Whose Freud?: The Place of Psychoanalysis in Contemporary Culture

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9780300081169: Whose Freud?: The Place of Psychoanalysis in Contemporary Culture
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One hundred years after the publication of The Interpretation of Dreams, Freud remains the most frequently cited author of our culture—and one of the most controversial. To some he is the presiding genius of modernity, to others the author of its symptomatic illnesses. The current position of psychoanalysis is very much at issue. Is it still valid as a theory of the mind? Have its therapeutic applications been rendered obsolete by drugs?  Why does it still figure in debates about sexual identity, despite its rejection by many feminists? How does it contribute to cultural analysis?
 
This book offers a new assessment of the status of psychoanalysis as a discipline and a discourse in contemporary culture. It brings together an exceptional group of theorists and practitioners, such partisans and critics of Freud as Frederic Crews, Judith Butler, Leo Bersani, Juliet Mitchell, Robert Jay Lifton, Richard Wollheim, Jonathan Lear, and others.
 
These contributors, who are active in literature, philosophy, film, history, cultural studies, neuroscience, psychotherapy, and other disciplines, debate how psychoanalysis has enriched—and been enriched by—these fields.

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This work records the activity of a 1998 symposium at Yale, whose goal was to "assess the status of psychoanalysis as a discipline and discourse in contemporary culture." Reflecting the conference's format, the book is divided into six sections focusing on the legitimacy of psychoanalysis as a science, its various theories of the mind, psychoanalysis and historiography, sexual identity, hermeneutics, and the quality of "truth" in psychoanalytic theory and practice. Each section is composed of an introduction, presentations by the seminar participants (including Judith Butler and Leo Bersani), and discussion. Pulling no punches, Brooks (humanities, Yale Univ.) and Woloch (English, Stanford Univ.) begin with Frederic Crews's scathing, provocative attack on Freud's theories as a science. The other sections provide some equally thought-provoking presentations on such disparate topics as Freud and homosexuality and the "psychoanalysis" of Nazi architecture. Within its broad intellectual scope, this book illustrates the intriguing crossroads of Freud's 19th-century sensibilities with our own. An excellent academic treatment of the relative value of Freud at the turn of the millennium geared to psychology and humanities professionals.DDavid Valencia, King Cty. Lib. Syst., Federal Way, WA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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