Fall 2022

PSP760 - 1 Introduction to Psychoanalysis: Comparative Theories of Clinical Psychoanalysis

Robert A. Paul and Stefanie Speanburg

Thursdays 6:15-8:45pm

This seminar will introduce students and candidates to basic concepts in Freudian theory; the various schools of thought and techniques that have proliferated in the 100-plus years since, including ego psychology, object relations theory, contemporary relational theory, Lacanian psychoanalysis, psychoanalytic feminism; and clinical technique associated with each school of thought. For most sessions, we will devote the first half of each class to the close reading and interrogation of psychoanalytic theory. The last half  of each class will be an opportunity to observe the ways in which clinical material demonstrates the theories discussed. Most sessions will feature guest speakers, about half of whom are practicing analysts and the other half being scholars of the various psychoanalytic schools. Some are both. The goals of the seminar are (1) to introduce students to basic psychoanalytic concepts, (2) to familiarize them with the plurality of approaches that have been developed and employed since Freud, (3) to help them peer into the clinic of each of the various approaches, and (4) to help students find and develop their own psychoanalytic point of view. While this is a required course for the certificate in the Psychoanalytic Studies Program and for first year candidates in the Emory University Psychoanalytic Institute, all PhD students in the Laney Graduate School, including those not pursuing the certificate, are welcome.

WGS756 - 1 / PSP789 - 1 Feminist and Queer Freud

Elizabeth Wilson

Mondays 1:00-3:45pm

Penis envy?  Castration?  Narcissism?  Perversion?  Repression?  Disavowal?  What do all these Freudian terms mean, and what is their relevance for contemporary life?  The aim of this course is two-fold: (i) to introduce students to the core concepts of Freudian psychoanalysis, and (ii) to track these concepts in feminist and queer theory. The course presumes no prior knowledge of psychoanalysis and will provide the foundations for students who have interests in post-Freudian thinkers like Lacan, Klein, Winnicott etc. The course will begin with the central theoretical concepts in Freud’s metapsychology: drives, repression, the unconscious, dream interpretation, the symptom.  We will be particularly interested in how psychoanalysis challenges the notion of a unified, conscious subject. In the second half of semester, the course will focus on the perverse and corporeal nature of infantile sexuality, and use this to investigate psychoanalytic accounts of adult sexuality and gender. In the final weeks of the course, we will survey some influential feminist and queer uses of Freud. 

ENG789 - 3 / CPLT751 - 2 / PSP 789 - 2 Surrealism and Psychoanalysis

Walter Kalaidjian

Wednesdays 1:00-4:00pm

This interdisciplinary seminar will explore literary and pictorial surrealism with particular attention to surrealism's ongoing dialogue with Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalysis in transnational contexts. In addition, the seminar will consider the affinities between the surrealist "found object" (l'objet trouvé) and the object relations theory of Melanie Klein and D. W. Winnicott in discerning fantasies of race and gender difference in the surrealist imaginary. Readings and discussions will begin with surrealist manifestoes of the modern interwar period, Salvador Dalí’s early dialogue with Jacques Lacan, Georges Bataille’s writings for the journal and secret society Acéphale, and particular attention will be devoted to the gender and sexual politics of women’s place within and beyond surrealism by examining the feminist writing, visual art, and occult practices of Leonora Carrington, Remedios Varo, Mina Loy, and Ithell Colquhoun. In addition, the seminar will study postcolonial surrealist aesthetics in figures such as Frida Kahlo, Suzanne Cesaire, Alejo Carpentier, and Wifredo Lam as well as contemporary Afrosurrealism.

We will explore the archive of the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library and investigate surrealism’s migration at mid-century from Europe to London and finally New York City in little magazines such as Minotaure,,VVV, and View, Charles Henri Ford’s avant-garde journal of the 1940s.  

CPLT751 - 1 / PSP789 - 3 Primal Scenes: Literature & Psychoanalysis

Elissa Marder

Tuesdays 1:00-3:45pm

Content: In this course, we shall examine how psychoanalysis both establishes and challenges the boundaries of the human. Beginning with a close reading of Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams, we shall explore how Freud’s derives the specificity of the human unconscious (via the complex operations of the dream-work) by turning to literary language, theatrical spaces and events, and technological operations. Throughout the course, we will focus on the Freudian conception of the ‘primal scene’ as a way of examining how psychoanalytic theory challenges traditional conceptions of temporality, repetition, sexuality and desire, writing, mourning, cruelty, and the status of the historical event.

Texts: The Interpretation of Dreams (Freud); Freud’s case histories (including ‘Dora,’ ‘The Wolf-Man’, ‘The Rat-Man,’ ‘Little Hans’, and ‘Schreber’) Phèdre (Racine); Le Ravissment de Lol V. Stein (Duras); Moderato cantabile (Duras); La Chambre claire (Barthes); Selections from: Combray and A l’ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs (Proust); La Bête humaine (Zola); To the Lighthouse (Woolf) Muriel (dir. Alain Resnais).  Additional readings may include works by: Jacques Derrida, Gilles Deleuze, Avital Ronell, Samuel Weber, Nicolas Abraham and Maria Torok, Hélène Cixous, & Sarah Kofman.  

PHIL 554 - 1 / PSP789 - 4 Critical Theory

Noëlle McAfee

Tuesdays 1:00-4:00pm

From its inception, critical theory has been entwined with psychoanalytic thought, first as a tool in understandingthe failures of reason to live up to its enlightenment promise and later as a way to attempt to continue the project of enlightenment. More recently, critical theorists have returned to the sting of the negative in psychoanalytic thought as a way to make sense of sociopolitical maladies. This seminar will trace critical theory’s use of psychoanalysis, first through the first three generations of the Frankfurt School and then in contemporary critical theory, including both social theory and literary theory. We will begin by reading Horkheimer and Adorno’s Dialectic of Enlightenmentalongside Freud’s Civilization and Its Discontents. We will then read Freud’s Beyond the Pleasure Principle alongside early Frankfurt School’s reception—and disavowals—of the death drive. Turning to the second generation, we will read Jürgen Habermas’s seeming embrace of psychoanalysis in Knowledge and Human Interests alongside Freud’s essay on The Unconscious, and then we will see how Habermas turned away from Freud toward Kohlberg’s cognitive theory of moral development. Taking up the third generation, we will read Axel Honneth and Jessica Benjamin’s appropriation of DW Winnicott alongside works by Winnicott and Joel Whitebook. In the final weeks of the seminar, we will take up how contemporary critical theorists beyond the Frankfurt School use Lacan as well as Klein as resources for unpacking the anxieties of our current time.

·      Allen and Ruti, Critical Theory Between Klein and Lacan
·      Fong, Death and Mastery
·      Freud, Beyond the Pleasure Principle (Norton Library) Paperback – April 17, 1990
·      Honneth, The Struggle for Recognition
·      Horkheimer and Adorno, Dialectic of Enlightenment

Available electronically: Freud’s Standard Edition and essays by Winnicott on the PEP web, shorter pieces by Habermas, Whitebook, Benjamin, Zizek, Deleuze, and others via Canvas.
Particulars: One in-depth presentation, one literature review, final seminar paper.