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Anna Green and Kathleen Troup

One of the most controversial areas of historiography over the last century has been the use of psychoanalysis to aid our understanding of historical personalities, groups, or trends. Reactions to this approach have been diverse, from the belief of Peter Loewenberg (German-American historian and psychoanalyst) that it is ‘the most powerful of interpretive approaches to history’, to Jacques Barzun’s assertion that, ‘events and agents lose their individuality and become illustrations of certain automatisms.’ 1 Many historians apply some psychological

in The houses of history
Françoise Dolto and her legacy
Author: Richard Bates

In Psychoanalysis and the family, Richard Bates reveals the striking range and extent of the influence of Françoise Dolto (1908–88) – child psychoanalyst and France’s leading authority on parenting and family dynamics from the 1970s onwards.

Against the backdrop of rapid economic, social and cultural change, Dolto emerged as a new, reassuring, national presence. Seen as a national treasure, her views proved influential on a wide range of issues linked to psychology, parenting, education, gender, sexuality, bioethics and children’s culture and rights. Dolto claimed the mantle of a progressive, innovative expert who swept away outdated concepts – but Bates demonstrates that her ideas in fact had deep roots in right-wing, anti-feminist currents. Dolto used her media platforms and the cultural authority of psychoanalysis to ensure that her psychoanalytic vision affected the whole French nation and was implanted in a variety of institutional settings. Bates shows how her vision had lasting repercussions, in areas ranging from the treatment of autism to the organisation of children’s centres.

In demonstrating Dolto’s importance, this highly original, thoroughly researched book makes an essential contribution to historical understanding of twentieth-century French society. It forces a reassessment of the place of psychoanalysis in French social history, showing that its true significance lay well beyond the academic seminar or the consulting room.

Birgit Lang

2 Fin-de-siècle investigations of the ‘creative genius’ in psychiatry and psychoanalysis Birgit Lang In Victorian society, admiration for the ‘creative genius’ abounded. It was based on stereotypical notions of the Romantic artist, who, ‘by the neat and necessarily contradictory logic of aesthetic elevation and social exclusion, [was] both a great genius and greatly misunderstood’.1 In Germany the propensity to idealise the artist as a creative genius was further propelled by intellectuals’ and writers’ contribution to imagining the German nation throughout the

in A history of the case study
Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Sexology, psychoanalysis, literature

This volume tells the story of the case study genre at a time when it became the genre par excellence for discussing human sexuality across the humanities and the life sciences. A History of the Case Study takes the reader on a transcontinental journey from the imperial world of fin-de-siècle Central Europe and the Austro-Hungarian Empire to the interwar metropolises of Weimar Germany, and to the United States of America in the post-war years.

Foregrounding the figures of case study pioneers, and always alert to the radical implications of their engagement with the genre, the six chapters scrutinise the case writing practices of Sigmund Freud and his predecessor sexologist Richard von Krafft-Ebing; writers such as Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, Oskar Panizza and Alfred Döblin; Weimar intellectuals such as Erich Wulffen, and New York psychoanalyst Viola Bernard. There result important new insights into the continuing legacy of such writers, and into the agency increasingly claimed by the readerships that emerged with the development of modernity—from readers who self-identified as masochists, to conmen and female criminals.

Where previous accounts of the case study have tended to consider the history of the genre from a single disciplinary perspective, this book is structured by the interdisciplinary approach most applicable to the ambivalent context of modernity. It focuses on key moments in the genre’s past, occasions when and where the conventions of the case study were contested as part of a more profound enquiry into the nature of the human subject.

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Psychoanalysis, politics and the art of French feminism
Author: Rakhee Balaram

This groundbreaking book highlights, for the first time, a generation of women making art to define a culture of experimental thought and practice against the backdrop of the French women’s movement, or Mouvement de libération des femmes (MLF) (1970–1981). Women’s art is viewed in relation to some of the most exciting thinkers emerging from radical trends in philosophy and literature in France in the 1970s – Hélène Cixous, Luce Irigaray and Julia Kristeva – who are widely seen to represent the international brand of ‘French feminism’. The women artists in this book force a timely reconsideration of the full spectrum of revolutionary practices by women in the years that followed the events of May ’68.

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Psychoanalysis in interwar France
Richard Bates

Psychoanalysis in 1934 was no longer a particularly young discipline. Sigmund Freud had published The Interpretation of Dreams , with its new theory of the unconscious mind and an early version of the Oedipus complex, some thirty-five years earlier in 1899 (dating it 1900 to emphasise its novelty and modernity). The Vienna Psychoanalytic Society was founded in 1902, and the International Psychoanalytic Association (IPA) in 1910. By the mid-1930s, Freud was in his late seventies with most of his major publications

in Psychoanalysis and the family in twentieth-century France
Dolto, psychoanalysis and Catholicism from Occupation to Liberation
Richard Bates

explored cooperation with figures on the Left, and at one point even referred to herself as a Trotskyist. 2 However, the hardening of Cold War dividing lines in 1947–48 found Dolto and her closest colleagues very much on the side of capitalism and Christianity. Psychoanalysis came under strong attack from French communists in 1949, and in the 1950s was widely perceived as a bourgeois discipline. By 1953, the French psychoanalytic movement had become divided, as its practitioners’ very different experiences of the war compounded

in Psychoanalysis and the family in twentieth-century France
A clinical archive, 1938
Michal Shapira

Melanie Klein was a true pioneer of British psychoanalysis, though her contribution did not end there; it extended to historical thinking about war, violence, the self and the psyche of the child during the momentous events of the twentieth century. This chapter analyses Klein’s contribution and her extensive 1938 clinical archive of the dreams and thoughts of her British patients vis-à-vis the Nazis, Hitler and the Second World War as it loomed on the horizon. In particular, the chapter will interrogate and analyse her patients’ different reactions to both

in The Munich Crisis, politics and the people
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Hanneke Canters and Grace M. Jantzen

emerging woman subject in philosophy and psychoanalysis, and hints at the new avenues of thought which are opened up for women and men when the implications of female subjectivity are taken seriously. Forever Fluid presents an invitation to us as authors and to you our readers to move into uncharted territory without clear disciplinary demarcations, to discover what happens when female subjects are treated with the same consideration as male subjects have been. The recognition of a female subject is relatively recent in Western philosophy Through Western intellectual

in Forever fluid