American Freud

American Freud

With the introduction of Freud’s discoveries and the technique of psychoanalysis into the U.S. early in the twentieth century, an extraordinary cultural history was set into motion. For much of the century, analytic theory flourished in classrooms, institutions and private clinics throughout the emerging superpower. Perhaps what is equally extraordinary was the movement’s precipitous decline, beginning in the
1970’s and accelerating to the end of the century, when the influence of Freud’s theories and his reputation as an essential thinker reached a stunning nadir in the U.S., from where it has scarcely recovered.
Why did Freud’s revelations regarding the UNCS capture the nation’s popular imagination and the focus of the university discourse, to such an extent in the mid-twentieth century? How are the historical Freud and his innovation of psychoanalysis widely perceived in the U.S. today, especially in mainstream and popular culture? Does Freud have an "image" problem in the U.S., and should the popular perception of analysis be "rehabilitated"? Since psychoanalysis in the U.S. experienced a historical phase in which it was highly fashionable, could it conceivably be "cool" again? And what possible consequences might come out of that?

 

Presented by
Michael Barnard
Writer
Colorado Analytic Forum of the
Lacanian Field member


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