Wild Analysis : From the Couch to Cultural and Political Life book cover
1st Edition

Wild Analysis
From the Couch to Cultural and Political Life

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ISBN 9781032061146
September 30, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
240 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents

Preface by Daniel Pick and Jacqueline Rose

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  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’  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’  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’














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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, 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, Dept. of English and Film, University of Exeter