History and Psyche: Culture, Psychoanalysis and the Past

Editor : Barbara Taylor, Editor : Sally Alexander

History and Psyche: Culture, Psychoanalysis and the Past

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Also by Barbara Taylor

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The relationship between psychoanalysis and history is long-standing, productive and contentious. Psychoanalysis is a historical psychology, not just in its excavation of individual psychic histories, but in its reiterated recourse to history for insights into human psychology. Historians for their part tend to regard psychoanalytic theory with a blend of fascination and suspicion. The fortunes of psychoanalytically-influenced history have waxed and waned over the last century, but recent years have seen an outburst of energy and creativity. A widening range of historical phenomena are being examined through the psychoanalytic lens, while the psychoanalytic tradition itself is coming in for unprecedented historical scrutiny.

Today no historian can afford to ignore psychoanalytic perspectives, even if their application to history remains one of the most contested innovations in modern historical thinking. This volume comes out of the "Psychoanalysis & History" seminar at the Institute of Historical Research, University of London. In the fifteen years since the seminar's inception, it has been addressed by dozens of leading scholars from Britain, North America, and continental Europe. The resultant book is an interdisciplinary, state-of-the-art exploration of the field. Its 26 essays by historians, philosophers, literary scholars and psychoanalysts - many world-leading figures in their fields - showcase the most innovative and influential encounters between psychoanalysis and history.

About the Editor(s)

Barbara Taylor is a longstanding editor of the leading history journal, History Workshop Journal, and a director of the Raphael Samuel History Centre. She teaches history and English at Queen Mary University of London.

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