Freudianism and the Twentieth Century Left

Lecture in English by Eli Zaretsky


Opening lecture of the conference

Where Is the Unconscious Today?


Friday, 17 March, 8 p.m., Billrothhaus, Frankgasse 8, 1090 Vienna

Free admission, please register below
Welcome by Monika Pessler
Moderated by Jeanne Wolff Bernstein
“By Political Freud I mean the uses to which Freud was put by twentieth century radicals, political intellectuals and reformers. I will argue that there were three stages in this process: repression, sublimation, and regression: first, Freud's themes of the father complex and group psychology were used to analyze both the dictatorships of the last century and to analyze racism, especially its quintessential form – the lynch mob (repression). Second, Freudian thought was mobilized by the Frankfurt School, and by protagonists of the African American and Afro-Carribean radicalism to criticize mass consumption society (sublimation). Finally, Freudianism was used by the New Left and the women’s movement of the 1970s, which internalized Freud’s ideas even as they turned them against Freud to define a new politics, today’s feminism, multiculturalism and gay liberation (regression). What would a fourth stage look like today?“ (Eli Zaretsky)
Prof. Eli Zaretsky, PhD, teaches history at the Eugene Lang College – New School for Liberal Arts in New York City since 1999. His research focuses at twentieth century cultural history, the theory and history of capitalism, and the history of the family. He was a visiting fellow at the Australian National University, Canberra in 2005 and an affiliated scholar at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna in 1995. He received the Robert J. Stoller Foundation Award in 1995 for his essay “Bisexuality and the Ambivalent Legacy of Psychoanalysis”. His publications include Political Freud (Cambridge University Press, 2015), Secrets of the Soul: A Social and Cultural History of Psychoanalysis (Vintage, 2005), Why America Needs a Left (Polity, 2013), and Capitalism, the Family and Personal Life (Harper & Row, 1976). He authored numerous articles including “Psychoanalysis and Jewish History”, in: Encyclopedia of Jewish History (forthcoming); “From Psychoanalysis to Cybernetics: The Case of Her”, in: American Imago 72 (2015); “Freud’s Theory of Memory”, in: Dimitri Nikulin: Memory (Oxford University Press,  2015); “Narcissism, Personal Life and Identity: The Place of the 1960s in the History of Psychoanalysis”, in: Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society (2008). His works have been translated into French, Russian, Spanish, Polish, German and various other languages.
The event is the opening of the conference Where Is the Unconscious Today?

Saturday, 18 March, 9:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. at the Sigmund Freud Museum, Berggasse 19, 1090 Vienna

With Giuseppe Civitarese, Bernard Toboul, Jan Lohl, Helmut Dahmer, August Ruhs and Edith Seifert. For more information click here ...




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