Freud Museum London: Psychoanalysis Podcasts A treasure trove of ideas in psychoanalysis, exploring its history and theory, and bringing psychoanalytic perspectives to bear on a diverse range of topics. Freud Museum website: www.freud.org.uk

Re-reading Freud's 1905 edition of Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality

This book presentation is devoted to the newly translated and annotated English edition of Freud’s 1905 Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality (Verso, 2016).

Freud’s publication is one of the grounding texts of 20th-century European thinking. In it Freud develops a highly innovative theory of sexuality for which pathology serves as a model to understand human existence. Freud published this text five times during his lifetime. In the book presentation, the editors will highlight the potential of the text in its relevance for contemporary psychoanalytic theory. This potential concerns three main issues. First, the text is important as regards its theory of sexuality: infantile sexuality is seen as strictly autoerotic and without an object, and hence, cannot be described in oedipal terms – Freud’s first theory of sexuality is a non-oedipal theory. Second, Freud opts for a very interesting, "pathoanalytic“ perspective on sexuality, when using the psychoneuroses (especially hysteria) as the model to understand the general human sexual constitution. Third, Freud offers a profound critique of heteronormative and functional theories of sexuality and the perversions in his contemporary psychiatric and sexological literature. Re-reading the Three Essays shows that we have to reconsider the genesis of Freudian thinking, and psychoanalysis’ potential in contemporary debates on sexuality, gender and normativity. 

Biographies:

Philippe Van Haute is Professor at the Center for Contemporary European Philosophy, Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands, and Extraordinary Professor of philosophy at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. He is a psychoanalyst of the Belgian School for Psychoanalysis and a founding member of the Société internationale de psychanalyse et de philosophie/ International Society for Psychoanalysis and Philosophy. He has published numerous books, among them Against Adaptation (2002), Confusion of Tongues (with Tomas Geyskens, 2004), From Death Drive to Attachment Theory (with Tomas Geyskens, 2007), and A Non-oedipal Psychoanalysis? (with Tomas Geyskens, 2012). He is the coeditor of the book series Figures of the Unconscious (Louvain University Press).

Herman Westerink is Lecturer at the Center for Contemporary European Philosophy, Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands, and Extraordinary Professor at the University of Leuven, Belgium. He is a member of the Société internationale de psychanalyse et de philosophie/International Society for Psychoanalysis and Philosophy. He has published numerous books and articles on psychoanalysis, including A Dark Trace: Sigmund Freud on the Sense of Guilt (2009) and The Heart of Man’s Destiny (2012). He is Editor of the book series Sigmund Freud's Werke: Wiener Interdisziplinäre Kommentare.

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Analytic psychotherapist and art historian, Robert Snell joins us to discuss his forthcoming book, Portraits of the Insane: Théodore Géricault and the Subject of Psychotherapy.

In the gloomy aftermath of the 1789 Revolution and the Napoleonic wars, the French painter Théodore Géricault (1791–1824) made a series of portraits of patients in an asylum or clinic. The paintings are unprecedented: they show people designated as insane as ordinary, unique individuals. They point to a new, essentially democratic conception of the human being, sane or mad, as available for relationship and communication: a ‘therapeutic subject’. Made during a period of massive social, cultural, and economic transformation, they register a critical moment in the history of subjectivity, and connect us to some living roots of psychoanalysis.They challenge us profoundly, in our own conflicted era, to find responses in ourselves to the stranger in our midst.

‘The scope of this book is remarkable. Robert Snell’s meditation on five portraits of mad people by Géricault is the springboard for a fascinating cultural investigation. He surveys two centuries of change in the understanding of human nature, and considers how this is reflected in changing approaches to the treatment of madness.The breadth and depth of scholarship on offer here is exceptional, and this admirable book is an object lesson in the relation of psychoanalysis to the history of ideas.’ — Michael Parsons, British Psychoanalytical Society and French Psychoanalytic Association

Robert Snell is an analytic psychotherapist and art historian, a member of the British Psychotherapy Foundation, and an Honorary Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Therapeutic Education at Roehampton University.

 

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Karin Nohr and Sebastian Leikert: Dr Kundry's Failure

The first part of this lecture sets out to investigate reasons for the well-known fact that Wagner's music and in particular his opera Parsifal evokes divergent feelings and promotes polarization among the audience. After exploring the semantic system of music which Leikert calls ‘kinaesthetical’, three principles are put forth that organize it: repetition, seduction, ritualization. Whereas religious ritualization is conservative and norm-orientated, the ethical orientation of art is creative and encourages the subject to broaden in autonomy and in the recognition of their inner world including their conflicts and the tragic aspects of life. The second part of the lecture discusses the question, if and how Wagner in Parsifal contributes to this progressive aim by analyzing the composer’s concept of empathy (Mitleid) and focusing on the Parsifal-Kundry relationship.

Karin Nohr was born in Hamburg, Germany, where she studied literature and psychology. For 20 years she worked as a psychoanalyst and lecturer focusing on the use of imagination in the therapeutic process (book publication: Bahrke, Nohr, Katathym Imaginative Psychotherapie. Lehrbuch der Arbeit mit Imaginationen in psychodynamischen Psychotherapien. Springer 2013) Having all her life played a musical instrument and having completed her training in classical singing, she wrote her Masters’ Thesis on the inner concepts musicians develop of their musical instruments (book publication: Karin Nohr, Der Musiker und sein Instrument. Tübingen, edition diskord 1997, Reprint Psychosozialverlag 2010). Many publications on both themes were to follow, among them one on Tristan and Isolde by Richard Wagner. Karin Nohr was a founding member of the German Society for Psychoanalysis and Music (www.psychoanalyse-und-musik.de); she has been on the board of this association ever since and been responsible for two annual conferences. Since 2010 she has stopped clinical work and has turned to novel writing. Her publications include: Herr Merse bricht auf. Knaus (Random House 2012) and Vier Paare und ein Ring (Knaus 2013). Both novels have been reprinted as pocket books. She lives in Berlin and in Dünsche/Wendland.

Dr Sebastian Leikert is a practicing Psychoanalyst and Training Analyst based in Saarbrücken in Germany. His main research interests include the psychoanalysis of music and the relationship between aesthetical and psychical processes. His recent publications include ‘Beauty and Conflict – Outline of a General Psychoanalytic Aesthetics’ (2012) and, as editor, ‘On the Psychoanalysis of the Aesthetical Process in Music, Cinema and Painting’ (2015). His article, written for the International Journal of Psychoanalysis entitled, ‘For Beauty is nothing but the barely endurable onset of Terror’ – outline of a general psychoanalytic aesthetics’ is forthcoming. He is also the Chairman and co-founder of the German Society for Psychoanalysis and Music.

 

In our conference 'Wagner, Freud and the End of Myth' (2013) we argued that by taking the mythic dimension and bringing it into the human realm, Wagner anticipated Freud in his depiction of unconscious processes of the mind. It could be said that Freud and Wagner were dealing with the same stuff - the “fundamental psychosexual issues that affect us all” as Barry Millington put it, and for that reason a fruitful dialogue can exist between their two bodies of work.

The present conference is entirely devoted to Wagner’s final masterpiece, Parsifal, and explores whether this sublime, troubling and contentious work prefigures psychoanalytic insight or resists psychoanalytic interpretation. As a story of compassion and redemption, which nevertheless describes a world of perversion and mental anguish, what can Parsifal tell us about the secret springs of human desire and the conflicts of human nature? And how did Wagner manage to create it?

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Patrick Carnegy in conversation with Robert Lloyd

Since he first visited Bayreuth in 1967 as music critic for The Times, Patrick Carnegy's principal research interest has been the stage history of Wagner's works. He was the first person to be appointed Dramaturg (literary and production adviser) at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. His interests also include Shakespeare and he was Stratford-upon-Avon theatre critic for The Spectator from 1998 - 2013. Dr Carnegy's books include Faust as Musician (1973), a study of Thomas Mann's Doktor Faustus, and Wagner and the Art of the Theatre (2006) which won a Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award, and in the USA a George Freedley Memorial Award for its 'outstanding contribution to the history of the theatre'. His current work is on Wagner's indebtedness to Shakespeare, on which subject he is lecturing at home and abroad as a contribution to the 400th anniversary of the playwright's death.

 

In our conference 'Wagner, Freud and the End of Myth' (2013) we argued that by taking the mythic dimension and bringing it into the human realm, Wagner anticipated Freud in his depiction of unconscious processes of the mind. It could be said that Freud and Wagner were dealing with the same stuff - the “fundamental psychosexual issues that affect us all” as Barry Millington put it, and for that reason a fruitful dialogue can exist between their two bodies of work.

The present conference is entirely devoted to Wagner’s final masterpiece, Parsifal, and explores whether this sublime, troubling and contentious work prefigures psychoanalytic insight or resists psychoanalytic interpretation. As a story of compassion and redemption, which nevertheless describes a world of perversion and mental anguish, what can Parsifal tell us about the secret springs of human desire and the conflicts of human nature? And how did Wagner manage to create it?

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Patrick Carnegy: Syberberg's Parsifal and the soul of Germany

Hans Jürgen Syberberg's 1982 film of Parsifal is a psychological exploration of the opera, its roots in Wagner's mind, and its historical afterlife. Abstracted from Amfortas's body, his wound, carried about on a cushion by two female pages, becomes a symbol of Germany's unassuaged shame and guilt, an object of fascination and horror until it can be healed. When Kundry's kiss awakens Parsifal's sexuality, Syberberg sensationally replaces the male hero by a female Parsifal. His idea, in Jungian terms, is that the animus cannot itself complete the therapeutic journey through the psychic labyrinth, for this is given only to the anima, which here also embodies the soul of Germany. Patrick Carnegy offers some reflections on the wondrous complexity and resonance of this brilliant film.

Since he first visited Bayreuth in 1967 as music critic for The Times, Patrick Carnegy's principal research interest has been the stage history of Wagner's works. He was the first person to be appointed Dramaturg (literary and production adviser) at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. His interests also include Shakespeare and he was Stratford-upon-Avon theatre critic for The Spectator from 1998 - 2013. Dr Carnegy's books include Faust as Musician (1973), a study of Thomas Mann's Doktor Faustus, and Wagner and the Art of the Theatre (2006) which won a Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award, and in the USA a George Freedley Memorial Award for its 'outstanding contribution to the history of the theatre'. His current work is on Wagner's indebtedness to Shakespeare, on which subject he is lecturing at home and abroad as a contribution to the 400th anniversary of the playwright's death.

