Fall 2016

PSP 760: Introduction to Psychoanalytic Studies
Mo 4:15-7:15 PM

Content: This course will provide a general introduction to psychoanalytic theory, as a mode of thought that positions itself between the clinic and the university. Taking the earliest case studies of Freud as a starting point, it traces the development of psychoanalytic thinking through the reciprocal dynamic of clinical experience and theoretical articulation. In both of these domains, Freud undertakes a series of engagements with the unconscious, which show it to be less an object than an intransigent question. His writings continually reinvestigate psychic life from different angles of approach; the unconscious remains perpetually unsettling. Yet each case, each theoretical mode serves at once to cast new light upon the dynamics of psychic life while at the same maintaining an indefatigable commitment to the question as such. It is in this sense that we will take up the various paths explored by later analysts – Klein, Lacan, Winnicott, Bion and others – each of whom follows after a particular moment in the development of Freudian thought, further elaborating the lines of interrogation. This movement, born of the clinic, does not contain itself there; it intersects with other fields, both offering new resources and challenging certain presuppositions. Accordingly, we will take up the relation of psychoanalysis to the sciences, hard and social, as well as to works of art through the writings of Ehrenzweig, Loewald and N. Abraham.

Texts include: Sigmund Freud, Studies on Hysteria, Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality, “Fragments of a Case of Hysteria,” “Psycho-analytic Notes on an Autobiographical Account of a Case of Paranoia,” Beyond the Pleasure Principle, The Ego and the Id; Melanie Klein, “The Importance of Symbol Formation in the Development of the Ego,” “A Contribution to the Psychogenesis of Manic Depressive States” and “Mourning and its Relation to Manic-Depressive States”; D.W. Winnicott, “Transitional Objects and Transitional Phenomena” and “The Use of an Object and Relating through Identifications”; Wilfred Bion, Learning from Experience; Hans Loewald “Psychoanalysis in Search of Nature: Thoughts on Metapsychology, ‘Metaphysics,’ Projection”; Jean Laplanche, Freud and the Sexual; Nicolas Abraham, “The Shell and the Kernel”; Jacques Lacan, The Ego in Freud’s Theory and in the Technique of Psychoanalysis; Anton Ehrenzweig, The Hidden Order of Art.

PSP 761: Psychopathology
Tu 8:45-10:15 AM

Content: The focus of this seminar will be on introducing psychoanalytic theories of psychopathology, with an aim toward developing a preliminary understanding of psychopathology.  We will look at the major diagnostic categories elaborated in psychoanalytic thought.  We will define and discuss defenses, and learn how the understanding of defenses informs psychoanalytic/psychodynamic diagnosis.  The participants in this seminar will be encouraged to develop both an understanding of theoretical concepts as they inform psychoanalytic diagnosis, though attention will also be paid to the evolution of these concepts in psychoanalytic history.  As such an effort will be made to both expose seminar participants to readings which the seminar leaders feel will be helpful in developing a deeper understanding of psychoanalytic concepts, but also to begin to develop psychoanalytic literacy through exposure to seminal psychoanalytic thinkers.  Group participation and an active learning stance will be encouraged.   Participants will also be encouraged to begin to think about their own analytic education.  It is not expected that mastery of the concepts in this course will be obtained but that instead the participants will begin to grapple with understanding these concepts and the ways in which they apply to clinical work, psychological understanding of oneself, as well as how these concepts apply to allied fields of psychoanalysis.

PSP 789: Transnational Surrealism and the Discourse of the Unconscious
W 1:00-4:00PM

Content: This interdisciplinary seminar will explore the cultural, pictorial, 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 surrealism’s dialogue with psychoanalysis in exchanges between Salvador Dalí 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 by Breton, Louis Aragon, and Georges Batailles, we will explore 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, paying sustained attention to the modern American tradition of “painterly” surrealist verse 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, and Leonor Fini, among others.

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


CPLT 750R 000: "Literary Theories"
Th 1:00-4:00PM

Content: The course explores some of the ways in which an influential way of thinking about language has affected ways of thinking about literature. After investigating the main tenets of structuralist theory, as derived from Saussure’s Cours de linguistique générale, we shall go on to see how the internal logic of structuralism led to the rather different positions often referred to as ‘post-structuralism’ and/or ‘post-modernism’, and to a questioning of the position of theory itself.

Texts: TBA

Particulars: TBA