This course explores psychoanalytic theory beyond Freud. Reading the work of modern and contemporary psychoanalytic thinkers in depth, we will ask as well what their theories teach us about reading itself. We will cover a range of modern psychoanalytic approaches, from ego psychology to the British object relations school to “contemporary Freudian revisionists.” Writers may include Anna Freud, Heinz Hartmann, Harry Stack Sullivan, Melanie Klein, Wilfred Bion, W.R.D. Fairbairn, D.W. Winnicott, Heinz Kohut, Jacques Lacan, Otto Kernberg, Roy Schafer, and Christopher Bollas, among others. The course is organized around ideas and close reading: we will trace the evolution of a number of psychoanalytic concepts (such as hysteria, paranoia, aggression, aesthetic experience, dissociation, projection, and transference) from their foundations to the present day. In addition to learning about the history of psychoanalysis, its modern incarnations, and the development of psychoanalytic theory and clinical practice, we will consider how contemporary psychoanalysis offers us new approaches to reading, thinking, and cultural analysis.
Previous experience with courses in English and/or psychoanalysis recommended. Open to juniors and seniors. Limited to 15 students. Spring semester. Visiting Professor Christoff.