Freud Upside Down
African American Literature and Psychoanalytic Culture
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: University of Illinois Press
Series: The New Black Studies Series
I recognize that any published text has many authors and without the love of support of a very generous and dedicated community, this book could not have been written. This project bears the mark of many scholars whose work, whether in the form of a manuscript, a conference...
In a letter to his mentor, Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung surmised that every subject maintains an intersubjective dependence on his perceived Other: “Just as the coloured man lives in your cities and even within your houses, so also he lives under your skin, subconsciously. Naturally it works both...
1. The Politics and Production of Interiority in the Messenger Magazine (1922-23)
The November 1922 issue of the Messenger magazine promoted its editorial series, “The Mirrors of Harlem: Psychoanalyzing New York’s Colored First Citizens” (after the first column, the subtitle was changed to “Studies in ‘Colored’ Psychoanalysis”), which was to make its first run in the...
2. The Anxiety of Birth in Nella Larsen's Quicksand
In November 1934, writer and diarist Anaïs Nin took her therapist and lover, Otto Rank, to Harlem for the first time since his arrival to the United States in 1924. The free-spirited Nin frequently traveled to Harlem, where she witnessed “half white people, half black, beautiful women...
3. Art's Imperfect End: Race and Gurdjieff in Jean Toomer's "Transatlantic"
Interracialism emerged as a pervasive theme in the 1920s and 1930s, as evidenced by the wealth of literary and popular texts that vividly detailed the politics of mixed-race subjectivity. But underlying these narratives of racial intermixture was a broader concern with the subject’s desire to...
4. "A genuine cooperation": Richard Wright's and Ralph Ellison's Psychoanalytic Conversations
On January 6, 1953, three months after the publication of Black Skin, White Masks, psychiatrist Frantz Fanon wrote what could best be considered a fan letter to Richard Wright. In it, Fanon informs Wright that he has read Native Son, Black Boy, and Twelve Million Black Voices but would like...
5. Maternal Anxieties and Political Desires in Adrienne Kennedy's Dramatic Circle
In the section titled “Marriage and Motherhood” in Adrienne Kennedy’s postmodern autobiography People Who Led to My Plays, she writes that “by now many of our friends were ‘seeing analysts.’ We enjoyed talking about our depressions, the movie Breathless, Eve Delphy...
6. Racial Sincerity and the Biracial Body in Danzy Senna's Caucasia
When published in 1998, Danzy Senna’s novel Caucasia emerged as a curiosity in its attempt to recoup and redefine the racial passing narrative. Novels in which racial passing is the primary theme had not been published in the past seventy years. But since 1990 we have witnessed a boom...
In the 1949 film, Home of the Brave, a young black soldier, Pvt. Peter Moss (James Edwards) suffers from shell shock that leaves him paralyzed and plagued with short-term memory loss. The film, directed by Mark Robson and based on the play by Arthur Laurents, centers around...