 

In our conference 'Wagner, Freud and the End of Myth' (2013) we argued that by taking the mythic dimension and bringing it into the human realm, Wagner anticipated Freud in his depiction of unconscious processes of the mind. It could be said that Freud and Wagner were dealing with the same stuff - the “fundamental psychosexual issues that affect us all” as Barry Millington put it, and for that reason a fruitful dialogue can exist between their two bodies of work.

The present conference is entirely devoted to Wagner’s final masterpiece, Parsifal, and explores whether this sublime, troubling and contentious work prefigures psychoanalytic insight or resists psychoanalytic interpretation. As a story of compassion and redemption, which nevertheless describes a world of perversion and mental anguish, what can Parsifal tell us about the secret springs of human desire and the conflicts of human nature? And how did Wagner manage to create it?

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Tom DeRose: Wagner, Freud and Nietzsche in Berlin

With reference to Dmitri Tcherniakov’s recent Berlin production, this paper will consider the relationship between the character of Gurnemanz in Wagner’s Parsifal and Nietzsche’s conception of the ascetic priest in On the Genealogy of Morals. Although Gurnemanz appears as an un-biased narrator, something akin to the Evangelist in a Bach Passion, just how far removed from the action is he? I will suggest that the insights of Freud and René Girard can help us to gain a deeper understanding not only of this ‘all knowing’ story-teller, but also of the violence which lies at the heart of social systems. 

Tom DeRose is Volunteer Coordinator at the Freud Museum where he helps to organise conferences and runs the Freud Museum reading group. He studied History and Philosophy and has a longstanding interest in the operas of Richard Wagner. 

 

In our conference 'Wagner, Freud and the End of Myth' (2013) we argued that by taking the mythic dimension and bringing it into the human realm, Wagner anticipated Freud in his depiction of unconscious processes of the mind. It could be said that Freud and Wagner were dealing with the same stuff - the “fundamental psychosexual issues that affect us all” as Barry Millington put it, and for that reason a fruitful dialogue can exist between their two bodies of work.

The present conference is entirely devoted to Wagner’s final masterpiece, Parsifal, and explores whether this sublime, troubling and contentious work prefigures psychoanalytic insight or resists psychoanalytic interpretation. As a story of compassion and redemption, which nevertheless describes a world of perversion and mental anguish, what can Parsifal tell us about the secret springs of human desire and the conflicts of human nature? And how did Wagner manage to create it?

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Mark Berry: Interpreting Wagner’s Dreams: Staging Parsifal in the Twenty-First Century

Parsifal, like all of Wagner’s dramas, has much to tell us at the intersection of authorial intention and latent content. What is revealed and what is repressed? Dreams were certainly of great importance to Wagner, perhaps most famously in his claim that the Prelude to Das Rheingold had come to him in ‘a kind of somnambulistic state … the feeling of being immersed in rapidly flowing water,’ and indeed in the dramatic material of a number of his works. Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg is explicitly concerned with the formation of an artwork initially revealed in a dream world. That offers an interesting way to consider stagings of his works too, and their claims to fidelity or otherwise at a textual or allegedly ‘deeper’ level. I shall consider the work ‘itself’ and its adamant claim to stand apart from the operatic repertoire as a Bühnenweihfestspiel (‘stage-festival-consecration-play’) to be confined to his artistic temple at Bayreuth. I shall also consider two particular productions: Stefan Herheim (Bayreuth, 2008-12) and Dmitri Tcherniakov (Berlin, 2015-). How do directors and performers navigate the historical, social, cultural, and psychological distances and conflicts between Wagner’s intentions, his ability and inability to fulfil and perhaps even to transcend those intentions, and the needs of contemporary theatres and audiences? What is gained and what is lost? What, again, is revealed and what is repressed?

Dr Mark Berry is Senior Lecturer in Music at Royal Holloway, University of London. He read History at the University of Cambridge, where he remained for postgraduate and postdoctoral study. He is the author of Treacherous Bonds and Laughing Fire: Politics and Religion in Wagner’s Ring (Ashgate, 2006) and After Wagner: Histories of Modernist Music Drama from ‘Parsifal’ to Nono (Boydell Press, 2014) and has written widely on musical, intellectual, and cultural history from the later seventeenth century to the present day. He is at present writing a biography of Arnold Schoenberg for Reaktion Books and co-editing the Cambridge Companion to Wagner’s ‘Ring of the Nibelung’. He reviews concert and opera performances regularly, and is the author of the ‘Boulezian’ blog.

 

In our conference 'Wagner, Freud and the End of Myth' (2013) we argued that by taking the mythic dimension and bringing it into the human realm, Wagner anticipated Freud in his depiction of unconscious processes of the mind. It could be said that Freud and Wagner were dealing with the same stuff - the “fundamental psychosexual issues that affect us all” as Barry Millington put it, and for that reason a fruitful dialogue can exist between their two bodies of work.

The present conference is entirely devoted to Wagner’s final masterpiece, Parsifal, and explores whether this sublime, troubling and contentious work prefigures psychoanalytic insight or resists psychoanalytic interpretation. As a story of compassion and redemption, which nevertheless describes a world of perversion and mental anguish, what can Parsifal tell us about the secret springs of human desire and the conflicts of human nature? And how did Wagner manage to create it?

 

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Eva Rieger: Kundry’s Kiss and the Fear of Female Desire: A Gender Perspective

“Wagner’s operas are largely dramas of incestuous feelings and urges” writes James M. McGlathery (in Wagner’s Operas and Desire). Lawrence Dreyfus has also made it clear that Wagner was obsessed with sexuality, and this obsession determined the composition of operas such as Tannhäuser, Walküre and Tristan and Isolde. In his opera Parsifal, Wagner creates a female character who shows active sexual desire, and then exorcises her qua Woman for precisely that reason. Whereas men can desire women, the opposite is regarded as dangerous. In previous works, Wagner gives women like Elsa, Brünnhilde, Elisabeth and Sieglinde the power to love in a “feminine” way, but unlike Kundry they do not think of sex. I will trace the role of Kundry as she was developed by Wagner from 1865 onwards, using the development of her role to deduce which characteristics of her personality were important to him. A further clue is given by the music which speaks to us and opens up psychological insights. With respect to the semi-religious content of Parsifal, I find that the idea of gender equality is jettisoned here, which means that one can debate whether Kundry’s death is the result of Wagner’s antisemitism or his antifeminism. Finally, the question arises why Wagner should condemn women’s sexuality in such a manner (and thereby condemn the women themselves), although he was dependent on the emotional and physical love of women throughout his life.

Eva Rieger was Professor of Musicology at the University of Bremen until 2000, when she moved to Vaduz, Liechtenstein. She has worked primarily on the issue of gender and musicology and written biographies of Nannerl Mozart, Minna Wagner and Friedelind Wagner. The latter was published in English (Boydell 2013), as was a study of the female roles in Richard Wagner's operas entitled Wagner’s Women (Boydell 2011). Her book on the singer Frida Leider will be published in 2016 (Frida Leider. Sängerin im Zwiespalt ihrer Zeit (Olms)).

 

In our conference 'Wagner, Freud and the End of Myth' (2013) we argued that by taking the mythic dimension and bringing it into the human realm, Wagner anticipated Freud in his depiction of unconscious processes of the mind. It could be said that Freud and Wagner were dealing with the same stuff - the “fundamental psychosexual issues that affect us all” as Barry Millington put it, and for that reason a fruitful dialogue can exist between their two bodies of work.

The present conference is entirely devoted to Wagner’s final masterpiece, Parsifal, and explores whether this sublime, troubling and contentious work prefigures psychoanalytic insight or resists psychoanalytic interpretation. As a story of compassion and redemption, which nevertheless describes a world of perversion and mental anguish, what can Parsifal tell us about the secret springs of human desire and the conflicts of human nature? And how did Wagner manage to create it?

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December 22, 2016  

Stephen Gee: Wagner’s Parsifal: A Hymn of Purity and Danger

Parsifal, the fool, is thrown out of an ailing religious community after witnessing a mysterious ritual of healing and purification, reluctantly officiated by a disgraced spiritual leader condemned to unremitting agony. In Act 11 he wanders into a magic garden, and almost gets involved in a sort of 19th century chemsex party. Alarmed by the sudden arousal of his desire and the prospect of endless enjoyment, he longs to return to the earlier scene of anguish and humiliation, which he begins to understand for the first time. A nostalgia for the sublime propels him back to the community of knights, where he is met by his penitent seductress, Kundry.

Wagner’s operas have provoked many great philosophers. Some, like Adorno, were hostile to what they saw as an ideological forerunner of 20th Century political catastrophes. Psychoanalysis raises another kind of intellectual challenge. Is Parsifal a menacing premonition of totalitarianism, or does it elaborate with unprecedented complexity the enigmatic after-effect of the trauma of human beings throughout history, who can never predict whether they will survive together in communities continually subverted by unconscious desires?

Stephen Gee is a member and former Chair of The Site for Contemporary Psychoanalysis. He has contributed to Site conferences on Winnicott, Lacan, Homosexuality, and Class. He organised a rehearsed reading of Sarah Kane's 4:48 Psychosis followed by a colloquium in which psychoanalysts of different schools talked about the issues raised by the play and the challenges facing people suffering with psychosis. He ran a performance group at the Studio Upstairs where he was also a supervisor. He is a member of the editorial group of the Site's psychoanalytic journal, and has written on the problematic history of psychoanalysis and homosexuality. He interviewed the director Phyllida Lloyd at The Site and at the English National Opera on her 2005 production of Wagner's Ring cycle. He has a private practice in South London and teaches regularly at The Site and on other psychoanalytic trainings.

 

In our conference 'Wagner, Freud and the End of Myth' (2013) we argued that by taking the mythic dimension and bringing it into the human realm, Wagner anticipated Freud in his depiction of unconscious processes of the mind. It could be said that Freud and Wagner were dealing with the same stuff - the “fundamental psychosexual issues that affect us all” as Barry Millington put it, and for that reason a fruitful dialogue can exist between their two bodies of work.

The present conference is entirely devoted to Wagner’s final masterpiece, Parsifal, and explores whether this sublime, troubling and contentious work prefigures psychoanalytic insight or resists psychoanalytic interpretation. As a story of compassion and redemption, which nevertheless describes a world of perversion and mental anguish, what can Parsifal tell us about the secret springs of human desire and the conflicts of human nature? And how did Wagner manage to create it?

