Freud Museum London: Psychoanalysis Podcasts A treasure trove of ideas in psychoanalysis, exploring its history and theory, and bringing psychoanalytic perspectives to bear on a diverse range of topics. Freud Museum website: www.freud.org.uk

Part 5: Joseph Calabrese - Therapeutic Emplotment in the Native American Church

In this talk, I will outline my analysis of the Native American peyote ritual, which involves a dialectic between therapeutic symbolism and the use of the psychedelic peyote cactus within an alternative semiotic-reflexive paradigm of psychopharmacology. I will discuss the design features of the ritual intervention as well as examples of healing experiences, which demonstrate the ways in which therapeutic efficacy is embedded in ritual symbols and cultural mythology, generating healing transformations and enduring insights. 

Joseph Calabrese is Reader of Medical Anthropology at University College London. He completed his PhD at the University of Chicago, training in anthropology and clinical psychology, with two postdoctoral fellowships at Harvard Medical School in Clinical Psychology and Medical Anthropology. He was also the Cannon Fellow in Patient Experience and Health Policy at Green Templeton College, University of Oxford. He is author of A Different Medicine: Postcolonial Healing in the Native American Church (2013).


Why do symbols have such a powerful influence on human beings?

This question lies at the heart of both psychoanalysis and anthropology. In his seminal paper ‘The Effectiveness of Symbols’, French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss compared the healing practices of shamans and psychoanalysts in terms of the structuring effects of symbol and language on the body.

Lévi-Strauss opened up new ways of thinking about the symbolic dimension of human life, offering a subtle reformulation of the Freudian unconscious and putting forward a theory of symbolic function that continues to resonate within both fields.

This conference brings together eminent speakers from the fields of psychoanalysis and anthropology to reflect on Lévi-Strauss’ paper and its influence, and to discuss symbolic effectiveness in their own research and practice.
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Part 4: Darian Leader - Symbol and Symbolic Function

This talk will explore some common misconceptions about symbolism, and discuss aspects of the formation of symbols and the establishment of the symbolic function.

Darian Leader is a writer, psychoanalyst, trustee of the Freud Museum and founding member of the Centre for Freudian Analysis and Research. He has written numerous books, including Strictly Bipolar (2013), What is Madness? (2011), The New Black (2008) and Freud's Footnotes (2000)

Why do symbols have such a powerful influence on human beings?

This question lies at the heart of both psychoanalysis and anthropology. In his seminal paper ‘The Effectiveness of Symbols’, French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss compared the healing practices of shamans and psychoanalysts in terms of the structuring effects of symbol and language on the body.

Lévi-Strauss opened up new ways of thinking about the symbolic dimension of human life, offering a subtle reformulation of the Freudian unconscious and putting forward a theory of symbolic function that continues to resonate within both fields.

This conference brings together eminent speakers from the fields of psychoanalysis and anthropology to reflect on Lévi-Strauss’ paper and its influence, and to discuss symbolic effectiveness in their own research and practice.
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Part 3: Boris Wiseman - Symbolic efficacy: From Ritual to Psychoanalysis and Back Again

In this paper I will address the question of the efficacy of symbols by exploring some echoes between ritual and psychoanalytic practices. I will start by examining Lévi-Strauss’s seductive theory of symbolic efficacy and will then turn to a contemporary anthropological revision of that theory by Carlo Severi (Laboratoire d’anthropologie sociale) and its psychoanalytic resonances. I will conclude by turning the lens of anthropology onto psychoanalysis and by asking what Amerindian ritual practices may tell us about the talking cure.

Boris Wiseman is Associate Professor at the Department of English, Germanic and Romance Studies, University of Copenhagen. He is the author of several books, including Lévi-Strauss, Anthropology and Aesthetics (2007), and edited The Cambridge Companion to Lévi-Strauss (2009).
Why do symbols have such a powerful influence on human beings?


This question lies at the heart of both psychoanalysis and anthropology. In his seminal paper ‘The Effectiveness of Symbols’, French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss compared the healing practices of shamans and psychoanalysts in terms of the structuring effects of symbol and language on the body.

Lévi-Strauss opened up new ways of thinking about the symbolic dimension of human life, offering a subtle reformulation of the Freudian unconscious and putting forward a theory of symbolic function that continues to resonate within both fields.

This conference brings together eminent speakers from the fields of psychoanalysis and anthropology to reflect on Lévi-Strauss’ paper and its influence, and to discuss symbolic effectiveness in their own research and practice.
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Part 2: Henrietta Moore - Exclusion, Unsustainability and the Determinations of the Symbolic

This paper discusses the difficulties of adhering to Lévi-Strauss’s view of the symbolic and his account of the effectiveness of symbols. It uses material from Papua New Guinea and China to explore the relationship between desire and ethics as a means of exploring some contemporary problems in articulating the relationship between the psyche and the social.

