COMP 336
Freud and Psychoanalysis
Last Offered Spring 2015
Division II Writing Skills
Cross-listed COMP 336 / PSCI 336
This course is not offered in the current catalog or this is a previous listing for a current course.

Class Details

By any measure, Sigmund Freud was one of the most influential intellectuals of the 20th century. Although he was not explicitly preoccupied with articulating political principles and only rarely addressed questions of governance or policy, his assumptions, theories, and therapeutic techniques have fundamental implications for the basic questions of political theory–questions about, for instance, the sources of conflict and group cohesion, what ways of living are desirable and attainable, and the place of reason, desire, emotion, affect, and motive in the interpretation and explanation of human interaction. This tutorial offers an in-depth exploration of Freud’s key writings and concepts, from his early work on sexuality and dreams through his final writings. While we will read some of the texts that most directly address conventional political topics, Freud generally has more to say to students of politics when he is formulating his fundamental views of the psyche (of the nature and role of the unconscious, of drives, etc.), and the syllabus will reflect that view. Over the course of the semester, we will consider some scholarly commentaries on specific texts as well as critical assessments of the psychoanalytic project; as time allows, we may also engage such key later psychoanalytical thinkers as Klein, Winnicott, Lacan, and Kristeva. The preponderance of the tutorial, however, will be given over to the students’ own careful reading, interpretation, and evaluation of Freud’s most important writings.
The Class: Format: tutorial
Limit: 10
Expected: 10
Class#: 3676
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: grades are based on five or six 5- to 7-page papers, five or six 1.5 page responses, and class participation
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis; not available for the fifth course option
Prerequisites: at least one course in political theory, literary theory, or philosophy or permission of instructor
Enrollment Preferences: Political Science majors
Distributions: Division II Writing Skills
Notes: meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under COMP; meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under PSCI
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
COMP 336 Division I PSCI 336 Division II
Attributes: PSCI Political Theory Courses

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