Freud and the Genesis of Psychoanalysis (Vienna Symposium)

March 20, 2021

Freud’s Vienna was a city teeming with artistic, cultural and scientific creativity. It was also a centre of antisemitism, which impacted very directly on Freud and eventually resulted in his move to England, in great old age, as a refugee. In the early years of the twentieth century, this combination of creativity and racial intolerance produced the particular nature of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society – an initially small group that met in Freud’s home to nurse the fledgling psychoanalytic movement into existence. This recording of an online talk by Stephen Frosh for the BRLSI virtual symposium “Vienna, A New Worldview: 1890-1935” looks at some of the characters and characteristics of this group, reading it as a Viennese Jewish family saga. * Stephen Frosh has worked at Birkbeck from 1979, first in the School of Psychology and since 2008 in the Department of Psychosocial Studies, of which he was a founding member and first Head of Department. From 1982 until 2000 he worked part time at Birkbeck and part time as a clinical psychologist in the NHS. Throughout the 1990s he was Consultant Clinical Psychologist and (from 1996) Vice Dean in the Child and Family Department of the Tavistock Clinic, London. His academic interests are in the applications of psychoanalysis to social issues; gender, culture and ‘race’; and psychosocial studies. He was Pro-Vice-Master of Birkbeck from 2003 to 2017, first with responsibility for Learning and Teaching, then for Research and then for Internationalisation.

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