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Tom Artin: Primal Scene/Primal Wound: The psychoanalytic arc of Parsifal

After they have witnessed the scarlet-suffused ritual revealing the Grail in Act I, Gurnemanz poses to Parsifal the primal question: Weißt du was du sahst? Do you know what you saw? This question is an enigma whose solution becomes the goal of the “pure fool’s” arduous quest. The answer, we will discover, is the primal scene, which, in Act II, is experienced by our hero not just vicariously, but in the flesh viscerally and shatteringly in Kundry’s passionate embrace. “Amfortas! The wound!” Parsifal cries out in retreat from the brink of penetration. In that sudden insight, he is overwhelmed by the reality of the castration threat lurking at the heart of every primal scene. The emotional sequelae following upon erotic enlightenment—guilt, remorse, compassion, and finally absolution—constitute the measured denouement of Parsifal, which culminates in a fantasy of redemption and the illusory resolution of primal anxiety.

Tom Artin is the author most recently of What Parsifal Saw. A previous book, The Wagner Complex; Genesis and Meaning of The Ring, was presented at the Freud Museum’s Freud/Wagner conference in 2013. He has lectured on this book to Richard Wagner Societies in the United States, Austria, and Germany. Other books are The Allegory of Adventure: Reading Chrétien’s Erec and Yvain, and Earth Talk: Independent Voices on the Environment. Artin holds both a B.A. in English Literature, and a Ph D. in Comparative Medieval Literature from Princeton University.

 

In our conference 'Wagner, Freud and the End of Myth' (2013) we argued that by taking the mythic dimension and bringing it into the human realm, Wagner anticipated Freud in his depiction of unconscious processes of the mind. It could be said that Freud and Wagner were dealing with the same stuff - the “fundamental psychosexual issues that affect us all” as Barry Millington put it, and for that reason a fruitful dialogue can exist between their two bodies of work.

The present conference is entirely devoted to Wagner’s final masterpiece, Parsifal, and explores whether this sublime, troubling and contentious work prefigures psychoanalytic insight or resists psychoanalytic interpretation. As a story of compassion and redemption, which nevertheless describes a world of perversion and mental anguish, what can Parsifal tell us about the secret springs of human desire and the conflicts of human nature? And how did Wagner manage to create it?

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Freud's turn to Greek myth is very well known. His Oedipus emerges out of a long history of nineteenth-century obsessions with ancient Greece. But Freud's psychoanalysis of Greek myth was also a response to the nineteenth-century sexological fascination with the sexual decadence of ancient Rome. This talk explores the intriguing story of how the obscene and erotic verse of Roman epigram became an authoritative language for nineteenth-century sexual science, in order to ask, how and why did Freud's interest in Greek myth emerge out of the obscene sexual Latin of Richard von Krafft-Ebing's 1886 book Psychopathia Sexualis, the most famous work of sexology in the nineteenth century?

Sex: Antiquity and it Legacy is published by I.B.Tauris (February, 2013).

Dr Daniel Orrells is Lecturer in Ancient Greek Language and Literature at King's College London. His research examines the presence of classical antiquity in modern cultural, literary and intellectual history. His most recent book Sex: Antiquity and its Legacy offers a fresh, new narrative about the importance of the ancient world for the development of sexology and psychoanalysis.
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This afternoon’s symposium explores how artists and writers use the creative process to face and work through traumatic and painful experiences of loss.

Part 2: Fay Ballard, artist, in conversation with writer Jeremy Gavron, author of A Woman on the Edge of Time, discussing how the early and unexpected deaths of their mothers – Fay’s of a sudden acute illness, Jeremy’s by suicide – has had a profound influence on their lives and work.

Chaired by Esther Dreifuss-Kattan.

The death of her mother in 1964 when Fay was seven, and of her father, the novelist J G Ballard, in 2009, became the catalyst for major change in her work. Clearing the family home, Fay began to draw her mother from discovered photos as well as family possessions which evoked strong memories. These drawings were exhibited in ‘House Clearance’ at Eleven Spitalfields Gallery, London in 2014, at & Model Gallery Leeds in 2015 alongside new work.

A Woman on the Edge of Time is Jeremy Gavron’s moving memoir of his mother, Hannah Gavron, who committed suicide in 1965 when he was only four. Bright, sophisticated, and swept up in the progressive politics of the 1960s, Hannah was a promising academic and the wife of a rising entrepreneur.

Searching for the mother who was never talked about as he grew up, Gavron discovers letters, diaries, and photos that paint a picture of a brilliant but complex young woman grappling to find an outlet for her creativity, sexuality, and intelligence. Piecing together the events that led to his mother's suicide, Gavron discovers that Hannah's success came at a price, and that the pressures she faced as she carved out her place in a man's world may have contributed to her death.

'I was mesmerised by Jeremy Gavron's extraordinary memoir of his mother ... It's one of those works that cross over into the real life so justly that all of life is better understood by it.' Ali Smith

About the book:

Art and Mourning: The role of creativity in healing trauma and loss, by Esther Dreifuss Kattan, Routledge 2016

Esther Dreifuss-Kattan explores the relationship between creativity and the work of self-mourning in the lives of 20th century artists and thinkers. The role of artistic and creative endeavours is well-known within psychoanalytic circles in helping to heal in the face of personal loss, trauma, and mourning.

In this book, Esther Dreifuss-Kattan analyses the work of major modernist and contemporary artists and thinkers through a psychoanalytic lens. In coming to terms with their own mortality, figures like Albert Einstein, Louise Bourgeois, Paul Klee, Eva Hesse and others were able to access previously unknown reserves of creative energy in their late works, as well as a new healing experience of time outside of the continuous temporality of everyday life.

Dreifuss-Kattan explores what we can learn about using the creative process to face and work through traumatic and painful experiences of loss. Art and Mourning will inspire psychoanalysts and psychotherapists to understand the power of artistic expression in transforming loss and traumas into perseverance, survival and gain.

Art and Mourning offers a new perspective on trauma and will appeal to psychoanalysts and psychotherapists, psychologists, clinical social workers and mental health workers, as well as artists and art historians.

Biographies:

Dr. Esther Dreifuss-Kattan is a psychoanalyst, psychotherapist and art therapist in private practice in Beverly Hills, California. Dr. Esther Dreifuss-Kattan is the President Elect of the New Center for Psychoanalysis in Los Angeles. She works with adults of all ages, adolescents and children. Given Dr. Dreifuss-Kattan’s own artistic background, she specializes in helping clients who are involved in various creative pursuits.

Dr. Dreifuss-Kattan’s second specialty is working with adult and paediatric cancer patients/survivors and their families as well as those with chronic pain. In addition to her private practice, she also works extensively with Los Angeles-based organizations devoted to treating those with illness.

She received her PhD in Psychoanalysis from the Southern California Institute of Psychoanalysis, now the New Center for Psychoanalysis, and earned another in Art Therapy and Psychooncology from the Union Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Dr. Dreifuss-Kattan is currently a senior faculty member at the New Center for Psychoanalysis. Her published books and articles center on clinical practice, theory in psychoanalysis and art, art therapy and psychooncology. She lectures nationally and internationally.

Jane McAdam Freud MA RCA is a sculptor and multi-disciplinary artist educated at the Royal College of Art and is a recipient of the British Art Medal Scholarship in Rome. McAdam Freud exhibits internationally, holding twenty solo shows since 1996. Jane's work has been acquired for numerous Public Collections including the British Museum, V&A, National Gallery Archives, and the National Gallery of Greece.

Fay Ballard studied History of Art at Sussex University in the late 1970s and worked at the Museum of London, Royal Academy of Arts and Tate, where she was involved in the creation of Tate Modern. She completed an MA Fine Art at Central Saint Martin’s in 2006.

Commissioned by The Prince of Wales to paint flora at Highgrove, her plant portraits have been exhibited widely. Fay was elected to the Royal Watercolour Society in 2007 and served as a trustee of Camden Arts Centre and the Victoria Miro Education Trust.

Fay is a member of the Drawing Room Professional Network. She teaches, most recently, at the RCA and Camberwell Art School.

Jeremy Gavron is the author of two non-fiction books and three novels, including The Book of Israel, winner of the Encore Award, and An Acre of Barren Ground. A former foreign correspondent in Africa and India, he lives now in London, and teaches at Warren Wilson College in North Carolina.

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This symposium explores how artists and writers use the creative process to face and work through traumatic and painful experiences of loss.

Part 1: Esther Dreifuss-Kattan in conversation with Jane McAdam Freud, discussing how Jane used her artistic practice to cope with the loss of her father, Lucian Freud.

Although a great inspiration to her and a regular presence in her childhood, Jane’s father Lucian Freud became only an occasional figure in his daughter’s life as she grew up; when Jane was eight years old, father and daughter lost contact, only to reconnect when Jane was 31. By then she was respected artist herself, having established a reputation as a sculptor under the name of Jane McAdam. By the end of Lucian’s life they were in regular contact. Jane says: ‘At that time I saw my father regularly and, over about six months, we made sculpture. The last time I saw my father was shortly before his death, when I finished the sketches of him. I’ve now used them to make a large portrait sculpture. It helps me to keep him alive’.

About the book:

Art and Mourning: The role of creativity in healing trauma and loss, by Esther Dreifuss Kattan, Routledge 2016

Esther Dreifuss-Kattan explores the relationship between creativity and the work of self-mourning in the lives of 20th century artists and thinkers. The role of artistic and creative endeavours is well-known within psychoanalytic circles in helping to heal in the face of personal loss, trauma, and mourning.

In this book, Esther Dreifuss-Kattan analyses the work of major modernist and contemporary artists and thinkers through a psychoanalytic lens. In coming to terms with their own mortality, figures like Albert Einstein, Louise Bourgeois, Paul Klee, Eva Hesse and others were able to access previously unknown reserves of creative energy in their late works, as well as a new healing experience of time outside of the continuous temporality of everyday life.

Dreifuss-Kattan explores what we can learn about using the creative process to face and work through traumatic and painful experiences of loss. Art and Mourning will inspire psychoanalysts and psychotherapists to understand the power of artistic expression in transforming loss and traumas into perseverance, survival and gain.

Art and Mourning offers a new perspective on trauma and will appeal to psychoanalysts and psychotherapists, psychologists, clinical social workers and mental health workers, as well as artists and art historians.

Biographies:

Dr. Esther Dreifuss-Kattan is a psychoanalyst, psychotherapist and art therapist in private practice in Beverly Hills, California. Dr. Esther Dreifuss-Kattan is the President Elect of the New Center for Psychoanalysis in Los Angeles. She works with adults of all ages, adolescents and children. Given Dr. Dreifuss-Kattan’s own artistic background, she specializes in helping clients who are involved in various creative pursuits.

