Freud's Stories: Case History as Literature

Eugene Lang College Lib Arts: Literary Studies

Liberal Arts

Undergraduate Course

Degree Students

Freud's Case Histories

Fall 2022

Taught By: Emma Lieber

Section: AX

CRN: 14276

Credits: 4

This course will examine Sigmund Freud’s five major case studies (colloquially called “The Wolfman,” “The Rat Man,” “Dora,” “Schreber,” and “Little Hans”) as well as two smaller works that may be considered case studies--"The Psychogenesis of a Case of Homosexuality in a Woman," and the case of Elisabeth von R in his early Studies in Hysteria--as pieces of both theory and literature, and as texts that raise the question of the relationship between psychoanalytic theory and literature. Psychoanalysis is an endeavor that puts to question the stories we tell or have long told about ourselves, with the understanding that other narratives—or perhaps something that lies beyond narrative per se—might be uncovered. At the same time, the psychoanalytic encounter, especially in Freud’s hands, is itself a kind of story, and thus Freud’s case studies may be read as works of literature at the same time that doing so may put to question both what a “case study” and what “literature” is. Thus in this class, we will read Freud’s case studies to ask both what they provide us about the theory and practice of psychoanalysis, and how they are formed as texts. We will attend throughout to the various genres (the short story, the Victorian novel, the memoir) that Freud was drawing on as a writer, and also to the ethical questions evoked by the practice of writing about patients. We will further read various post-Freudian commentaries (by Jacques Lacan, Jacqueline Rose, Jane Gallop, Peter Brooks, Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, and others) on Freud’s cases as a way of refining these questions; and we will read more contemporary, experimental case studies in order to explore other possible narrative methods of transmitting the psychoanalytic encounter and the human story.

This course fulfills the Single Author/Text requirement in Literary Studies.
After the first week of the semester, permission of the instructor will be required in order to register for this course.

College: Eugene Lang College Lib Arts (LC)

Department: Literary Studies (LLST)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Modality: In-Person

Max Enrollment: 18

Add/Drop Deadline: September 12, 2022 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: December 18, 2022 (Sunday)

Seats Available: No

Status: Closed*

* Status information is updated every few minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 7:30am EST 11/27/2022

Meeting Info:

Days: Friday

Times: 9:00am - 11:40am

Building: Eugene Lang 65 W11th

Room: 464

Date Range: 9/2/2022 - 12/16/2022