1st Edition

Wild Analysis From the Couch to Cultural and Political Life

Edited By Shaul Bar-Haim, Elizabeth Sarah Coles, Helen Tyson Copyright 2022
    252 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    252 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Winner of the 2022 Gradiva® Award for Best Edited Book!

    This book argues that the notion of ‘wild’ analysis, a term coined by Freud to denote the use of would-be psychoanalytic notions, diagnoses, and treatment by an individual who has not undergone psychoanalytic training, also provides us with a striking new way of exploring the limits of psychoanalysis.

    Wild Analysis: From the Couch to Cultural and Political Life proposes to reopen the question of so-called ‘wild’ analysis by exploring psychoanalytic ideas at their limits, arguing from a diverse range of perspectives that the thinking produced at these limits – where psychoanalysis strays into other disciplines, and vice versa, as well as moments of impasse in its own theoretical canon – points toward new futures for both psychoanalysis and the humanities. The book’s twelve essays pursue fault lines, dissonances and new resonances in established psychoanalytic theory, often by moving its insights radically further afield. These essays take on sensitive and difficult topics in twentieth-century cultural and political life, including representations of illness, forced migration and the experiences of refugees, and questions of racial identity and identification in post-war and post-apartheid periods, as well as contemporary debates surrounding the Enlightenment and its modern invocations, the practice of critique and ‘paranoid’ reading. Others explore more acute cases of ‘wilding’, such as models of education and research informed by the insights of psychoanalysis, or instances where psychoanalysis strays into taboo political and cultural territory, as in Freud’s references to cannibalism.

    This book will be of interest to researchers, practitioners, and students working across the fields of psychoanalysis, history, literature, culture and politics, and to anyone with an interest in the political import of psychoanalytic thought today.

    Preface by Daniel Pick and Jacqueline Rose Part 1 The Mystic Writing Pad 1. Elizabeth Sarah Coles, ‘D. W. Winnicott and the Finding of Literature’  2. Manuel Batsch, ‘Project for a Scientific Psychology: The Impossibility of a Text’  3. Shahidha Bari, ‘"Where had she walked thus and whither was she going?": Freud, Ferrante and feet in Jensen’s Gradiva Part 2 Mass Psychology 4. Nicky Falkof, ‘Psychoanalysis and Satanism: A Case of Moral Panic in South Africa’  5. Ian Magor, ‘Reconstructing Pinky 6. Marita Vyrgioti, ‘Freud and the Cannibal: Vignettes from Psychoanalysis’ Colonial History’  Part 3 The Location of Cultural Experience 7. Helen Tyson, ‘"Little Mussolini" and the "parasite poets": Psychoanalytic Pedagogy, Modernism, and the Illegible Child’  8. Catherine Humble, ‘Exposed to the Other: Responding to the Refugee in Caroline Bergvall’s Drift’  9. Theo Gordon, ‘Between the Acts, or, Melanie Klein and the Representation of People with AIDS’ Part 4 The Suppressed Madness of Sane Men 10. Danae Karydaki, ‘Nazism’s Inner Demons: Psychoanalysis and the Columbus Centre (1962–1981)’  11. Leah Sidi, ‘Reaching into the Blind-Spot: Rape, Trauma and Identification in Blasted’  12. D’Maris Coffman, ‘Freud, The Enlightenment and the Public Sphere’















    Shaul Bar-Haim is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Sociology, University of Essex. He is the author of The Maternalists: Psychoanalysis, Motherhood, and the British Welfare State.

    Elizabeth Sarah Coles is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, where she researches post-critical writing, literary theory and contemporary Anglophone poetry. She is currently completing a monograph on the Canadian poet and Classicist, Anne Carson.

    Helen Tyson is a Lecturer in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century British Literature at the University of Sussex, where she is also a co-director of the Centre for Modernist Studies. Helen is writing a book about the scene of reading in modernist literature, psychoanalysis, and the bestseller.

    'The question of what psychoanalysis can be, or do, outside the clinic haunts Freud’s thinking from the beginning of his discovery of the life of the unconscious mind. Responding to the potential of psychoanalysis to intervene in the world "beyond the couch", the essays collected here generate some unexpected, even counter-intuitive, readings on the cusp between psychoanalysis, history and politics. The provocation issued by a range of critical and cultural texts is vital to that encounter opening up a space, within this volume, to listen to what can very easily remain unheard. Equally, there is a sustained commitment here to take psychoanalysis outside its "comfort zones". In so doing, this collection breaks new ground, demonstrating how, by working at its limits, psychoanalysis can be used to generate new forms of thinking about the very real disturbances in our political and social worlds.' 
    Vicky Lebeau, Professor of English, University of Sussex

    'Tracing the shifting ground between psychoanalysis, history, politics, and culture, Wild Analysis collects together contributions from some of the most interesting established and emerging figures in the field. By working across multiple disciplines, this fascinating collection maps out the dangers, pleasures, and value of using psychoanalytic thinking to enter and understand the terrain of the wild.'
    Laura Salisbury, Professor of Modern Literature and Medical Humanities, University of Exeter

    'As the cumulative evidence of the book builds, its own shifting shape functions in an increasingly layered way. From the early chapters - an explication of how psychoanalysis grants us tools for reading and seeing in the broadest senses of these terms - through attentive case studies of how groups retreat into disavowed thinking when faced with perceived threat, to the increasingly compelling focus on the great harm which an unexamined societal consciousness may do to its own members, this volume offers multiple, nuanced ways to think about the value and the necessity of psychoanalytic thinking in cultural and socio-political life.'

    Harriet Barratt, senior research associate, Converge Evaluation Project. To read this review in full, please see the following: 'Wild Analysis: From the Couch to Cultural and Political Life', Textual Practice, (May, 2022) DOI: 10.1080/0950236X.2022.2076326

    'To think of its wildness is to take psychoanalysis off the couch and out of the neat, middle-class, isolated preserve in which it has been presumed to reside. This is frequently framed as thinking of psychoanalysis at its own limit, a phrase I often use though one that risks a little abstraction. But the edited collection is invested in the workings―indeed the life―of psychoanalysis, raising questions about the relationship between psychoanalysis and history and psychoanalysis and literature, and what kind of communities psychoanalysis might generate, especially as it attends to the gendered and racial formations in which it is complicit.' 

    Jess Cotton, Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the University of Cambridge, UK. To read this review in full, please see the following: 'Shaul Bar-Haim, Elizabeth Sarah Coles and Helen Tyson (eds), Wild Analysis: From the Couch to Cultural and Political Life', Psychoanalysis and History, Volume 25, Issue 2, Page 227-230, ISSN 1460-8235. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3366/pah.2023.0471.