Syllabus: Spring, 2001

A. Required Texts:
(1) Peter Gay, ed. The Freud Reader. London and New York: Norton, 1995.
(2) Photocopied materials.

B. Course Requirements:
(1) two papers [minimum of 800 words each; one unit each]; topics and deadlines to be announced in class;
(2) two class presentations (one unit combined);
(3) a journal [3 units] in which students are to write regularly. This will be submitted in the penultimate week; each entry should be dated and typed. Students will be asked to read aloud from their journals in several classes;
(4) a final examination [2 units], due on Tuesday, May 1, 6-9 p.m.
(5) the quality of class participation counts for two units;
(6) anyone missing a reading or writing assignment, for whatever reason, should see me as soon as possible.

C. Course Description:

Freud’s influence on twentieth century thought and culture has been enormous. In this course we will study some of the major and fascinating texts of Freud, such as his essays on the interpretation of dreams, sexuality, the structure of the mind and mental development (including the Oedipus complex), the unconscious, the reality/pleasure principles, and on the creative process in literature. We will also review some of his famous case-studies on hysteria and neurosis as well as more general works on civilisation and broad issues such as religion. A number of themes will guide our study: (1) Freud’s relation to literature, his methods of literary analysis and his use of literary techniques in constructing psychoanalytic narratives; (2) the “scientific” status and method of Freud’s investigation of the mind; and (3) Freud’s assessment of religion and the progress of civilisation. In general, this course will give you a fairly thorough grasp of one of the most important and interesting thinkers of the modern Western world.

D. Weekly Class Assignments:


Week 1: Jan 16: Introductions: (1) Introduction to course; (2) introduction to Freud; (3) reading and discussion of “An Autobiographical Study,” in The Freud Reader [FR], pp. 3-41.

Week 2: Jan 23: Freud’s Early Development: (1) Freud’s Preface to the translation of Bernheim’s Suggestion, FR, pp. 45-48; (2) Freud’s obituary on Charcot, FR, pp. 49-55; (3) Freud’s memorandum to Fliess, “Draft B: The Aetiology of the Neuroses, FR, pp. 56-60; (4) Breuer and Freud’s case-histories: “Fraulein Anna O.,” “Katharina,” FR, pp. 61-86; extract from Project for a Scientific Psychology, Introduction, FR, pp. 87-89.
Student presentations on: (1) Charcot; (2) Fliess.


Week 3: Jan 30: Freud’s Theories of Dreams: (1) Preface to The Interpretation of Dreams (1900), pp. 129-142; (2) “On Dreams,” (from Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis (1916), pp. 142-172.
Student presentations on each of the readings for this class.

Week 4: Feb 6: Freud’s Theories of Sexuality: (1) Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality (1905), pp. 240-293: (I) The Sexual Aberrations; (II) Infantile Sexuality; (III) The Transformations of Puberty. “Character and Anal Eroticism”; “Family Romances” (pp. 293-300).
Student presentations on each of the essays on sexuality.


Week 5: Feb 13: Case-Histories (I): “Fragment of an Analysis of a Case of Hysteria (‘Dora’),” pp. 173-239).
Two student presentations on this case-history.

Week 6: Feb 20: Case-Histories (II): “The History of an Infantile Neurosis (‘Wolf Man’), pp. 401-426; “Observations on Transference-Love,” pp. 378-387.
Student presentations on each of these texts.

Week 7: Feb 27: The Reality and Pleasure Principles: “Formulations on the Two Principles of Mental Functioning,” pp. 301-306; “Beyond the Pleasure Principle,” pp. 594-626.
Student presentations on each of these passages.

Week 8: Mar 6: The Unconscious: “Repression,” pp. 569-572; “The Unconscious,” pp. 573-584; “The Ego and the Id,” pp. 629-658; “The Dissolution of the Oedipus Complex,” pp. 661-666.


Week 9: Mar 20: Pschoanalysis and Literature/Art: “Creative Writers and Daydreaming,” pp. 436-443; “The Theme of the Three Caskets,” pp. 514-522; “The Moses of Michelangelo,” pp. 523-539.
Student presentations on each of these essays.

Week 10: Mar 27: Freud on Religion: “Obsessive Actions and Religious Practices,” pp. 429-436; The Future of an Illusion, pp. 686-722.
Student presentations on each text.

Week 11: Apr 3: Psychoanalysis and Civilization: Civilization and its Discontents, pp. 722-772.
Two student presentations on this text.

Weeks 12-14: Student-directed discussions of Freud and Lacan, Freud and Focault,
and the scientific status of Freud’s work.