The Psychoanalysis Reading Group
The Psychoanalysis Reading Group is a forum where graduate students and faculty can gather to discuss recent research in the context of the history of analysis, as theory and practice. The group discusses a wide range of works: from founding texts, to canonical and non-canonical historical developments throughout the 20th and 21st century, to the major issues of current debates. At each session, a faculty member proposes a text related to her or his research, introduces it and leads the discussion.
ACADEMIC YEAR 2016-2017
1. Eduardo Cadava (English)
Monday, October 24, 2016 at 5 p.m. 209 Scheide-Caldwell (RSVP by 10/21)
"Written Kisses; or, Burning Letters: Derrida’s Postcards"
Jacques Derrida, “Envois” in La Carte postale, 1980
- "Télépathie," 1981.
2. Katie Chenoweth (French and Italian)
Monday, November 21, 2016 at 5 p.m. 209 Scheide-Caldwell (RSVP by 11/18)
"Derrida and the Scene of Reading"
Jacques Derrida, "Freud and the Scene of Writing," 1967.
Sigmund Freud, "Note upon the 'Mystic Writing Pad,'" 1925.
- Professor Miriam Leonard (UCL - Classics), Feb. 13, J. Derrida, États d’âme de la psychanalyse (selections).
- Professor Elizabeth Rottenberg (DePaul University - Philosophy)
April 26, text TBD.
- Professor Elissa Marder (Emory University - French and Italian), May 5, text TBD.
- Dr. Paola Mieli (Psychoanalyst, New York City), date TBD, text TBD.
10. Rubén Gallo (Spanish and Portuguese - Program in Latin American Studies)
Monday 11/09/15, 5 pm. McCosh 40 (RSVP by 11/04)
"Freud, Sex and Money"
Sigmund Freud. "Contributions to the Psychology of Love: A Special Type of Choice of Object Made by Men," 1918.
- "Three Essays on Sexuality," excerpts.
11. Peter Brooks (Comparative Literature - University Center for Human Values)
Monday 11/16/15, 5 pm. McCosh 40 (RSVP by 11/11)
Sigmund Freud, "Thoughts for the Times on War and Death", 1915.
12. Sarah Wasserman (University of Delaware)
Monday 12/07/15, 5 pm. McCosh 40 (RSVP by 12/02)
"Object Relations: Psychoanalysis and Material Cultural Studies"
13. Patricia Gherovici (Après-Coup Psychoanalytic Association, New York)
Monday 2/15/16, 5 pm. McCosh 40 (RSVP by 2/10)
"Psychoanalysis Needs a Sex Change: Lacanian Approaches to Sexual and Social Difference"
Patricia Gherovici. Please Select Your Gender, ch. 9 and 10 (p. 185-244).
14. Serguei Oushakine (Slavic)
Monday 3/7/15, 5 pm. Scheide Caldwell 209 (RSVP by 3/2)
"Displacement and Condensation: Lacan and Jakobson on Metaphor and Metonymy"
Jacques Lacan. "Metaphor and Metonymy I-II". The Seminar of Jacques Lacan. Ed. Jacques-Allin Miller. Book III - The Psychoses (1955-1956). New York & London: Norton, 1997, p. 214-230.
Roman Jakobson. "The Linguistic Problems of Aphasia". In Fundamentals of Language, by Jakobson & Morris Halle. The Hague, Paris & New York: Mouton Pubishers, 1980 (4th ed.), p. 70-96.
October 30-31, 2015. Freud Museum, Vienna
Keynote - Tim Dean: "What Is Psychoanalytic Thinking?"
Friday, 30 October 7 p.m.: Keynote lecture by Tim Dean
This paper addresses the specificity and use-value of psychoanalysis as a mode of thinking. How might we consider Freudian psychoanalysis not just as a hermeneutic, a therapeutic, and an ethic, but also as a practice of thought that, thanks to the unconscious, is perpetually in conflict with itself? The paper endeavors to answer that question while also assessing the status of sexuality in psychoanalytic thinking.
Tim Dean is Professor of English at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA. Until recently he was Director of the Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis & Culture at the State University of New York at Buffalo, USA. He is the author or editor of 6 books and many articles on psychoanalytic topics. His most recent book is PORN ARCHIVES (Duke University Press, 2014).
Avraham Rot: The Postulate of Anxiety in Freudian Theory
Kierkegaard considered anxiety as the presupposition of the dogma of original sin. It is likewise arguable that anxiety is the presupposition of Freud’s repression theory. Inasmuch as psychoanalysis is a positive rather than dogmatic science, however, alternative presuppositions may be considered, such as boredom, which can be defined as anxiety without fear and which accordingly involves no sense of guilt.
Avraham Rot is a doctoral candidate at the Humanities Center of the Johns Hopkins University. Having published articles dealing with questions of historiography, collective memory, and political identity, he currently works on issues that pertain to the intersection of phenomenology and psychoanalysis and to the history and philosophy of the emotions.
