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2 Willow Road
Benjamin Franklin House
Burgh House
Charles Dickens Museum
Dr Johnson's House
Emery Walker's House
Fenton House and Garden
Freud Museum
Handel & Hendrix in London
Hogarth's House
John Wesley's House
Keats House Museum
Kelmscott House
Stephens House and Gardens
20 September - 06 December 2018
Other

Introducing Freud at the Freud Museum: 12 Week Evening Course

 Tutor: Keith Barrett BA PhD

As Freud is so frequently referenced, it can easily be assumed that we already know everything about him, but the superficial manner in which his life and ideas are normally discussed conceals the fact that his writings and the thought behind them are poorly understood at the level of popular awareness, and that an accurate picture of Freud that does justice to the true nature of his achievements has never fully emerged. This situation has been exacerbated by the series of intense controversies that has raged around his ideas since they first became internationally known.

Nevertheless, since the mid 1970’s, distinguished scholars – including historians of science and cultural historians – have been producing ground breaking studies illuminating in detail the context in which Freud was working, and the sequence of steps by which he arrived at the central ideas and methods of psychoanalysis. Taking the results of all these studies together, we now have an accurate and nuanced picture of Freud as a scientific investigator and therapeutic innovator, and of the actual process through which psychoanalysis was created.

The aim of ‘Introducing Freud’ is to revisit Freud’s most important writings – bringing to bear on our critical examination of his texts the results of the last 40 years of Freud scholarship. We will also take into account the major critiques of Freud’s work advanced in the last 70 years – for example, the feminist critique of Freud and the positivist critique of the scientific status of psychoanalysis – as well as exploring the important changes in our view of Freud brought about by advances in psychoanalysis itself.

Each session of the course will focus on selected passages from Freud’s writings (all the readings are taken from ‘The Freud Reader’ edited by Peter Gay), with the aim of enabling students to familiarise (or re-familiarise) themselves directly with his ideas, while clarifying the import of his most important concepts and theories, as well as his approach to the practice of psychoanalysis. This will provide the basis on which to evaluate the most recent scholarship devoted to the re-assessment of his achievements – and the current state of play in the principal debates surrounding his legacy.

We will place Freud’s writings accurately in their historical context – while also bringing into focus the relevance of his work to debates that are taking place at the present time.

The course will be accessible to beginners – but is also designed for those already familiar with Freud’s work who wish to acquaint themselves with the results of the latest research and scholarship and up-date themselves on the intellectual issues and controversies surrounding it.

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Freud Museum