HIS 350L • Hist/Unconscious in Mod Eur-W
3:00 PM-6:00 PM
This course investigates th idea of the "unconscious" in modern European history, an idea that has been especially salient if controversial in the wake of hte more tmultuous and traumatic moments of the last two centures. The unconscious was not discovered in the nineteenth century, nor was the concept of trauma. But it was in the nineteenth century that scientists, doctors, lawyers, and philosophers turned the unconscious into a matter of political, legal, and scientific urgency. Our course will consequently begin with late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century efforts to chart the unconscious, reading substantially in the writings of early psychoanalysis and related schools of thought. The course will then move its way up through the late twentieth-century struggle with similar questions. Along the way, we will focus on those moments in European history around which controversies regarding trauma and the unconscious have centered. These moments include: the late nineteenth-century "epidemic" of hysteria, the first world war and "shell-shock", Surrealism and avant-garde art, and the second world war and the Holocaust. In the last several weeks we will reflect on how psychoanalytic ideas of trauma and/or the unconscious may (or may not) be useful categories with which to talk about the past.
First paper: 35% Second paper: 35% Class Participation: 15% Weekly Response papers: 15%
John Eric Erichsen, On Concussion of the Spine, Nervous Shock, and other Obscure Injuries of the Nervous System. Jean-Martin Charcot, Hysteroepilepsy: A Young Woman With a Convulsive Attack in the Auditorium. Pierre Janet, Amnesia Sigmund Freud, The Aetiology of Hysteria Sigmund Freud, Remembering, Repeating, and Working Through (in course reader) Sigmund Freud, Mourning and Melancholia Arthur Schnitzler, The Dead Are Silent Charles S. Myers, Shell Shock in France 1914-1918 T.S. Eliot, Hollow Men (in course reader) Wilfred Owens, Mental Cases Wilfred Owens, Dulce Et Decorum Est Art Spiegelman, Maus, Volumes I and II Cathry Caruth, ed., Trauma: Explorations in Memory