Rubén Gallo: Freud, Sex and Money: Psychoanalysis and Prostitution
What did Freud have to say about prostitution? Many of his contemporaries — from Stefan Zweig to Robert Musil — wrote about prostitution in Vienna and Austria. Freud, in contrast, remained tight-lipped about this issue. Through a close reading of key passages in Freud’s texts, Rubén Gallo unearth’s the psychoanalyst’s views on this issue.
Rubén Gallo received his B.A. in English from Yale University, and his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Columbia University. He is the Walter S. Carpenter Jr. Professor in Language, Literature and Civilization of Spain at Princeton University. He is the author, most recently, of Proust’s Latin Americans (2014), Freud’s Mexico: Into the Wilds of Psychoanalysis (2010), Mexican Modernity: the Avant-Garde and the Technological Revolution (2005), New Tendencies in Mexican Art (2004) and The Mexico City Reader (2004). He is the recipient of the Gradiva award for the best book on a psychoanalytic theme and of the Modern Language Association’s Katherine Singer Kovacs Prize for the best book on a Latin American topic. He is a member of the board of the Sigmund Freud Museum in Vienna, where he also serves as research director.
Spyridon Papapetros: Freud and ornament: Towards a minor architecture of the psychoanalytic text
A pair of dropform earrings, a small ladies’ handbang, the shine of silverware, a lost key, the smell of cigar smoke, or a seemingly superfluous yet highly suggestive question mark left hanging at the end of a sentence in a written note: these are the some of the ornamental scrolls oscillating between the two and three dimensions from the Freudian text, specifically the psychoanalyst’s “Fragment from an Analysis of a Case of Hysteria” (1905) . Building on my analysis of Dora’s first and second dreams presented at the Freud Museum two years ago, I would like to expand on a more general yet still minor theory of the way that ornament (a category of things whose legitimacy comes into question during Freud’s early period in Vienna) functions in psychoanalytic interpretation and its structural/ decorative role in the architecture of the Freudian text.
Spyros Papapetros is Associate Professor of theory and historiography at the School of Architecture and a member of the executive committees of the Program in European Cultural Studies and the Program in Media and Modernity at Princeton University. He studies the intersections between art, architecture, cultural history, psychoanalysis, and psychological aesthetics. He is the author of On the Animation of the Inorganic: Art, Architecture, and the Extension of Life (University of Chicago Press, 2012), the editor of Space as Membrane by Siegfried Ebeling (Architectural Association Publications, 2010) and the co-editor (with Julian Rose) of Retracing the Expanded Field: Encounters between Art and Architecture (MIT Press, 2014).
Anne Cheng: "Psychoanalysis without Symptoms"
This talk explores the relationship between psychoanalytic thinking and race studies through a larger inquiry about the politics of critical reading bequeathed to us by Freud. This paper argues that psychoanalysis contributes to the critique of power and an understanding of American racial dynamics, not through a hermeneutics of suspicion, but through its insistence on an ethical principal of susceptibility.
Anne Anlin Cheng is Professor of English and African American Studies and Director of the Program in American Studies at Princeton University. She is the author of The Melancholy of Race: Psychoanalysis, Assimilation, and Hidden Grief and Second Skin: Josephine Baker and the Modern Surface. She is currently working on a new book, entitled Radiant Defilement: Ornamentalism and Aesthetic Being.
Miguel Caballero: “The ego is not a master in its own house." Domesticities in Transitioning Cuba
As Cuba restores diplomatic and commercial ties with the USA and gradually becomes a sui generis form of market economy, an anxiety develops in Cuban households. This presentation discusses the architectural uncanny through different cases of field work. Two different families inhabit the same house: the one who went into exile and left their house behind, and the one who occupied that same house after the revolution and are now anxious of the former owners knocking on their doors one day to claim their former home.
Miguel Caballero is a PhD candidate at Princeton University. He studies the relationship between architecture, urban planning, theoretical and literary representations of space. His dissertation, tentatively entitled “Tabula Inscripta. Iberoamerican Modern Architecture and the Underground (1928-1968)”, explores the archaeological dialectics of burying/unearthing in four projects of modern architects. He is the founder of the Princeton Psychoanalysis Reading Group.
Rachel Bowlby: Freud’s Parents
Parenthood is everywhere and nowhere in Freud. On the one hand parents appear all the time as a back-story, part of that constraining Oedipal family which is formative for the future life of every human being. But while parental desires (and fears) are fundamental in most human lives, Freud barely considers the topic from the parental side. This absence is all the more striking now that the forms and possibilities of parenthood have changed so radically since Freud’s time. Why do people want—or want not—to be parents? Starting where Freud started, with Sophocles’ Oedipus, this paper will offer some Freudian suggestions on this topic.