Henrietta Moore is the founding Director of the new Institute for Global Prosperity at University College London where she also holds the Chair of Philosophy, Culture and Design. She is an internationally renowned social anthropologist who has written extensively on the interrelation between material and symbolic gender systems, embodiment and subjectivity. She is the author of several books, including The Subject of Anthropology (2007), a cutting-edge analysis of gendered subjectivity and a ground-breaking contribution to the debates between anthropology and psychoanalysis.


Why do symbols have such a powerful influence on human beings?

This question lies at the heart of both psychoanalysis and anthropology. In his seminal paper ‘The Effectiveness of Symbols’, French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss compared the healing practices of shamans and psychoanalysts in terms of the structuring effects of symbol and language on the body.

Lévi-Strauss opened up new ways of thinking about the symbolic dimension of human life, offering a subtle reformulation of the Freudian unconscious and putting forward a theory of symbolic function that continues to resonate within both fields.

This conference brings together eminent speakers from the fields of psychoanalysis and anthropology to reflect on Lévi-Strauss’ paper and its influence, and to discuss symbolic effectiveness in their own research and practice.

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Part 1: Stefan Marianski - Introduction

By means of introduction, Stefan will present a short synopsis of Levi-Strauss’ paper ‘The Effectiveness of Symbols’, discussing some of its key ideas, its psychoanalytic influences, and how Levi-Strauss’ thought was in turn taken up within psychoanalysis.


Why do symbols have such a powerful influence on human beings?

This question lies at the heart of both psychoanalysis and anthropology. In his seminal paper ‘The Effectiveness of Symbols’, French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss compared the healing practices of shamans and psychoanalysts in terms of the structuring effects of symbol and language on the body.

Lévi-Strauss opened up new ways of thinking about the symbolic dimension of human life, offering a subtle reformulation of the Freudian unconscious and putting forward a theory of symbolic function that continues to resonate within both fields.

This conference brings together eminent speakers from the fields of psychoanalysis and anthropology to reflect on Lévi-Strauss’ paper and its influence, and to discuss symbolic effectiveness in their own research and practice.

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Panel discussion - Jane Haberlin, Jeanette Winterson and Eleanor Longden

Hearing voices has been described as everything from schizophrenic to godlike. Radical psychiatry in the 1960s contested what today are termed 'auditory hallucinations' seeing them as containing what couldn't be said. The psychology researcher Eleanor Longden isn't crazy -- and neither are many other people who hear voices in their heads. She says the psychic phenomenon is a "creative and ingenious survival strategy" that should be seen "not as an abstract symptom of illness to be endured, but as complex, significant, and meaningful experience to be explored," Recent research shows that there are a variety of explanations for hearing voices, with many people beginning to hear voices as a response to extreme stress or trauma.
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Adam Phillips in conversation with Deborah Levy

     
Unforbidden Pleasures is the dazzling new book from Adam Phillips, author of Missing Out and Going Sane.

Adam Phillips takes Oscar Wilde as a springboard for a deep dive into the meanings and importance of the Unforbidden, from the fall of our 'first parents' Adam and Eve to the work of the great twentieth-century psychoanalytic thinkers.

Unforbidden pleasures, he argues, are always the ones we tend not to think about, yet when you look into it, it is probable that we get as much pleasure, if not more, from them. And we may have underestimated just how restricted our restrictiveness, in thrall to the forbidden and its rules, may make us.

Adam Phillips is a psychoanalyst and the author of several previous books, all widely acclaimed, including On Kissing, Tickling and Being Bored, Going Sane and Side Effects. His most recent books are On Kindness, co-written with the historian Barbara Taylor, Missing Out: In Praise of the Unlived Life, On Balance and One Way and Another.

‘Every mind-blowing book from Adam Phillips suspends all the certainties we are most attached to and somehow makes this feel exhilarating’ - Deborah Levy

‘Phillips radiates infectious charm. The brew of gaiety, compassion, exuberance and idealism is heady and disarming’ - Sunday Times

‘Phillips is one of the finest prose stylists at work in the language, an Emerson for our time’ - John Banville

Unforbidden Pleasures is published by Hamish Hamilton (5 November 2015)

Deborah Levy writes fiction, plays, and poetry. Her work has been staged by the Royal Shakespeare Company, and she is the author of highly praised books including The Unloved, Swallowing Geography, and Beautiful Mutants. Her novel Swimming Home was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. In 2012 Levy adapted two of Freud's case histories, Dora and The Wolfman for BBC Radio 4. Things I Don’t Want to Know is the title of Levy’s sparkling response to George Orwell’s essay ‘Why I Write’, an autobiographical essay on writing, gender politics and philosophy. Her new novel, Hot Milk, will be published in 2016 by Hamish Hamilton.

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