Dr. Dreifuss-Kattan’s second specialty is working with adult and paediatric cancer patients/survivors and their families as well as those with chronic pain. In addition to her private practice, she also works extensively with Los Angeles-based organizations devoted to treating those with illness.

She received her PhD in Psychoanalysis from the Southern California Institute of Psychoanalysis, now the New Center for Psychoanalysis, and earned another in Art Therapy and Psychooncology from the Union Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Dr. Dreifuss-Kattan is currently a senior faculty member at the New Center for Psychoanalysis. Her published books and articles center on clinical practice, theory in psychoanalysis and art, art therapy and psychooncology. She lectures nationally and internationally.

Jane McAdam Freud MA RCA is a sculptor and multi-disciplinary artist educated at the Royal College of Art and is a recipient of the British Art Medal Scholarship in Rome. McAdam Freud exhibits internationally, holding twenty solo shows since 1996. Jane's work has been acquired for numerous Public Collections including the British Museum, V&A, National Gallery Archives, and the National Gallery of Greece.

Fay Ballard studied History of Art at Sussex University in the late 1970s and worked at the Museum of London, Royal Academy of Arts and Tate, where she was involved in the creation of Tate Modern. She completed an MA Fine Art at Central Saint Martin’s in 2006.

Commissioned by The Prince of Wales to paint flora at Highgrove, her plant portraits have been exhibited widely. Fay was elected to the Royal Watercolour Society in 2007 and served as a trustee of Camden Arts Centre and the Victoria Miro Education Trust.

Fay is a member of the Drawing Room Professional Network. She teaches, most recently, at the RCA and Camberwell Art School.

Jeremy Gavron is the author of two non-fiction books and three novels, including The Book of Israel, winner of the Encore Award, and An Acre of Barren Ground. A former foreign correspondent in Africa and India, he lives now in London, and teaches at Warren Wilson College in North Carolina.

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In this lecture Professor Naomi Segal explores the pleasures and pitfalls of translation, particularly translating psychoanalysis, and introduces the life and work of French psychoanalyst Didier Anzieu.

The lecture will be followed by the launch and drinks reception for The Skin-ego, Didier Anzieu, tr. Naomi Segal, with introductions from Estela Welldon and Dr Andrew Asibong.

Translating Anzieu: This paper is in two parts. The first introduces the principles, pleasures & realities of translation, and of translating psychoanalysis in particular. Are all translators murderers, pests or parasites? Are they trustworthy or traitors, or even ‘faithful bigamists’? Might translation be a feminine/feminised activity because most translators are women, or because the target -language has to be maternal, or because it embodies the irony of the multi-skilled serving the mono-skilled? The second part introduces the life and work of Didier Anzieu. The Skin-ego is the theory of a ‘vast metaphor’ based on ‘a paradox: the centre is situated at the periphery’. Freud’s image of the ego as ‘the projection of a surface’ is comprehensively developed, and the sense of touch is ‘not only placed at the origin of the psyche but shown to provide the latter permanently with what might also be called the mental backcloth, the ground upon which psychical contents are inscribed as figures, or the containing wrapping that makes it possible for the psychical apparatus to have contents’.

Didier Anzieu (1923–1999) was a French psychoanalyst and theorist whose work brings the body back to the centre of psychoanalytic enquiry. He was the author of numerous books and articles, on areas ranging from the psychology of groups and psychodrama to theories of creativity and thought; he also published short stories, literary criticism, a drama, a book of cartoons and a study of May ‘68 written from the heart of Nanterre. His research was always conducted alongside his academic and clinical practice, both characterised by inclusivity, curiosity, a broad mind and a gentle manner. Anzieu’s major work, Le Moi-peau [The Skin-ego], a psychoanalytic theory focused on the psychical skin, is presented here in a new English translation.

Naomi Segal is a professor of modern languages, specialising in comparative literary and cultural studies, gender, psychoanalysis and the body. In 2004 she created and then directed the Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies, University of London. She has published 15 books, of which the most recent monographs are Consensuality: Didier Anzieu, gender and the sense of touch (2009), André Gide: Pederasty and Pedagogy (1998) and The Adulteress’s Child: authorship and desire in the nineteenth-century novel (1992). Naomi Segal is an Academic Associate of the British Psychoanalytical Society, a Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Palmes académiques and a Member of the Academia Europaea.

Estela Welldon is a psychoanalytical psychotherapist who worked for three decades at the Tavistock Portman Clinics NHS Trust. She is founder and Honorary President for life of the International Association for Forensic Psychotherapy, a Fellow of the RCPsych, a Senior Member of the BAP, BPC and of the CBF. She is an honorary member of the IGA and of the SCPP, Tavistock Clinic. In 1997 she was awarded a D.Sc. (Honorary Doctorate of Science) degree by Oxford Brookes University. In 2014, she became an Honorary member of the American Psychoanalytic Association for her work in helping to understand women who harm children. Her most recent book is Playing with Dynamite (Karnac, 2011). She is the author of Mother, Madonna Whore: The Idealization and Denigration of Motherhood (1988).

Dr Andrew Asibong is Reader in Film and Cultural Studies at Birkbeck, University of London, where he has worked since 2006. He read Modern Languages at Oxford University, and carried out his doctoral research on stigma and metamorphosis in French literature and film at King's College London. He is co-director of the research centre Birkbeck Research in Aesthetics of Kinship and Community, co-editor of the journal Studies in Gender and Sexuality and former convenor of the Psychoanalysis Working Group at Birkbeck. Recent publications include Marie NDiaye: Blankness and Recognition (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2013) and ‘"Then look!”: un-born attachments and the half-moving image’, Studies in Gender and Sexuality (16:2), 2015.

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May 6, 2016  

Oona Grimes, Rachel Goodyear, Carol Seigel, Dr Cleo Van Velsen, chaired by Jeremy Akerman

Join artists Oona Grimes and Rachel Goodyear, Freud Museum London Director, Carol Seigel and Consultant Psychiatrist in Forensic Psychotherapy Dr Cleo Van Velsen, as they explore the artists’ work in the context of both the Freud family home and the Tall Tales touring exhibition programme.

Oona Grimes is a London based compulsive scribbler, maker and storyteller. She is a visiting Lecturer at the Royal College of Art, London, and Ruskin School of Art : Oxford University & University of the Arts London, represented by Danielle Arnaud.

Rachel Goodyear’s practice has a primary focus on drawing. Often using familiar but incongruous images, Goodyear’s delicately rendered works reference human fears and desires and pre-sent a precarious balance between the playful and the macabre. Rachel lives and works in Manchester, is represented by Pippy Houldsworth Gallery and in 2015/2016 had a major solo exhibition Restless Guests, at The Drawing Centre, New York.

Carol Seigel has been Director of the Freud Museum London since 2009. Carol is a historian, and has worked at museums in London for over twenty years, including the Jewish Museum, the Museum of London, and Hampstead Museum.

Dr Cleo Van Velsen is currently the Responsible Clinician in the Personality Disorder Medium Secure Unit in East London. She has worked for the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture and has extensive experience in the assessment, management and treatment of those suffering with personality difficulties, violence and trauma. She is the coeditor of a textbook on Forensic Psychotherapy and section editor of the Edinburgh International Encyclopedia of Psychoanalysis.

Jeremy Akerman is an artist and one half of Akerman Daly (Est. 2004), an organisation dedicated to publishing writing by artists. AD’s online presence makes the case for text as image. Akerman’s city and rural landscape paintings deploy a perspectival axis that directs a viewer’s eye through the picture. The viewer’s eye travels in, finding that the painting collapses and re-constitutes itself as they do so.

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Professor Brett Kahr in Conversation with Dan Chambers

What actually happens in psychotherapy? And does it really work?

Psychotherapy has become a mainstay of our emotional wellbeing, and yet, in spite of its century-long track record, many people still regard “therapy” with a certain suspicion. Is psychotherapy simply a self-indulgent exercise in navel-gazing for bored, well-heeled neurotics with too much time on their hands, or is it, in fact, an essential route to the achievement of solid mental health, enhanced creativity and productivity, and richer, more gratifying intimate relationships?

In this seminar, the television producer Dan Chambers will speak with Professor Brett Kahr, one of Great Britain’s leading psychotherapists, and together, they will explore in detail both the myths and the realities about the psychotherapeutic process. The evening will consider such fundamental and frequently asked questions as:
  • What actually happens in psychotherapy?
  • How long might therapy last?
  • Does therapy blame everything on one’s parents?
  • Will I be cured or will I be brain-washed?
  • How do I find an experienced and trustworthy psychotherapist?
  • How much will psychotherapy cost?
  • Will I still recognise myself at the end of the process?
  • Might there be any risks associated with undergoing therapy?
We will consider psychotherapy in its historical context, examining the way in which the art and science of psychotherapy has evolved since Sigmund Freud’s creation of the “talking cure”.

This evening workshop will allow ample time for discussion and questions from the audience.

 

Professor Brett Kahr has worked in the mental health field for over thirty-five years. He is currently Senior Clinical Research Fellow in Psychotherapy and Mental Health at the Centre for Child Mental Health in London, and Senior Fellow at the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships at the Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology. He has worked in many branches of the psychotherapy profession as clinician, teacher, researcher, author, and broadcaster, having served previously as Resident Psychotherapist on B.B.C. Radio 2. Author of eight books including Life Lessons from Freud and, also, the best-selling Sex and the Psyche, he is also Series Editor of the “Forensic Psychotherapy Monograph Series” for Karnac Books and Series Co-Editor of the “History of Psychoanalysis Series”. He practices psychotherapy with individuals and with couples in Hampstead, North London, and he is a Trustee of the Freud Museum and of Freud Museum Publications.

Dan Chambers is the Creative Director of Blink Films, one of Great Britain’s leading factual independent television production companies, with an output covering history, science, documentary, and cookery for all the key channels in the United Kingdom and all the leading factual channels in America. Previously, he has been Head of Science Commissioning at Channel 4 and the Director of Programmes at Channel 5. He has directed science documentaries for the Equinox science strand, and he has produced the Channel 4 and P.B.S. history strand, Secrets of the Dead. Dan studied Psychology and Philosophy at the University of Oxford, and he is currently a Governor of the London Film School and a Trustee of the Freud Museum.
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Gavin Turk in conversation with Joseph Kosuth, moderated by James Putnam
 
‘We are asleep. Our life is like a dream. But in our better hours we wake up just enough to realise that we are dreaming.’ - Ludwig Wittgenstein

Gavin Turk’s installation and intervention in Freud’s former residence, Wittgenstein’s Dream, investigates the intriguing conceptual dialogue between two enlightened Viennese thinkers of the 20th century, Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) and Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951).

