Freud Museum London: Psychoanalysis Podcasts A treasure trove of ideas in psychoanalysis. History, theory, and psychoanalytic perspectives on a diverse range of topics. www.freud.org.uk

January 13, 2014  

Three week evening course with Mary Wild


Session 1: SEDUCTION - erotica/romance
Basic Instinct, Bitter Moon, Lola Montes, The Seven Year Itch, Belle De Jour, Talk To Her

"What does it mean to be a woman?" "What does a woman want?" An exploration of female desire provides dynamically elusive answers to these eternal questions. Originating in ancient Greek notions of the 'wandering womb', hysteria was Sigmund Freud’s 'splendid child’, defined in his landmark Dora case study. The hysteric’s body is a theatre where irrepressible ghosts of past trauma are disguised in blindness, deafness, seizures and convulsions – she unconsciously shape-shifts into a medium of warped communication, her symptoms do all the talking for her. At the core of hysteria is a twisted fascination with beauty, so closely bound up with femininity that it runs the risk of replacing it. Through her identification with the male gaze, the hysteric becomes a tragic seductress, desiring the desire of the other. Exaggerated womanliness is the theme of this 'masquerade': the ultimate woman might be an imaginary one, a metaphysical alien-goddess, dreamed up by the male animal. "The woman does not exist," so said Lacan, and pandemonium ensued. But becoming a woman implies extraordinary transformation, at the very least. 

Hysteria has not disappeared from modern Western world; instead our culture manifests a hidden hysteria but does not recognise it. PROJECTIONS: CINEMA HYSTERIA is a three-part course by MARY WILD examining the central role of hysteria within different film genres (e.g., erotica/romance, horror/melodrama, fantasy/sci-fi). The mystery of femininity will be investigated psychoanalytically via the unconscious connection between the body and language. So rather than the wandering womb, it is in fact the exiled signifier that roams, creeping, searching for a mode of expression among possessed images on the cinema screen.

PROJECTIONS is psychoanalysis for film interpretation. PROJECTIONS empowers film spectators to express subjective associations they consider to be meaningful. Expertise in psychoanalytic theory is not necessary - the only prerequisite is the desire to enter and inhabit the imaginary world of film, which is itself a psychoanalytic act. MARY WILD, a Freudian cinephile from Montreal, is the creator of PROJECTIONS.

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The affinity between Freud and Bloomsbury was obvious from 1910 and became productive when core members of the Bloomsbury group becoming psychoanalysts in the 1920s and the Hogarth Press became the official psychoanalytic publishing house. The lecture will explore the reasons for this affinity and also ask if the history of psychoanalysis in Britain has been radically different from other countries because of its original alliance with an entrenched anti-establishment elite from the English rentier class, both extremely well-connected and bohemian.

John Forrester is Professor of History and Philosophy of the Sciences in the University of Cambridge, author of 'Language and the Origins of Psychoanalysis' (1980), 'The Seductions of Psychoanalysis' (1990), (with Lisa Appignanesi) 'Freud’s Women' (1992), 'Dispatches from the Freud Wars' (1997) and 'Truth Games' (1997). He is completing (with Laura Cameron) 'Freud in Cambridge', a study of the reception of psychoanalysis in the 1920s. He is interested in reasoning in cases in science, medicine and law. He is Editor of Psychoanalysis and History.

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Giles Fraser in conversation with Adam Phillips


Dr. Giles Fraser is a well known cultural commentator, priest and vicar of St Mary's Newington. He took a controversial stand on Occupy at St Paul's, resigning his post there in the process. He is also passionate about psychoanalysis.

Adam Phillips is a psychoanalyst and writer, author of many celebrated books, among them Missing Out and Promises, Promises. He has just finished a biography of the young Freud, who understood religion as an illusion.

Together they discuss psychoanalysis and religion.
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