Spring 2018

PSP 789-001: Anthropology & Psychoanalysis
Robert A. Paul
Wednesdays, 6:00 PM-9:00 PM 

Content: Just over a century ago Freud published his book Totem and Taboo, launching a dialogue, or debate, about the relationship between psychoanalysis and anthropology that has waxed and waned by continues to this day. Both disciplines seek to go beyond ordinary perspective on the world, anthropology in breadth, through cross-cultural awareness, psychoanalysis in depth, through the exploration of the unconscious mind and its fantasies. But are they compatible, and if so, how? That is the question. This seminar provides an overview of some of the most important theoretical and ethnographic contributions to this intellectual conundrum, examining the work of leading contributors to the literature who have tried to apply psychoanalysis to anthropology and and/or vice versa.

Texts: Some of the authors to be considered include classic authorities such as Geza Roheim, Bronislaw Malinowski, Ernest Jones, Georges Devereux, Abram Kardiner, Karen Horney, and John Whiting; along with more recent thinkers such as Alan Dundes, Jean Briggs, Melford Spiro, Gananath Obeyesekere, Waud Kracke, Vincent Crapanzano, John Ingham, Nancy Chodorow, Douglas Hollan, Kate Schecter, and others. 

Cross-listed with ANT 585


PSP 789-002: Literature on the Alert
Claire Nouvet
Mondays, 1:00 PM-4:00 PM

Content: To be on the alert implies not only foreboding in the face of danger, but also vigiliance, an awakening of sorts, a warning even. Literature can be on the alert in all of those senses insofar as it is attentive to a "mal," an affliction that confronts language to its very limits. As we shall see, the poetry of the troubadours alerts us to the presence of "something" that, as Lacan pointed out, is not an object, but something else entirely and much more terrifying, which turns poetry into an infinite address and romance into an endless quest. Elevated through idealization or degraded into comical obscenity, this "something" can also make its presence felt as an engimatic sickness, a devasting malaise at the core of the literary social space. As it attends to these afflictions, literature can become a strange wake-up call that breaks through everyday slumber to transmit what Julien Gracq called "something like a far-away alarm." 

Texts: Troubadours [selections], Tristan et Iseut: Les poemes francais, la saga norroise, Blanchot: "Orphee Don Juan, Tristan" in L'entretien infini, Guillaume de Lorris: Le roman de la rose, Chretien de Troyes: Perceval ou le Conte du Gral, Barbey d'Aurevill: "Le rideau cramoisi" in Les diaboliques, Gracq: Le rivage des syrtes, Lacan: Ethique de la psychanalyse (selections)

Cross-listed with FREN 775


PSP 789-003: Ethics and Emotions 
Cynthia Willett 
Wednesdays, 2:00 PM-5:00 PM 

Content: Themes include affect theory, emotions and their cognitive components, inside out and outside in theories of emotion, the impact of oppression, relational ethics, shame, and empathy. 

Texts: Shame and Its Sisters: A Silvan Tomkins Reader eds. Sedgwick and Frank: Forms of Vitality: Exploring Dynamic Experience, Daniel Stern: The Physiology of Sexist and Racist Oppression, Shannon Sullivan: Political Emotions, Martha Nussbum: The Happiness Hypothesis, Jonathan Haidt: Tentavive Essays include Moral Emotions by Anthony Steinbock, The Affect Theory Reader edited by Melissa Gregg and Seigworth, Self and Other by Dan Zahavi, Audre Lourde on Eros, "My Body Does Not Exist" by Paul B. Preciado, "Encounter with Animal Minds" by Barbara Smuts, and Sara Ahmed on inside out / outside in models of emotions. 

Cross-listed with PHIL 570R