Rachel Bowlby studied at Oxford and Yale, and has taught the universities of Sussex, Oxford, York, University College London, and Princeton. Her work ranges from the history of consumer culture to psychoanalysis and literary theory, with books that include: Just Looking, Shopping with Freud, Feminist Destinations and Further Essays on Virginia Woolf, Carried Away: The Invention of Modern Shopping, Freudian Mythologies, and A Child of One’s Own: Parental Stories. A new book, Everyday Stories, will be published in 2016.
ACADEMIC YEAR 2014/15
1. Avraham Rot (Humanities - Johns Hopkins, PhD Candidate)
Monday 9/22/14, 5 pm. Room Friend 006 (RSVP by 09/17)
"On Anxiety and Boredom in Freud and Heidegger"
Sigmund Freud. Vorlesungen zur Einführung in die Psychoanalyse [Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis], Lecture 25: "Anxiety", 1917
—. Hemmung, Symptom und Angst [Inhibitions, Symptoms and Anxiety], 1926
2. John Borneman (Anthropology)
Monday 10/13/14, 5 pm. Room Friend 006 (RSVP by 10/08)
"Talking, Dreaming, and Intersubjectivity in Psychoanalytic Practice"
Ogden, Thomas H. “On talking as dreaming”. International Journal of Psychoanalysis 88, 2007: 575-89
3. Susan Sugarman (Psychology)
Monday 11/3/14, 5 pm. Room Friend 006 (RSVP by 10/29)
"On Freud's Theory of Mind: Reductive or Axiomatic? The General Theory as Seen Through His Discourse on the Pleasure Princple"
Sigmund Freud. "Formulierungen über die zwei Prinzipien des psychischen Geschehens". [Formulations on two Principles in Mental Functioning], 1911
—. Die Traumdeutung [The Interpretation of Dreams], 1899. Two paragraphs in the middle of Section C, Chapter VII, starting from "There can be no doubt that [the mental] apparatus has only reached its present perfection after a long period of development..."
—. Jenseits des Lustprinzips [Beyond the Pleasure Principle], 1920
—. [The Economic Problem in Masochism], 1924. Introduction
4. Anthony Vidler (Architecture - The Cooper Union)
Monday 11/17/14, 5 pm. Room Friend 006 (RSVP by 11/12)
"The Architectural Uncanny"
Sigmund Freud. Das Unheimliche [The Uncanny], 1909.
Jacques Lacan on Anxiété [Anxiety], Session VI, 1962-63.
Anthony Vidler. "The Architecture of the Uncanny: The Unhomely Houses of the Romantic Sublime", Assemblage, n. 3, July 1987, pp. 6-29.
Jacques Derrida. "Freud et la scène de l'écriture". L'écriture et la différence ["Freud and the Scene of Writing". Writing and Difference], 1967.
—. Mal d'Archive: Une Impression Freudienne [Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression], 1996.
5. Rachel Bowlby (Comparative Literature)
Monday 12/8/14, 5.30 pm. Room Friend 006 (RSVP by 12/3)
"Freud on 'Family Romances'"
Sigmund Freud. Der Familienroman der Neurotiker, 1909. [Family Romances, Standard Edition IX: 237-41].
6. Spyros Papapetros (Architecture)
Monday 2/16/15, 5 pm. McCosh 40
"Freud, Dora, and Dream Space"
Sigmund Freud, "Fragment from an Analysis of a Case of Hysteria", 1905. Excerpts: p. 64-93 (first dream) and p. 94-111 (second dream), Standard Edition.
7. Anne Cheng (English)
Monday 3/23/15, 5 pm. McCosh 40
"Race, Shine, and Surfaces"
Sigmund Freud, "Fetichism", 1927.
Jacques Lacan, "The Split Between the Eye and the Gaze", and "The Line and Light", from The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis", trans. Alan Sheridan. New York: Norton, 1978.
8. Brigid Doherty (Art & Archaeology / German)
Monday 4/13/15, 5 pm. McCosh 40
"On the Concept of Introjection in Sándor Ferenczi's Psychoanalytic Writings" (1873-1933)"
Sándor Ferenczi, "Introjection and Transference" (1909), in Contributions to Psychoanalysis (1916), pp. 30-49 [Only Part I of the essay]; "Introjektion und Uebertragung," (1909; reprint 1910), pp. 1-16 (I. Die Introjektion in der Neurose).
Sándor Ferenczi, "On the Definition of Introjection" (1912) in Final Contributions to the Problems and Methods of Psycho-analysis (1955); "Zur Begriffsbestimmung der Introjektion" in Bausteine der Psychoanalyse I (1927).
Sándor Ferenczi, "Belief, Disbelief and Conviction" (1913) in Further Contributions to the Theory and Technique of Psychoanalysis (1927); "Glaube, Unglaube, und Ueberzeugung".
9. Katja Guenther (History of Science)
Monday 5/4/15, 5p pm. McCosh 40
"Jacques Lacan's mirror stage in a historical perspective"
Jacques Lacan, "The mirror stage as formative of the I function as revealed in psychoanalytic experience". New Translations of Écrits, p. 74-81.