Gavin Turk was born 1967 in Guildford, from 1989-91 he attended the Royal College of Art. For his MA exhibition show Cave, Turk notoriously presented a whitewashed studio space containing only a blue heritage plaque commemorating his presence. Though refused a degree, his subsequent infamy attracted the attention of Charles Saatchi and Turk became part of a loosely associated group known as the ‘Young British Artists’ (YBAs). He has continued to show worldwide and has work in many national museum collections (including Tate and MOMA). His work often deals with concerns of authority and identity and has taken up many forms including the painted bronze, the waxwork, the recycled art-historical icon and the use of litter.

Joseph Kosuth is one of the pioneers of Conceptual art and installation art, initiating language-based works and appropriation strategies in the 1960s. His work has consistently explored the production and role of language and meaning within art. The philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein, among others, influenced the development of his work. Kosuth’s installation Zero & Not was exhibited at Berggasse 19 - The Sigmund Freud Museum in Vienna, marking the centennial of Sigmund Freud’s birth. In its artistic and curatorial approach the installation drew on his seminal exhibition projects Wittgenstein – Das Spiel des Unsagbaren at the Vienna Secession (1989) in Austria and the Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels.

Wittgenstein’s Dream is the latest in the critically acclaimed ongoing series of Freud Museum London exhibitions curated by James Putnam that have included projects by Sophie Calle, Sarah Lucas, Ellen Gallagher, Tim Noble & Sue Webster, Mat Collishaw and Miroslaw Balka.


In association with Ben Brown Fine Arts.
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Understanding the Socio-psychological Roots of Contemporary Right-wing Populism

 
Samir Gandesha
 
One of the key problems of contemporary politics is the presence and growing power of right-wing populist movements throughout the Western world from the US "Tea Party," to Britain's UKIP to Pegida in Germany and Golden Dawn in Greece. This paper poses the following question: To what extent is it possible to draw upon the social-psychological concept of the "authoritarian personality" in the work of Erich Fromm and Theodor W. Adorno et. al. to understand the distinctive populist personality structure of contemporary neo-liberal capitalism?
 
Samir Gandesha is an Associate Professor in the Department of the Humanities and the Director of the Institute for the Humanities at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver. He specializes in modern European thought and culture, with a particular emphasis on the 19th and 20th centuries. His work has appeared in Political Theory, New German Critique, Kant Studien, Philosophy and Social Criticism, Topia, the European Legacy, the European Journal of Social Theory, Art Papers, the Cambridge Companion to Adorno and Herbert Marcuse: A Critical Reader as well as in several other edited books. He is co-editor with Lars Rensmann of "Arendt and Adorno: Political and Philosophical Investigations" (Stanford, 2012). His book (coedited with Johan Hartle) "Reification and Spectacle: On the Timeliness of Western Marxism" (University of Amsterdam Press) is forthcoming later this year and he has also recently completed (also with Johan Hartle) "Poetry of the Future: Marx and the Aesthetic." He has recently lectured at the Centre for the Study of Marxist Social Theory at the University of Nanjing, the Taipei Biennale and at the School for Language, Literature and Cultural Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi.
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Part 5: Joseph Calabrese - Therapeutic Emplotment in the Native American Church

In this talk, I will outline my analysis of the Native American peyote ritual, which involves a dialectic between therapeutic symbolism and the use of the psychedelic peyote cactus within an alternative semiotic-reflexive paradigm of psychopharmacology. I will discuss the design features of the ritual intervention as well as examples of healing experiences, which demonstrate the ways in which therapeutic efficacy is embedded in ritual symbols and cultural mythology, generating healing transformations and enduring insights. 

Joseph Calabrese is Reader of Medical Anthropology at University College London. He completed his PhD at the University of Chicago, training in anthropology and clinical psychology, with two postdoctoral fellowships at Harvard Medical School in Clinical Psychology and Medical Anthropology. He was also the Cannon Fellow in Patient Experience and Health Policy at Green Templeton College, University of Oxford. He is author of A Different Medicine: Postcolonial Healing in the Native American Church (2013).


Why do symbols have such a powerful influence on human beings?

This question lies at the heart of both psychoanalysis and anthropology. In his seminal paper ‘The Effectiveness of Symbols’, French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss compared the healing practices of shamans and psychoanalysts in terms of the structuring effects of symbol and language on the body.

Lévi-Strauss opened up new ways of thinking about the symbolic dimension of human life, offering a subtle reformulation of the Freudian unconscious and putting forward a theory of symbolic function that continues to resonate within both fields.

This conference brings together eminent speakers from the fields of psychoanalysis and anthropology to reflect on Lévi-Strauss’ paper and its influence, and to discuss symbolic effectiveness in their own research and practice.
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Part 4: Darian Leader - Symbol and Symbolic Function

This talk will explore some common misconceptions about symbolism, and discuss aspects of the formation of symbols and the establishment of the symbolic function.

Darian Leader is a writer, psychoanalyst, trustee of the Freud Museum and founding member of the Centre for Freudian Analysis and Research. He has written numerous books, including Strictly Bipolar (2013), What is Madness? (2011), The New Black (2008) and Freud's Footnotes (2000)

Why do symbols have such a powerful influence on human beings?

This question lies at the heart of both psychoanalysis and anthropology. In his seminal paper ‘The Effectiveness of Symbols’, French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss compared the healing practices of shamans and psychoanalysts in terms of the structuring effects of symbol and language on the body.

Lévi-Strauss opened up new ways of thinking about the symbolic dimension of human life, offering a subtle reformulation of the Freudian unconscious and putting forward a theory of symbolic function that continues to resonate within both fields.

This conference brings together eminent speakers from the fields of psychoanalysis and anthropology to reflect on Lévi-Strauss’ paper and its influence, and to discuss symbolic effectiveness in their own research and practice.
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Part 3: Boris Wiseman - Symbolic efficacy: From Ritual to Psychoanalysis and Back Again

In this paper I will address the question of the efficacy of symbols by exploring some echoes between ritual and psychoanalytic practices. I will start by examining Lévi-Strauss’s seductive theory of symbolic efficacy and will then turn to a contemporary anthropological revision of that theory by Carlo Severi (Laboratoire d’anthropologie sociale) and its psychoanalytic resonances. I will conclude by turning the lens of anthropology onto psychoanalysis and by asking what Amerindian ritual practices may tell us about the talking cure.

Boris Wiseman is Associate Professor at the Department of English, Germanic and Romance Studies, University of Copenhagen. He is the author of several books, including Lévi-Strauss, Anthropology and Aesthetics (2007), and edited The Cambridge Companion to Lévi-Strauss (2009).
Why do symbols have such a powerful influence on human beings?


This question lies at the heart of both psychoanalysis and anthropology. In his seminal paper ‘The Effectiveness of Symbols’, French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss compared the healing practices of shamans and psychoanalysts in terms of the structuring effects of symbol and language on the body.

Lévi-Strauss opened up new ways of thinking about the symbolic dimension of human life, offering a subtle reformulation of the Freudian unconscious and putting forward a theory of symbolic function that continues to resonate within both fields.

This conference brings together eminent speakers from the fields of psychoanalysis and anthropology to reflect on Lévi-Strauss’ paper and its influence, and to discuss symbolic effectiveness in their own research and practice.
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Part 2: Henrietta Moore - Exclusion, Unsustainability and the Determinations of the Symbolic

This paper discusses the difficulties of adhering to Lévi-Strauss’s view of the symbolic and his account of the effectiveness of symbols. It uses material from Papua New Guinea and China to explore the relationship between desire and ethics as a means of exploring some contemporary problems in articulating the relationship between the psyche and the social.

Henrietta Moore is the founding Director of the new Institute for Global Prosperity at University College London where she also holds the Chair of Philosophy, Culture and Design. She is an internationally renowned social anthropologist who has written extensively on the interrelation between material and symbolic gender systems, embodiment and subjectivity. She is the author of several books, including The Subject of Anthropology (2007), a cutting-edge analysis of gendered subjectivity and a ground-breaking contribution to the debates between anthropology and psychoanalysis.


Why do symbols have such a powerful influence on human beings?

This question lies at the heart of both psychoanalysis and anthropology. In his seminal paper ‘The Effectiveness of Symbols’, French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss compared the healing practices of shamans and psychoanalysts in terms of the structuring effects of symbol and language on the body.

Lévi-Strauss opened up new ways of thinking about the symbolic dimension of human life, offering a subtle reformulation of the Freudian unconscious and putting forward a theory of symbolic function that continues to resonate within both fields.

This conference brings together eminent speakers from the fields of psychoanalysis and anthropology to reflect on Lévi-Strauss’ paper and its influence, and to discuss symbolic effectiveness in their own research and practice.

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Part 1: Stefan Marianski - Introduction

By means of introduction, Stefan will present a short synopsis of Levi-Strauss’ paper ‘The Effectiveness of Symbols’, discussing some of its key ideas, its psychoanalytic influences, and how Levi-Strauss’ thought was in turn taken up within psychoanalysis.


Why do symbols have such a powerful influence on human beings?

This question lies at the heart of both psychoanalysis and anthropology. In his seminal paper ‘The Effectiveness of Symbols’, French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss compared the healing practices of shamans and psychoanalysts in terms of the structuring effects of symbol and language on the body.

Lévi-Strauss opened up new ways of thinking about the symbolic dimension of human life, offering a subtle reformulation of the Freudian unconscious and putting forward a theory of symbolic function that continues to resonate within both fields.

This conference brings together eminent speakers from the fields of psychoanalysis and anthropology to reflect on Lévi-Strauss’ paper and its influence, and to discuss symbolic effectiveness in their own research and practice.

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Panel discussion - Jane Haberlin, Jeanette Winterson and Eleanor Longden

Hearing voices has been described as everything from schizophrenic to godlike. Radical psychiatry in the 1960s contested what today are termed 'auditory hallucinations' seeing them as containing what couldn't be said. The psychology researcher Eleanor Longden isn't crazy -- and neither are many other people who hear voices in their heads. She says the psychic phenomenon is a "creative and ingenious survival strategy" that should be seen "not as an abstract symptom of illness to be endured, but as complex, significant, and meaningful experience to be explored," Recent research shows that there are a variety of explanations for hearing voices, with many people beginning to hear voices as a response to extreme stress or trauma.
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Adam Phillips in conversation with Deborah Levy

     
Unforbidden Pleasures is the dazzling new book from Adam Phillips, author of Missing Out and Going Sane.

