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Introduction to Psychoanalysis

ENGL 102.401
also offered as: COML 245
TR 5:15-6:45pm

English 102.401 / COML 245.401 Fall 2021 TR 5:15-6:45

Introduction to Psychoanalysis: History, Theory, Practice

Dr. Susan Adelman and Prof. Jean-Michel Rabaté

This course fulfills the following requirements:
Sector 3: Arts & Letters of the College’s General Education Curriculum One course requirement for the six-course Minor in Psychoanalytic Studies Sector 1: Theory and Poetics of the Standard English Major
Sector 6: 20th-Century Literature of the Standard English Major

The course is designed to introduce to the clinical, theoretical, and cultural history of psychoanalysis through readings of texts by the most important psychoanalytic writers from the late nineteenth century to the present day. They include Sigmund Freud, Sabina Spielrein, Melanie Klein, , Jacques Lacan, D. W. Winnicott, John Bowlby, Juliet Mitchell, Stephen Mitchell, and others. These readings suggest that psychoanalysis offers powerful ways of understanding how all of us think, feel, and behave, both as individuals and in relation to other people and larger communities. The theory and the practice of psychoanalysis are based on the importance of unconscious processes. We will study the complex ways in which those processes affect our lived experience in childhood development and family relationships, in our wishes, dreams, and fantasies, in our experiences of work, play, love, sex, trauma, and loss, and in our creative, spiritual, and political strivings.

Because the course aims to link the academic and the clinical, it is team-taught by a professor English and a psychoanalyst who introduce to the breadth, variety, and dynamism of psychoanalytic ideas and techniques. In order to stress the interdisciplinary nature of psychoanalysis, we will read a number of literary, historical, philosophical, and anthropological works that have relevance to the psychoanalytic exploration of the human condition. We will show how effective psychoanalytic ideas are in bridging a wide variety of disciplines in the humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences, including recent developments in the neurosciences.

Students from all disciplines will find in the class illuminating links between psychoanalysis and their primary fields of study.

required texts

Alison Bechdel, Are You My Mother? (ISBN: 978-0544002234)
Stephen Mitchell and Margaret Black, Freud and Beyond, rev. ed. (2016) (ISBN: 978-0465098811) Annie Rogers, A Shining Affliction (ISBN: 978-0140240122)

6 digests (1 page each) – 60% paper #1 (5 pages) -- 20% paper #2 (5 pages) -- 20%

Digests: There will be six written “digests” focusing on one essay or book chapter from the reading list. You will provide a short abstract of the essay (10 lines), choose three quotes that you deem important (3-5 lines each), then add a few sentences outlining how you see the relevance of the piece (10 lines).

Papers : There will be two papers ( 5 pages each). Papers must be posted to the courses Canvas site before midnight on the due date.

fulfills requirements
Sector 1: Theory and Poetics of the Standard Major
Sector 6: 20th Century Literature of the Standard Major
Sector III: Arts & Letters of the College's General Education Curriculum