Early Women Psychoanalysts: History, Biography, and Contemporary Relevance

Editor : Klara Naszkowska

Part of Relational Perspectives series - more in this series

Early Women Psychoanalysts: History, Biography, and Contemporary Relevance

Book Details

  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Published : March 2024
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 360
  • Category :
    Psychoanalysis
  • Catalogue No : 97586
  • ISBN 13 : 9781032595351
  • ISBN 10 : 1032595353
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Each life story is unique, yet each also entwines with other stories, sharing recurring themes linked to issues of gender, Jewishness, women's education, politics, and migration.

The book's first section discusses the relatively known analysts such as Sabina Spielrein, Lou Andreas-Salomé, and Beata Rank, remembered largely as someone's wife, lover, or muse; and the second part sheds light on women such as Margarethe Hilferding, Tatiana Rosenthal, and Erzsébet Farkas, who took strong political stances. In the third section, the biographies of lesser-known analysts like Ludwika Karpinska-Woyczynska, Nic Waal, Vilma Kovács, and Barbara Low are discussed in the context of their importance for the early Freudian movement; and in the final section, the lives of Eugenia Sokolnicka, Sophie Morgenstern, Alberta Szalita, and Olga Wermer are examined in relation to migration and exile, trauma, loss and memory.

With a clear focus upon the continued importance of these women for psychoanalytic theory and practice, as well as discussion that engages with pertinent issues such as gendered discrimination, inhumane immigration laws, and antisemitism, this book is an important reading for students, scholars, and practitioners of psychoanalysis, as well as those involved in gender and women's studies, and Jewish and Holocaust studies.

Reviews and Endorsements

Written by experts in their fields and with a strong introduction, Early Women Psychoanalysts: History, Biography, and Contemporary Relevance is dedicated to the early European women psychoanalysts. Often ignored by males in their fields and, later, by historians, these women enhanced the study and practice of psychoanalysis, offering us invaluable histories of Jewishness, gender, World War II, the Holocaust, trauma, and memory studies. A must read!
Marion Kaplan, author of Between Dignity and Despair: Jewish Life in Nazi Germany, professor emerita of Hebrew and Judaic Studies, New York University

With an exemplary combination of scholarly originality and theoretical sophistication, the essays in this volume provide definitive introductions to the lives and legacies of fourteen women, from the famous to the forgotten, who forged psychoanalysis in the smithy of their souls. An invaluable resource for every serious student of the field.
Peter L. Rudnytsky, head, Department of Academic and Professional Affairs, American Psychoanalytic Association

This wonderful, scholarly collection fills a hole in psychoanalysis's early history. Detailing the lives of little-known women psychoanalysts (nearly all of whom were Jewish), it provides a rich, in-depth glimpse of their personal evolution while beautifully explicating the impact of cultural, political (and especially antisemitic) forces on them.
Joyce Slochower, PhD, ABPP, NYU Postdoctoral Program, author of <>Holding and Psychoanalysis: A Relational Perspective, Psychoanalytic Collisions, Elephants Under the Couch: Psychoanalysis and the Unspoken; co-editor, with Lew Aron and Sue Grand, De-idealizing Relational Theory: A Critique from Within and Decentering Relational Theory: A Comparative Critique

What is extraordinary about Klara Naszkowska's edited volume is not simply its focus on the lives and work of neglected, marginalized, and yet seminal women psychoanalysts. In addition, the chapters vivify ways in which a malignant mix of misogynistic, antisemitic, fascistic, and longtime sociocultural norms both hobbled, yet also galvanized some of the greatest psychoanalytic voices of all time.
Emily A. Kuriloff, PsyD, author of Contemporary Psychoanalysis and the Legacy of the Third Reich: History, Memory, Tradition. Training and supervising psychoanalyst, director of Clinical Education Emeritus, William Alanson White Institute, New York

Table of Contents


Introduction: Progressives, in Their Day and in Ours
Klara Naszkowska

Part One: Beyond Wife, Lover, Muse
1. Sabina Spielrein: Pioneer of Medical Science
Ana Tomčić and John Launer

2. Lou Andreas-Salomé: An Unacknowledged Psychoanalytic Theorist of Art
Shira Dushy-Barr

3. Beata 'Tola' Rank: Out from the Footnote
Lena Magnone

Part Two: Beyond Psychoanalyst: Feminist, Marxist, Director of a Jewish Foster Home

4. Margarethe Hilferding: Women's Rights Activist Ahead of Her Time
Candice Dumas

5. What Do We Know about Tatiana Rosenthal? An Interview with Leon Kadis
Pamela Cooper-White and Leonid Kadis

6. Erzsébet Farkas: An Unknown Heroine and Her Wartime Mission in a Jewish Foster Home
Dóra Szabó

Part Three: Beyond the Homeland
7. Ludwika Karpińska-Woyczyńska: The Forgotten First Female Freudian
Edyta Dembińska and Krzysztof Rutkowski

8. Nic Waal: Speaking in Tongues
Håvard Friis Nilsen

9. Barbara Low: 'The little bit of pioneering' or the Beginnings of British Psychoanalysis
Richard Theisen Simanke

10. Vilma Kovács and the Community of the Budapest School of Psychoanalysis
Anna Borgos

Part Four: Beyond the Holocaust
11. Eugenia Sokolnicka and Sophie Morgenstern: The Intertwining of Life, Work, and Death
Ursula Prameshuber

12. Thinking Cure: Jewish Psychoanalyst Alberta Szalita, from Warsaw to New York
Ewa Kobylińska-Dehe

13. Olga Wermer: From Galician Archives to Memory and Postmemory
Klara Naszkowska

About the Editor(s)

Klara Naszkowska, PhD, is a cultural historian focusing on Jewish women and exploring intersections of gender, ethnicity, politics, emigration, and memory. In 2019, she received a Fulbright Fellowship for a research project about Sabina Spielrein.

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