Adam Phillips takes Oscar Wilde as a springboard for a deep dive into the meanings and importance of the Unforbidden, from the fall of our 'first parents' Adam and Eve to the work of the great twentieth-century psychoanalytic thinkers.

Unforbidden pleasures, he argues, are always the ones we tend not to think about, yet when you look into it, it is probable that we get as much pleasure, if not more, from them. And we may have underestimated just how restricted our restrictiveness, in thrall to the forbidden and its rules, may make us.

Adam Phillips is a psychoanalyst and the author of several previous books, all widely acclaimed, including On Kissing, Tickling and Being Bored, Going Sane and Side Effects. His most recent books are On Kindness, co-written with the historian Barbara Taylor, Missing Out: In Praise of the Unlived Life, On Balance and One Way and Another.

‘Every mind-blowing book from Adam Phillips suspends all the certainties we are most attached to and somehow makes this feel exhilarating’ - Deborah Levy

‘Phillips radiates infectious charm. The brew of gaiety, compassion, exuberance and idealism is heady and disarming’ - Sunday Times

‘Phillips is one of the finest prose stylists at work in the language, an Emerson for our time’ - John Banville

Unforbidden Pleasures is published by Hamish Hamilton (5 November 2015)

Deborah Levy writes fiction, plays, and poetry. Her work has been staged by the Royal Shakespeare Company, and she is the author of highly praised books including The Unloved, Swallowing Geography, and Beautiful Mutants. Her novel Swimming Home was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. In 2012 Levy adapted two of Freud's case histories, Dora and The Wolfman for BBC Radio 4. Things I Don’t Want to Know is the title of Levy’s sparkling response to George Orwell’s essay ‘Why I Write’, an autobiographical essay on writing, gender politics and philosophy. Her new novel, Hot Milk, will be published in 2016 by Hamish Hamilton.

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Freud Memorial Lecture 2015 - Professor Dany Nobus

Drawing on archive material including press cuttings, obituaries and letters of condolence, Professor Dany Nobus will assess the status of psychoanalysis in Europe and the Americas on the eve of the Second World War, and evaluate the impact of Freud's death on the broader intellectual community.

This formerly postponed lecture marks the 76th anniversary of Sigmund Freud’s death on 23 September 1939, here at 20 Maresfield Gardens.

Dany Nobus is Professor of Psychology and Psychoanalysis, and Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Development and External Relations at Brunel University London, where he also directs the MA Programme in Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Society. He is the Chair of the Freud Museum London, and has published numerous books and papers on the history, theory and practice of psychoanalysis.
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Session 3: The Freudian Unconscious Revisited


Salman Akhtar - 14 Proposals in Freud’s ‘The Unconscious'
Salman will revisit some of Freud’s most central claims regarding the nature of the unconscious and examine their current status within and beyond psychoanalysis.

Anouchka Grose - Language and the Unconscious
Anouchka will respond to Salman’s talk from a contemporary Lacanian perspective, with a particular emphasis on the role of the language.

Salman Akhtar MD, is a world-renowned psychoanalyst and psychiatrist and one of the most creative and prolific psychoanalytic writers. He was born in India and completed his medical and psychiatric education there. Upon arriving in the USA in 1973, he repeated his psychiatric training at the University of Virginia’s School of Medicine, and then obtained psychoanalytic training from the Philadelphia Psychoanalytic Institute. Currently, he is Professor of Psychiatry at Jefferson Medical College and a training and supervising analyst at the Psychoanalytic Centre of Philadelphia. He has authored, edited or co-edited more than 300 publications including books on psychiatry and psychoanalysis and several collections of poetry. He has delivered many prestigious addresses and lectures and is recipient of numerous awards and distinctions, which include the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association’s Best Paper of the Year Award (1995), the Margaret Mahler Literature Prize (1996), the American Society of Psychoanalytic Physicians’ Sigmund Freud Award (2000), the American College of Psychoanalysts’ Laughlin Award (2003), the American Psychoanalytic Association’s Edith Sabshin Award (2000), Columbia University’s Robert Leibert Award for Distinguished Contributions to Applied Psychoanalysis (2004), the American Psychiatric Association’s Kun Po Soo Award (2004), Irma Bland Award for being the Outstanding Teacher of Psychiatric Residents in the US (2005), and the Sigourney Award (2012). Dr Akhtar is an internationally sought speaker and teacher, and his books have been translated into many languages. He is also a Scholar-in-Residence at the Inter-Act Theatre Company in Philadelphia.
Anouchka Grose is a Lacanian psychoanalyst and writer practising in London. She is a member of the Centre for Freudian Analysis and Research, where she regularly lectures. She is the author of No More Silly Love Songs: a Realist’s Guide to Romance (Portobello, 2010) and Are you Considering Therapy? (Karnac, 2011), and is the editor of 'Hysteria Today', a collection of essays to be published by Karnac later this year. She also writes for The Guardian and teaches at Camberwell School of Art.
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Session 2: The Unconscious and the Psychopathology of Everyday Life

David TuckettConviction Narrative Theory: Bringing Modern Psychoanalysis into the Heart of Economics and Decision Science
David Tuckett will take us on a fascinating journey through modern psychopathology of everyday life, demonstrating the paramount importance of the unconscious processes in problem-solving and decision-making, with a particular emphasis on the psychology of financial behaviour. Arguing that the human mind was designed to make decisions under uncertainty, he will explore the compelling stories consumers and investors constantly make up, to contain a range of emotional experiences and he will explain how these narratives of 'conviction' affect the wider economy.

David Tuckett is a psychoanalyst, Professor and Director of the Centre for the Study of Decision-Making Uncertainty at UCL in the Faculty of Brain Sciences, as well as a Fellow of the British Psychoanalytical Society. He trained in Economics, Medical Sociology and Psychoanalysis and currently divides his time between clinical practice and research – since winning a 2006 Leverhulme Research fellowship for a "psychoanalytic study of investment markets" he has been collaborating with a range of colleagues in economics, finance, psychology, social anthropology, computer science and neuroscience to introduce psychoanalytical understanding to behaviour in the financial markets and the economy more generally. His book Minding the Markets: An Emotional Finance View of Financial Instability was published in New York and London by Palgrave Macmillan in June 2011 and a further monograph written with Professor Richard Taffler (University of Warwick School of Management) entitled “Fund Management: An Emotional Finance Perspective” was published by the Research Foundation of CFA Institute. Prior to this he received the 2007 Sigourney Award for distinguished contributions to the field of psychoanalysis. He has published books and articles in sociology, psychoanalysis, economics, and finance and is a former President of the European Psychoanalytic Federation, Editor in Chief of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis and Principal of the Health Education Studies Unit at the University of Cambridge.
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Session 1: The Unconscious and the Brain

Mark Solms - The Id is Not Unconscious

Mark will present neuroscientific evidence to support his argument that the mental functions Freud called ‘id’ are not unconscious! He will discuss some implications of this argument for what psychoanalysts and psychotherapists do clinically.

Mark Solms is a psychoanalyst and neuropsychologist, widely reported to have first coined the term Neuro-Psychoanalysis, a rapidly developing field of interdisciplinary scholarship and research aiming to provide bridges between the neurosciences and psychoanalytic theory. He is Professor in Neuropsychology at the University of Cape Town (South Africa), Honorary Lecturer in Neurosurgery at St Bartholomew’s and Royal London School of Medicine, Director of the Arnold Pfeffer Center for Neuropsychoanalysis at the New York Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, and Chair of the Research Committee of the International Psychoanalytical Association. He is President of the South African Psychoanalytical Association, Associate Member of the British Psychoanalytical Society, Honorary Member of the New York Psychoanalytic Society, and Member of the South African Clinical Neuropsychology Association and of the British Neuropsychological Society. He is a Member of the Academy of Science of South Africa, and Honorary Fellow of the American College of Psychoanalysts and of the American College of Psychiatrists. He has won many prestigious awards, including the Sigourney Award, and has authored a multitude of chapters, articles and books including A moment of Transition: Two Neuroscientific Articles by Sigmund Freud (1990), The Neuropsychology of Dreams: A Clinico-Anatomical Study (1997), Clinical Studies in Neuro-Psychoanalysis (with K Kaplan-Solms, 2000) and, with Oliver Turnball, The Brain and the Inner World: An Introduction to the Neuroscience of Subjective Experience (2002). He was founding editor of the journal Neuropsychoanalysis.

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September 22, 2015  

A presentation on the Circle of Security project for supporting parents by Dr Bob Marvin, Director, The Ainsworth Attachment Clinic and The Circle of Security Network, Charlottesville, USA.

The underlying theme of the talk will be about John Bowlby’s initial dream of putting his therapist-role on hold, developing a usable theory, and then returning to doing therapy with that theory. His dream was not realized during his lifetime, but that has changed in the past 25 years. The Circle of Security Intervention is part of that change.

Dr. Bob Marvin was an undergraduate student and research associate with Mary Ainsworth, John Bowlby’s main research collaborator, at The Johns Hopkins University. He received his Ph.D. in developmental and clinical psychology from the University of Chicago. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota he began teaching at the University of Virginia, where he is currently Professor Emeritus in the School of Medicine and Research Professor in the Department of Psychology. He is also Director of the Mary Ainsworth Attachment Clinic in Charlottesville, Virginia. Bob has been active in basic and clinical attachment research, and in intervening with families who have children with chronic medical conditions and/or histories of disrupted early relationships. This has led him to focus on developing clinical tools for assessing and intervening with families of foster and adopted children, and with families experiencing divorce or other types of parental separation.

Bob was the Principal Investigator on projects that developed and tested the Circle of Security® version of Attachment Theory, and The Circle of Security® Intervention protocol. Currently, he is implementing variations of this framework in developing community-based partnerships among professionals working with families with at-risk children.

 

This event coincides with Attachment: Our Enduring Need for Others, an exhibition inspired by the life and work of John Bowlby, the founder of Attachment Theory. The exhibition runs from 16 September - 4 October 2015.

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Lecture and performance: 

How do ideas pop into your head? You can think about the answer to this question at a lecture and performance about the art of Freestyle Rap by Hip-Hop artist and spoken word poet, Reveal. Using recent studies in neurology and psychology, theories of memory schemata and ideas about unconscious communication, Reveal will explore the basis of his craft within the resonant environment of the Freud Museum, and in a practical demonstration will improvise a rap to words and questions called out by members of the audience. 

