Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Freud and After(from Freud to Lacan)

ENGL 571.601
instructor(s):
W 4:30-7:10

Now that we can celebrate the first hundred years since Freud discovered the Unconscious, and look back to a century that might well be called Freudian--it was in 1897 that Freud started his selfanalysis and discovered that "Nothing human was alien to him"--we can also wonder whether Freud's works are truly read. This seminar would aim at such a systematic rereading, going beyond a merely historical approach so as to reexamine Freud's major legacy, the psychoanalytic practice of the "talking cure", in the wake of questions posed by Lucan and his Paris school under the battle cry of a "return to Freud". How far are theories of the psyche that claim to be universal culture--and language-bound? Is the clinical dimension (that could be seen as a universal practice linking various groups in spite of theoretical divergence) a common ground or an element that has to be forgotten if these theories with to retain all their impact. We shall thus aim at an introduction to Freud's major works, (among which Dora: An Analysis of a case of Hysteria, Beyond the Pleasure Principle, Leonardo da Vinci, Jokes, Civilization and its discontents, The Future of an Illusion, Moses and Monotheism), after which we shall approach Lacan with only two texts, The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis and Eerits: A Selection (all books published by Norton).