Spring 2015

PSP 760 00P: "Introduction to Psychoanalytic Studies" 
Tu 9:00:-12:00 PM
Permission required

Content: This year, this course will trace the development of psychoanalytic theory and practice in America. This is not a history of psychoanalytic course; rather, the intention is to acquaint students in some detail with major theoretical high points and landmark works by important authors who have contributed to creating several distinctive schools of American psychoanalysis. Some of these trends include ego psychology, Interpersonal psychoanalysis, neo-Freudian “cultural” psychoanalysis, self psychology, relational psychoanalysis, intersubjective theory, feminist psychoanalysis, and more. Authors to be studied include Anna Freud, Heinz Hartmann, Harry Stack Sullivan, Karen Horney, Erich Fromm, Erik Erikson, Hans Loewald, Roy Schafer, Heinz Kohut, Jessica Benjamin, Paul, Gray, Stephen Mitchell, Lewis Aron, Adrienne Harris, Robert Stolorow, George Atwood, Fred Busch, and others. The course offers the student an unusually solid grounding in contemporary psychoanalysis in America, and an understanding of how it got that way. (Of course, it needs to be supplemented with other courses dealing with Freud, British psychoanalysis, French Psychoanalysis, and other important topics, which will be offered in coming semesters.)  PSP 760 is required of all students in the PSP certificate program.

Required texts:

Harry Stack Sullivan, The Interpersonal Theory of Psychiatry edition 53 , Erik Erikson Childhood and Society edition 85, Stephen Mitchell, Freud and Beyond, Horney Neurotic personality of our time edition 37, Erich Fromm, Art of Loving, Heinz Kohut Restoration of the Self, Jessica Benjamin, Bonds of Love, Barton Evans, Harry Stack Sullivan, Roy Schafer A New Language for Psychoanalysis, Fred Busch, Creating a Psychoanalytic Mind: A Psychoanalytic Method and Theory, Lewis Aron  A Meeting of Minds: Mutuality in Psychoanalysis, Adrienne Harris, Gender as Soft Assembly, George E. Atwood, Structures of Subjectivity Explorations in Psychoanalytic Phenomenology and Contextualism

PSP 789 00P: "Racism, Antisemitism and Psychology"
Tu 1:00-4:30 PM
Permission required

Content: In 2012, an interdisciplinary team of scientists at the University of Oxford reported the results of a drug trial, which claimed that a drug could reduce implicit racial bias among its users. Shortly after the experiment, an article in Time Magazine, citing the study, asked the question: Is racism becoming a mental illness? But the idea of racism as a mental illness is much older, having its roots in the genealogies of race and racism as psychopathological categories from mid-19th century Europe and the United States concerning Jews and Blacks.  From the early Zionists to Freud and then from Adorno through Fanon and Brown vs. The Board of Education, racism became a mental illness.  What are the implications for this in studying both social systems as well as psychopathology?

Readings: Joel Kovel, White Racism: A Psychohistory, Rian Malan, My Traitor's Heart, Wulf Sachs, Black Hamlet  Elizabeth Young-Bruehl, The Anatomy of Prejudices, Frantz Fanon Black Skin, White Masks

[Crosslisted with ILA 790 01P]

PSP 789 000: "Other to Oneself: Variations on Narcissism"
Th 1:00-4:00 PM

Content:  The course will explore the status of the “ego” and its relation to the “other” through the question of narcissism as it is addressed in literature, psychoanalysis, painting, and video art. We will focus on the role that the “other” plays in the very constitution of the “self,” on the constitution and function of the “image” (including body-image or the “avatar” in video games), and on the notions of “identification” and “alienation.”  We will also see how the issue of narcissism problematizes the notions of self- recognition, self-knowledge, love (both of the “self” and of the “other”) and aggressivity. Finally, attention will be paid to those cases where the mirror does not send back any reflection. The course will be taught in English

Texts may include: Ovid: “Narcissus and Echo” in Metamorphoses, Guillaume de Lorris: The Romance of the Rose, Maupassant: Le horla, Rosalind Kraus: “Video: the Aesthetics of Narcissism”, Dalí: The Metamorphosis of Narcissus (poem and painting), Freud: On Narcissism: An Introduction, Lacan: The Mirror Stage, Leclaire: A Child Is Being Killed: On Primary Narcissism and the Death Drive

[Crosslisted with FREN 775T 000]

PSP 789 001: "Biography, Autobiography, and Scandal: Literature as Testimony and as Courtroom Drama"
M 4:00-7:00 PM

Content: History has put on trial a series of outstanding thinkers.  At the dawn of philosophy, Socrates drinks the cup of poison to which he is condemned by the Athenians for his influential teaching, charged with atheism, and corruption of the youth.  Centuries later, in modernity, similarly influential Oscar Wilde is condemned by the English for his homosexuality, as well as for his provocative artistic style.  In France, Flaubert and Baudelaire are both indicted as criminals for their first, innovative literary works; Emile Zola is condemned for defending a Jew against the state, which has convicted him.  E. M. Forster writes about a rape trial / race trial of an Indian by the colonizing British Empire.  Different forms of trial are instigated by religious institutions, as well as by psychoanalytic ones. The French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan compares his expulsion from the International Psychoanalytic Association with a religious “excommunication”-- for charges of nonorthodoxy and heresy (compare Luther, Spinoza). However different, all these accused have come to stand for something greater than themselves: something that was symbolized - and challenged – by their trials.  Through the examination of a series of historical and literary trials, this course will ask:  Why are literary writers, philosophers and creative thinkers, repetitively put on trial, and how in turn do they challenge culture and reflect its crises?  What is the role of literature as a political actor in the struggles over ethics, and the struggles over meaning?  How does literature become the writing of a destiny, or what can be called Life-Writing?

