Freud: Psychoanalysis and its Legacies
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|Course Dates||Weeks||Meeting Times||Status||Instructor(s)||CRN|
|June 17, 2013 - June 28, 2013||2||M-F 9A-11:50A||Open||Silja Maehl||10501|
What connects jokes, zombies, and sexual perversions? Even well-adjusted individuals betray the insistent force of early desires and hidden memories through slips of the tongue, dreams, or literature - hence the Freudian term “return of the repressed.”
Freud's terms and concepts are prevalent, but what do they actually signify? What exactly is the legacy of psychoanalysis for culture at large? While psychiatrists, psychologists, biologists, social scientists, philosophers, novelists and cultural critics have battled psychoanalytic theory since its inception, Sigmund Freud had an irreversible impact on 20th century culture and has offered some of the key theoretical tools in the analysis of literature, cinema, art and popular culture.
How did Freud create a science out of a self-analysis? During this two-week course, you will learn how his early experiments gradually developed into a theory that has been and still is so much more than a therapeutic treatment. We will plunge into the world of fin de siecle Vienna and explore Freud’s background in science, his famous case studies (Dora, Wolf Man, Rat Man), as well as his psychology of the unconscious, dreams, and sexuality. We will allow ourselves to be intrigued by his ideas beyond uncritical support or interest in the psychology of the couch.
In addition to lesser-known aspects of his life and work - for example, his studies on humor, his use and fatal medical advocacy of cocaine and his own suppressed literary ambitions - you will be introduced to the impact of psychoanalysis on film (e.g. Alfred Hitchcock’s Spellbound, Woody Allen’s Annie Hall, David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method) and theory (e.g. Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Jacques Lacan, Slavoj Žižek). Freud is often found, and maybe rightly so, to be the biggest male chauvinist. We will also discuss some of important arguments made by feminist theorists for and against psychoanalysis.
By introducing you to the major psychoanalytic terms and concepts, you will be able to critically integrate and apply them to contemporary debates. This course aims to equip you with analytical and reading skills essential to college-level work. Classes will emphasize discussion, facilitated by brief writing assignments and individual and/or group presentations. You will find that the strategies of close reading, textual analysis, and argumentation that you will be introduced to will have strong relevance to any area related to cultural studies, such as literature, psychology, history, sociology, anthropology or philosophy.