Hysteria, Pathology, and Unconscious Life: An Introduction to Freud
620 S 9th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
In 1876, an aspiring young Austrian scientist named Sigmund Freud spent several thankless months in a lab in Trieste, trying without success to develop a technique for determining sexual differences among eels. By the time of his death in 1939, he had become world famous for something else entirely: founding psychoanalysis, a sprawling body of knowledge that encompasses therapeutic practices, psychological theory, philosophical and cultural criticism, and more. In what ways did the Freudian revolution destabilize longstanding social and philosophical biases that placed rational consciousness as the anchor of human subjectivity and proposed that we have privileged and transparent access to our own mental life? How have Freud’s ideas and his insistence that we are not “masters in our own houses” affected the way we conceive of everything, from identity and agency to the nature of human civilization itself?
In this course, we’ll track Freud’s foundation and development of psychoanalysis as a discipline, reading and discussing excerpts from The Interpretation of Dreams, The Psychopathology of Everyday Life, Studies on Hysteria, and the Dora case study. From his development of the “talking cure” as a treatment for hysteria, to his investigation on dreams and everyday behavior (like the famous “Freudian slip”), to his clinical cases studies, to his formulation of the Oedipus Complex, we’ll explore Freud’s key theoretical ideas and clinical contributions and his influence on fields ranging from political philosophy to literature.
Course ScheduleWednesday, 6:30-9:30PM
November 01 — November 27, 2017
4 sessions over 5 weeks
Class dates are: 11/1, 11/8, 11/15 and 11/27. The location of the first class is 113 Chestnut Street #3. The remaining three classes will take place at Chapterhouse Cafe and Gallery.