The historiography of psychoanalysis, as it was inaugurated by Sigmund Freud in his 1914 essay “History of the Psycho-Analytic Movement”, opened with furious polemics against his dissidents and detractors. In this text Freud depicted himself as the only inventor of psychoanalysis.
Since then, any attempt to historicize psychoanalysis has had to deal with this Freudocentric account: either by sustaining it or by attacking it. Up to the present day, psychoanalytic historiography has remained trapped in this Manichaean logic, with the result being that an orthodox camp seeks to erect Freud as a monument while a heretical camp does its best to smash it by pointing to the importance of neglected figures in the history of the unconscious. Whereas “Remember Freud!” serves as the battle cry of the first camp, “Forget Freud!” is the answer of the second camp.
“Forgetting Freud?” is conceived as an event that should allow us to leave this polemical field of psychoanalytic historiography. The aim of this conference is to bring together scholars whose work has led to a questioning of this tradition and to different ways of writing the history of psychoanalysis. Approaches will be discussed that allow the unique aspects of the psychoanalytic production of knowledge to be explored.
The conference will be organized around three main lines: (1) A theoretical “metahistorical” reflection on the relationship between psychoanalysis and historiography; (2) the genealogy of psychoanalysis with regard to other experimental techniques of making “subjects” (such as hypnotism and suggestion) and (3) the epistemological and political implications of past and present forms of “memory politics”.
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