Reveal is a London based Iranian Hip-Hop artist, ethnomusicologist and writer. He was born in Tehran, Iran in 1983 and moved to London aged 2 with his parents, mainly to escape the Iran-Iraq war. He was raised in inner city London but continued to travel back to Tehran regularly. Having links to such contrasting urban environments has provided him with a sense of dual identity for most of his life. At a young age Reveal began performing Hip-Hop music and releasing songs under the Artist name "Reveal Poison", and at aged 16 he won the 2000 UK Freestyle Knock-out Battle Rap Championships. He went on to form the group “Poisonous Poets” who were one of the first ever UK Hip-Hop acts to be signed to a major record label, penning a deal with BMG/Arista in 2001. It was around this period that he first became aware of the emerging Persian Hip-Hop scene in Iran and he travelled back to Tehran to begin a series of collaborations with the city's artists. Reveal is currently enrolled on a Mmus Ethnomusicology programme at SOAS where he is studying part-time alongside doing youth work, touring and releasing music.

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An Evening of Psychoacoustic and Optical Illusions

The book Rorschach Audio: Art & Illusion for Sound, by author and installation artist Joe Banks, takes as its central metaphor the comparison between the perception of ambiguous speech-sounds, and the “projective” interpretation of the famous ink-blot tests devised by the Freudian psychoanalyst Hermann Rorschach in 1921.

With a nod to the model of perception proposed by Freud, Banks explores relationships between mechanisms of aural and visual perception, demonstrating a series of highly entertaining and sometimes bizarre psychoacoustic and optical illusions.

With a further nod to ideas proposed in Freud’s The Future of An Illusion, the lecture focusses on a critique of Spiritualistic and allegedly supernatural Electronic Voice Phenomena (ghost-voice) recordings, a theme wildly popular in contemporary sound installation art. Banks traces the illusions involved as far back as the artist generally recognised as the most important figure in the history of Western art, and reveals the role that relatively little-known wartime intelligence work with sound had on what is arguably the most important work of visual arts theory ever published.

Joe Banks produces the installation art and electronic music project Disinformation. Disinformation exhibits and performs internationally, has been the subject of over a dozen UK solo exhibitions - including a recent solo installation at Talbot Rice Gallery in Edinburgh, and has exhibited in group shows at Kiasma (Helsinki), CCCB (Barcelona), Kettle’s Yard (Cambridge) and The Hayward Gallery (London).

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July 21, 2015  

While the contents of the unconscious might be obscure and perplexing, when Freud spoke about 'the unconscious' he meant something very precise. This talk will look at Freud's 'discovery' of the unconscious, and at his conceptualisation of it. It will also deal with the peculiar logic of symptom formation. From there, it will go on to look at Lacan's notion of the language-like unconscious, showing how this was developed in accordance with Freud's ideas.

Anouchka Grose is a psychoanalyst and writer practising in London. She is a member of the Centre for Freudian Analysis and Research, where she regularly lectures. She is the author of No More Silly Love Songs: a realist’s guide to romance (Portobello, 2010) and Are you Considering Therapy (Karnac, 2011), and is the editor of 'Hysteria Today', a collection of essays to be published by Karnac later this year. She also writes for The Guardian and teaches at Camberwell School of Art.

Part of an exciting season of talks, events and conferences accompanying the exhibition ‘Festival of the Unconscious’24 June- 4 October 2015.

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 Session 1: INTRODUCTION
Del Lowenthal - Is there an unfortunate need for critical psychotherapy?
Respondent: Julian Lousada
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Susie Orbach in conversation with Rachel Holmes

Join us for an evening marking the publication of a new edition of Shulamith Firestone’s groundbreaking work The Dialectic of Sex, (Verso, April 2015). This work by a then unknown 25 year old had an extraordinary impact on radical feminism when it first appeared in 1970.

Susie Orbach, psychotherapist, psychoanalyst, writer and social critic, is joined in conversation by Rachel Holmes, academic and author of the acclaimed Eleanor Marx: A Life. Together with Lisa Appignanesi, they co-edited the hotly-discussed Fifty Shades of Feminism (Virago).

Originally published in 1970, when Shulamith Firestone was just twenty-five years old, and going on to become a bestseller, The Dialectic of Sex was the first book of the women’s liberation movement to put forth a feminist theory of politics.

Beginning with a look at the radical and grassroots history of the first wave (with its foundation in the abolition movement of the time), Firestone documents its major victory, the granting of the vote to women in 1920, and the fifty years of ridicule that followed. She goes on to deftly synthesize the work of Freud, Marx, de Beauvoir, and Engels to create a cogent argument for feminist revolution. Identifying women as a caste, she declares that they must seize the means of reproduction—for as long as women (and only women) are required to bear and rear children, they will be singled out as inferior. Ultimately she presents feminism as the key radical ideology, the missing link between Marx and Freud, uniting their visions of the political and the personal.

“A must-have for those interested in feminist theory, both past and present. Its reappearance now, during yet another period of ‘ridicule’ towards women’s rights, is perhaps even more pertinent than its first publication.” – Kathleen Hanna, founding member of the riot grrrl movement

“Without so much as a single fanny joke or wacky dating anecdote, The Dialectic of Sex gripped and electrifed thousands of people, giving the so-called Second Wave of feminism much of its initial impetus and energy.” – New Statesman

“No one can understand how feminism has evolved without reading this radical, inflammatory second-wave landmark.” – Naomi Wolf
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A Staged Reading of Selected Letters between Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung - followed by a panel discussion 

 
This staged reading of selected letters between Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung is the first performance in Britain of a project which originated in the US. The project arose from a desire to foster a dialogue between Freudian and Jungian communities, and has been performed to great acclaim.
 
The text – extracts from the letters between Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, tracing their complex, eventually doomed, relationship - will be spoken by actors.  This will be followed by a discussion between a truly distinguished panel: one of the project’s originators Margaret Klenck, the historian Sonu Shamdasani, and Christopher Hauke, Dany Nobus, and Stephen Gross, writers and analysts.
 
Margaret Klenck is a Jungian Analyst in private practice in New York City.  She is a graduate from the C.G. Jung Institute of New York, and holds a Masters of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary. Margaret is the previous past President of the Jungian Psychoanalytic Association in New York, where she also teaches and supervises. She is also a member and on the faculty of the Philadelphia Association of Jungian Analysts. Margaret has lectured and taught nationally and internationally.
 
Sonu Shamdasani is an academic, author and leading Jung scholar and biographer. He is a professor at University College London, and Director of the UCL Centre for the History of Psychological Disciplines. He is the editor and co-translator of C. G. Jung’s The Red Book: Liber Novus (Norton, 2009), and has written and published many books on Jung.
 
Christopher Hauke is a Jungian analyst, a senior lecturer in psychoanalytic studies at Goldsmiths, University of London, a writer, broadcaster and film-maker. His most recent book, Visible Mind: Movies, Modernity and the Unconscious, was published in 2013.
 
Stephen Gross is an analytic psychotherapist in private practice. He also teaches and supervises at WPF Therapy and other training organisations. He is particularly interested in the overlap between psychotherapy and literature. His play, Freud's Night Visitors, has been performed twice at The Freud Museum London.
 
Dany Nobus is Professor of Psychology and Psychoanalysis, and Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Development and External Relations at Brunel University London, where he also directs the MA Programme in Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Society. He is the Chair of the Freud Museum London, and has published numerous books and papers on the history, theory and practice of psychoanalysis.
 
Sigmund Freud is performed by Gerald Davidson, actor and researcher. Gerald has written and staged several presentations at the Freud Museum, including What Little Hans Knew and Aichhorn and Anna.
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January 26, 2015  
Jay Sherry - talk followed by discussion with Gary Lachman

Carl Gustav Jung has always been a popular but never a fashionable thinker. His ground-breaking theories about dream interpretation and psychological types have often been overshadowed by charges that he was anti-Semitic and a Nazi sympathizer.

In his pioneering work on Carl Gustav Jung, author Jay Sherry took a fresh look at all aspects of his life and work, and considered the allegations against Jung in the broader context of his views on culture, politics, and race. In doing so, he provides a carefully considered, historically informed perspective on a figure whose legacy has been misunderstood by admirers and detractors alike.

Carl Gustav Jung: Avant-Garde Conservative by Jay Sherry won the Gradiva Award for Best Book from the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis in 2011

Jay Sherry is an independent historian of psychoanalysis and German intellectual history. He has lectured widely and written for a variety of psychoanalytic publications, primarily about the life and work of Carl Jung. He holds a PhD from the Freie Universität Berlin, and lives in New York.

Gary Lachman is the author of several books linking consciousness, culture, and the western esoteric tradition, including Jung the Mystic: The Esoteric Dimensions of Carl Jung's Life and Teaching (Tarcher/Penguin 2010). Lachman writes frequently for many journals in the US and UK, and lectures on his work in the US, UK, and Europe. His work has been translated into several languages.
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The god of love is one of the best represented deities in Freud's impressive collection of antiquities. Join Dr Burke, the exhibition's curator, as she discusses the profound connections between classical Greek culture, the artworks collected by Freud and the development of psychoanalysis. Freud understood the god well: Eros could spark the civilizing force of love that resulted in fulfilling relationships as well as unleashing turbulent, unbridled and destructive emotions. Dr Burke will also draw on Freud's personal experience of Eros in his passionate courtship of his future wife Martha Bernays.

Dr Janine Burke is the author of The Gods of Freud: Sigmund Freud's Art Collection (2006). She is Adjunct Lecturer, School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics, Monash University, Melbourne.

Part of a season of talks and events accompanying the exhibition 'Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing' 22 October 2014 - 22 February 2015.
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Dr Jessica Meyer
 
Dorothy L. Sayers's 1928 novel 'The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club' is, as the title hints, a novel about war. At its centre are two brothers, George, who was gassed in the First World War and sufferers from shell shock in its aftermath, and Robert, a Regular army officer who was 'a jolly fine soldier'. Although presented as two individuals, these two characters represent two sides of the same coin, namely inverse psychological responses to the experience of war. George's shell shock is a classic flight into illness, while Robert's emotional resilience that borders on callousness. In this lecture, Dr Meyer will explore Sayers's representation of these two characters in detail, locating them in both developing understandings of war trauma and British cultural memory of the First World War.  In doing so, she hopes to shed new light on how shell shock has become the dominant symbolic wound of the war in British culture, shaping both our historical understanding of the war and our current commemorative practices.

