead, Margaret, 'The Use of Primitive Material in the Study of Personality' (1934)

Mead, Margaret, Sex and Temperament in Three Primitive Societies (1935)

Mead, Margaret, ‘On the Institutionalized Role of Women and Character Formation’ (1936)

Bateson, Gregory, 'Culture Contact and Schismogenesis' (1935)

Erikson, Erik H., Childhood and Society (1950, 1993 ed.). Ch. 7 ‘Eight Ages of Man’, pp. 222-250 and Ch 8 ‘Reflections on the American Identity’ pp. 258-293

5 Psychoanalysis and the Welfare State

Balint, Michael, The Doctor, his Patient & the Illness, London: Pitman Medical, 1957, 2nd ed. 1971. Excerpts

Bowlby, John, Child Care and the Growth of Love (Pelican Books, 1953). Excerpts.

Winnicott, Donald, Home is Where the Heart Is, London, 1996. Excerpts.

6 Archive

Yerushalmi, Yosef Hayim, Freud’s Moses. Judaism Terminable and Interminable, New Haven & London: Yale U.P., 1991, Ch. 5. ‘Monologue with Freud’, pp. 51-100

Derrida, Jacques, ‘Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression’ Diacritics 25:2 (1995): 9-63

            Steedman, Carolyn, Dust, Manchester: Manchester U.P., 2001, Chs. 1-3

7 Feminism

Friedan, Betty, The Feminine Mystique, Chs. 5 & 6: ‘The sexual solipsism of Sigmund Freud’ and ‘The functional freeze, the feminine protest, and Margaret Mead’

Mitchell, Juliet, Psychoanalysis and Feminism, ‘Part II. Section II ‘Feminism and Freud’ 2. Betty Friedan: The Freudian Mystique’, pp. 319-327; ‘Conclusion. The Holy Family and Femininity’, pp. 361-416

Butler, Judith, Gender Trouble (1990), London: Routledge, 1999, pp. 55-84

8 The Adventure of Jacques Lacan

Lacan, Jacques, ‘Seminar on The Purloined Letter’ (1956)

Derrida, ‘Le facteur de la vérité’ (‘The Purveyor of Truth’) (1972)

Roustang, François,  , Paris : Minuit, 1978

Johnson. Barbara, ‘The Frame of Reference: Poe, Lacan, Derrida’

All texts (save Roustang) available in: Muller, John P. and Richardson, William J., The Purloined Poe. Lacan, Derrida and Psychoanalytic Reading, Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1988

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