Strangers to Ourselves: An Introduction to Freud
126 Franklin Street,
Brooklyn, NY 11222
In the late nineteenth century, Sigmund Freud created the discipline of psychoanalysis while pioneering treatments for the enigmatic disorder known as “hysteria.” By insisting that the bodily symptoms of hysterics represented unconscious conflict, Freud established a new way of thinking about human experience, motivations, desire, and suffering. The Freudian revolution destabilized longstanding social and philosophical biases that privileged consciousness, reason, and self-reflection as the anchors for subjectivity, revealing that we are in fact not “masters in our own houses.” Over the course of a half-century of clinical and theoretical work, Freud continued to elaborate the foundations of psychoanalytic theory and technique, amid controversy from both followers and detractors. Freud’s oeuvre displays the contradictions, uncertainties, self-doubt, and ceaseless revisions that accompanied the birth of psychoanalysis, as well as his struggles with both clinical phenomena and the elusiveness of the object of analytic investigation.
This course will provide a concise survey of Freud’s writing in order to introduce students to primary concepts as they evolved over four decades. We will focus on four broad periods of Freud’s work: his “discovery” of psychoanalysis in treating hysteria and working with dreams; his isolation of sexuality as primary in neurotic malaise; his elaboration of therapeutic techniques; and finally, his controversial late work on the concept of the death drive.
Course ScheduleSunday, 5-8pm
March 05 — April 02, 2017
4 sessions over 5 weeks
Class will not be meeting on March 26th, 2017