This talk is part of a series of events accompanying the exhibition 'Why War',  6 August - 19 October 2014.
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October 28, 2014  
Nathanael Price
 
“Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing [...] Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the lord thy God am a jealous God.” Exodus, 20:4-5

“And well may the Jews go, as they do each Sabbath […] to visit and adore [the Moses of Michelangelo], since it is not something human, but divine that they adore.”
Giorgio Vasari, Vita di Michelangelo Buonarroti, 1550

“No piece of statuary has ever made a stronger impression on me than this.”
Sigmund Freud, The Moses of Michelangelo, 1914

In Vasari’s account of Michelangelo’s famous Moses, he describes how the contemporary Roman Jews abandoned their religious observances to “visit and adore” the statue of their own iconoclastic lawgiver on the tomb of Pope Julius II. The circumstances of this (imaginary) conversion – wherein the Jews establish their own image-cult of Moses – seems to epitomise the Freudian concept of the return of the repressed; the “inexorable” rule by which repressed psychic or cultural material (in this case idolatrous worship) re-emerges through the very agent of repression; here, the forbidding figure of Moses, destroyer of the Golden Calf.

Vasari’s story might be a fiction, but he recognised something inherent in Michelangelo’s statue; something that Freud himself would not admit when, four centuries later, he retraced the steps of the imaginary Jewish pilgrims. The idea of this talk – a centenary response to Freud’s essay, “The Moses of Michelangelo” – is that his concept of repression has unexploited potential as a tool for understanding not only the Moses, but Renaissance art and culture in more general terms. There is evidence, moreover, that Michelangelo and his contemporaries were as conscious of the cultural mechanisms of repression and recurrence as was Freud himself.

Nathanael Price is an academic art historian, now working on an AHRC-funded doctoral research project at University College London. His general research interest is in the historical interpretation and cultural legacy of the Mosaic image prohibition, and in particular the intersection between Jewish and Christian visual cultures in Renaissance Italy; areas in which he finds Freudian psychoanalytic theory has unexploited potential.
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October 28, 2014  
Sam Willetts 
'Time Present and Time Past'*

In conversation with Ellie Roberts, discussing poetry and transgenerational transmission of trauma, nameless dread, and the presence of an absent object.

*TS Eliot, Burnt Norton
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October 28, 2014  

Five distinguished poets explore themes of memory and memorialisation in their work through talks, readings and conversations with psychoanalysts and psychotherapists.


Denise Riley 
'Stopped Time and Rhyme'
I will say something, and read a couple of poems, about rhyme’s relation to temporality, and how this links to that feeling of ‘time stopped’ that you might inhabit after someone’s unexpected death.
 
John Glenday
The Lost Boy
The history of the First World War has been a subject of ongoing fascination for Glenday. He will offer personal perspectives on how poetry can redeem people from history, and perform new poems inspired by the conflict, including ‘The Big Push’, and ‘The Lost Boy’ which tells the true story of his Uncle Alexander, who departed for war aged only 15, and who died in the Battle of the Sambre on November 4th 1918, the same battle as Wilfred Owen.
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October 28, 2014  
Five distinguished poets explore themes of memory and memorialisation in their work through talks, readings and conversations with psychoanalysts and psychotherapists.

David Constantine
'So many without memento...'*
in conversation Gerry Byrne

*David Jones from In Parenthesis
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October 28, 2014  
Five distinguished poets explore themes of memory and memorialisation in their work through talks, readings and conversations with psychoanalysts and psychotherapists.

Stephen Wilson
Re-membering Isaac Rosenberg
 
Deryn Rees-Jones
Remembering and imagining: The Case of Helen Thomas
Helen Thomas, the wife of the poet Edward Thomas, wrote two memoirs after her husband's death in 1917. Deryn Rees-Jones explores her own response to Helen's life, marriage and widowhood in discussion with Judith Palmer. There will also be a showing of the animation 'And You, Helen', made by the artist Charlotte Hodes to accompany Edward Thomas's poem, and the book of the same name by the artist and Deryn Rees-Jones, published by Seren Books.
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October 3, 2014  

Colette Soler, joined by Darian Leader

Lacan’s work is often caricatured as arcane, convoluted, ‘theoretical’ and, above all, difficult. But Lacan himself engaged continually with the ideas of his contemporaries and grounded his work in analytic practice. If you have been put off reading Lacan in the past, here is a chance to see what the fuss is about, in a way that relates directly to clinical work and wider issues of the world we live in.

Colette Soler - Psychoanalyst, Founder Member of the Ecole de Psychanalyse des Forums du Champ Lacanien. Her books include What Lacan said about Women (Other Press, 2006) and Lacanian Affects (Routledge, 2014).

Darian Leader - British psychoanalyst and author. He is a founding member of the Centre for Freudian Analysis and Research (CFAR), President of the College of Psychoanalysts, a Trustee of the Freud Museum, and Honorary Visiting Professor in Psychoanalysis at Roehampton University.

This recording may not be further used or cited without the express permission of the speakers.

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Elisabeth Roudinesco and Dany Nobus in conversation
 
Elisabeth Roudinesco is France's leading historian of psychoanalysis and biographer of the French Freud - Jacques Lacan. Briefly in London for the launch of her new book LACAN: In Spite of Everything (Verso) she reflects on Lacan's extraordinary legacy as well as aspects of his trajectory not previously confronted.

She is in conversation with Dany Nobus, Pro Vice-Chancellor of Brunel University, psychoanalyst, and a noted commentator on Lacan's work.

This event was conducted in French with English translation.



Elisabeth Roudinesco et Dany Nobus en conversation

Elisabeth Roudinesco est la plus importante historienne de psychoanalyse de France. Deplus, elle est la biographe du «Freud français»- Jacques Lacan. Étant à Londres pour la publication de sa nouvelle oeuvre Lacan, Envers et Contre Tout, elle aborde le sujet de son héritage exceptionnel et certains aspects de sa trajectoire inexplorée auparavant.
 
Elle est en conversation avec Dany Nobus, pro vice-chancelier de l'Université de Brunel, psychoanalyste et commentateur important sur le travail de Lacan. 
 
Cet événement a eu lieu en français avec une traduction anglaise. 
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Susan Sellers 


One of the 20th century's greatest writers and with her husband, Leonard, Freud’s publisher in Britain, Virginia Woolf also struggled with mental illness and the doctors who ‘treated’ her. Prof Susan Sellers discusses aspects of Woolf’s life and work.

Susan Sellers, author, translator, editor and novelist, is Professor of English and Related Literature at the University of St Andrews and co-General Editor of the Cambridge University Press edition of the writings of Virginia Woolf. Sellers’ first novel Vanessa and Virginia is in part a fictional biography of Virginia Woolf.

Part of a season of performances, talks, films and events accompanying the exhibition 'Mad, Bad and Sad: Women and the Mind Doctors', 10 October 2013 - 2 February 2014.

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January 13, 2014  

Three week evening course with Mary Wild


Session 1: SEDUCTION - erotica/romance
Basic Instinct, Bitter Moon, Lola Montes, The Seven Year Itch, Belle De Jour, Talk To Her

"What does it mean to be a woman?" "What does a woman want?" An exploration of female desire provides dynamically elusive answers to these eternal questions. Originating in ancient Greek notions of the 'wandering womb', hysteria was Sigmund Freud’s 'splendid child’, defined in his landmark Dora case study. The hysteric’s body is a theatre where irrepressible ghosts of past trauma are disguised in blindness, deafness, seizures and convulsions – she unconsciously shape-shifts into a medium of warped communication, her symptoms do all the talking for her. At the core of hysteria is a twisted fascination with beauty, so closely bound up with femininity that it runs the risk of replacing it. Through her identification with the male gaze, the hysteric becomes a tragic seductress, desiring the desire of the other. Exaggerated womanliness is the theme of this 'masquerade': the ultimate woman might be an imaginary one, a metaphysical alien-goddess, dreamed up by the male animal. "The woman does not exist," so said Lacan, and pandemonium ensued. But becoming a woman implies extraordinary transformation, at the very least. 

Hysteria has not disappeared from modern Western world; instead our culture manifests a hidden hysteria but does not recognise it. PROJECTIONS: CINEMA HYSTERIA is a three-part course by MARY WILD examining the central role of hysteria within different film genres (e.g., erotica/romance, horror/melodrama, fantasy/sci-fi). The mystery of femininity will be investigated psychoanalytically via the unconscious connection between the body and language. So rather than the wandering womb, it is in fact the exiled signifier that roams, creeping, searching for a mode of expression among possessed images on the cinema screen.

PROJECTIONS is psychoanalysis for film interpretation. PROJECTIONS empowers film spectators to express subjective associations they consider to be meaningful. Expertise in psychoanalytic theory is not necessary - the only prerequisite is the desire to enter and inhabit the imaginary world of film, which is itself a psychoanalytic act. MARY WILD, a Freudian cinephile from Montreal, is the creator of PROJECTIONS.

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The affinity between Freud and Bloomsbury was obvious from 1910 and became productive when core members of the Bloomsbury group becoming psychoanalysts in the 1920s and the Hogarth Press became the official psychoanalytic publishing house. The lecture will explore the reasons for this affinity and also ask if the history of psychoanalysis in Britain has been radically different from other countries because of its original alliance with an entrenched anti-establishment elite from the English rentier class, both extremely well-connected and bohemian.

John Forrester is Professor of History and Philosophy of the Sciences in the University of Cambridge, author of 'Language and the Origins of Psychoanalysis' (1980), 'The Seductions of Psychoanalysis' (1990), (with Lisa Appignanesi) 'Freud’s Women' (1992), 'Dispatches from the Freud Wars' (1997) and 'Truth Games' (1997). He is completing (with Laura Cameron) 'Freud in Cambridge', a study of the reception of psychoanalysis in the 1920s. He is interested in reasoning in cases in science, medicine and law. He is Editor of Psychoanalysis and History.

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Giles Fraser in conversation with Adam Phillips


Dr. Giles Fraser is a well known cultural commentator, priest and vicar of St Mary's Newington. He took a controversial stand on Occupy at St Paul's, resigning his post there in the process. He is also passionate about psychoanalysis.

Adam Phillips is a psychoanalyst and writer, author of many celebrated books, among them Missing Out and Promises, Promises. He has just finished a biography of the young Freud, who understood religion as an illusion.

Together they discuss psychoanalysis and religion.
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