Texts selected among: Plato’s Dialogues; Molière’s plays; Shakespeare’s plays; Oscar Wilde (Plays, Autobiography, Critical writings); Gustave Flaubert (autobiographic letters and novel); Charles Baudelaire (poems); Emile Zola (political writings); Herman Melville (novella); Bertolt Brecht (plays, interrogation before the Committee on Un-American Activities); Walter Benjamin (Critical writings); Hannah Arendt (Eichmann in Jerusalem, interviews); Spinoza (Ethics); Sigmund Freud (Psychoanalytic writings); Jacques Lacan (psychoanalytic seminar); E. M. Forster (novel); Virginia Woolf (novel); Franz Kafka (short stories, parables).

Particulars: Regular attendance; two short papers distributed in the course of the semester (not just at the end); brief oral presentations; intensive weekly reading (weekly one-page reading reports) and active  (annotated) preparation of texts for class discussion; ongoing participation.

[Crosslisted with CPLT 751 001/ENG 789 001/FREN 780 000/RLR 700 005/PHIL 789 000/ LAW] (Undergraduate - Permission-only)

PSP 789 01P: "Studies in Twentieth-Century American Literature: Transnational Surrealism and the Discourse of the Unconscious"
W 1:00-4:00PM
Permission required

Content: This interdisciplinary seminar will explore the cultural, political, and psychoanalytic registers of surrealist aesthetics reaching back to early, theoretical works of the 1920s such as André Breton’s “First Manifesto of Surrealism” (1924) and Walter Benjamin’s “Surrealism, The Last Snapshot of the European Intelligentsia” (1929) up through surrealism’s continuing influence on contemporary fiction, poetry, and film. Employing the archival resources of the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library, we will explore surrealism’s migration at mid-century from Europe to London and finally New York City in little magazines such as Minotaure, London Bulletin, VVV and focusing, in particular, on the New York circle represented by the Julien Levy Gallery and in View: Charles Henri Ford’s fashionable, avant-garde journal of the 1940s.

Particular attention will be devoted to the dialogue surrealism engages early on with contemporaneous writings by Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan. The seminar will seek to understand what John Ashbery in his Charles Eliot Norton Lectures would later describe as surrealism’s mission to “accurately reflect experience in which both the conscious and the unconscious play a role.” In this vein, the seminar will consider surrealism’s intervention in the public sphere as in Salvidor Dalí’s Dream of Venus pavilion for the 1939 New York World’s fair and his later Hollywood collaboration with Alfred Hitchcock in Spellbound (1945). In addition to reading texts such as Charles Henri Ford and Parker Tyler’s collaboratively-authored The Young and the Evil, Djuna Barnes’s Nightwood, and Leonora Carrington’s The Hearing Trumpet, we will explore the modern American tradition of “painterly” surrealist verse from Wallace Stevens through Ashbery and its imbrication with the contemporaneous visual art of figures such as Dalí, Leonora Carrington, Remedios Varo, Frida Kahlo, Man Ray, Max Ernst, Marcel Duchamp, Pavel Tchelitchew, Yves Tanguy, Joseph Cornell, Florine Stettheimer, and Leonor Fini, among others.

Particulars: A short paper, presentation, and a final seminar research essay are required.

[Crosslisted with ENG 752R 01P/CPLT 751-01P/WGS 588R-00P]  


WGS 586R: "Black Affect"
W 4:00-7:00 PM

What kinds of affects do revolutionary thought and action, performance and artistic improvisation compel and demand?  In this course we will engage in the study and collective exploration of minor and minoritarian affects, feelings and emotions: boredom, backwardness, blackness, envy, irritation, anger, rage, animatedness, stuplimity, ecstasy. Authors include: Lauren Berlant, Heather Love, Sianne Ngai, Fred Moten, Jose Munoz, Lee Edelman, Eve Sedgwick, Saidiya Hartman, Frank Wilderson, James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison, Eldridge Cleaver, Amiria Baraka, George Jackson, Kant, Marx, Lacan, Nietzsche, Freud.  Note: This course is open to advanced undergraduates.

WGS 751R 00P: "Feminist Theory"
W 1:00-4:00 PM

The institutionalization of feminist theory over the past three decades has produced splits, debates, and contestations that have repeatedly threatened the coherence of the field. Critics complain that feminist theory is destabilized by the fragmentation of its proper object, woman, as an analytic category. But if the theoretical object of a feminist political project is no longer stable, we might ask if this retrospective projection of stability does not itself deny the splintered, uncertain, and contentious nature of feminist thinking from its very inception. With that in mind, this seminar will not be concerned to produce the proper object for a universal narrative about feminism’s conceptual foundations. Rather, it will attempt to think with and about some of the most visible contemporary texts that circulate as theory in Western academic feminism. Articulating a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives, methods, and discursive styles, these texts will allow seminar members to reflect on the ethical, epistemological, and political stakes of feminist thinking over the past three decades. Members of the seminar will be encouraged to connect their readings in feminist theory with their own intellectual projects.

Readings will include Beauvoir, Irigaray, Anzaldúa, MacKinnon, Williams, Brown, Butler, Spivak, Gibson-Graham, Halley, and Barad.

FILM 582: "Contemporary Film and Media Theory"
TuTh 12:00-12:50 PM

Mandatory film screening Tu 4:00-6:00

Course Description:  this course considers key methodological approaches that have shaped contemporary thinking about film and media.  These include semiotics, narratology, psychoanalysis, feminist and critical theory.

Objectives: by the end of this class you will be able to identify and describe key trends of Western film theory and criticism written after 1960, use, and critique, the methods of semiology, narratology, psychoanalysis, critical and cultural theory as ways of understanding contemporary film and Film and media.