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EN2E8/3E8 Literature & Psychoanalysis - Detailed Syllabus

2023-24 Weekly Syllabus

(with thanks to John Fletcher, Christian Smith, and Julie Walsh for developing previous iterations of this module, much of which is retained here)


Seminars: TBD

Important Note: SE=The “Standard Edition” of the Works of Sigmund Freud. This is available electronically on PEP (Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing)Link opens in a new window through our library’s portal. PEP organises its Freud texts according to volume number of the SE, which is why they are listed below. Some other required texts are also available on PEP, as indicated in the following. Much of Freud’s work has been published by other publishers also, but make sure to use only the “Standard Edition” texts! Other translations can differ in important ways, and tend not to be as carefully annotated.

Term 1

Week 1: Introduction

Week 2: Trauma and Hysteria: the Beginnings of Psychoanalysis

  1. from Breuer and Freud, Studies on Hysteria (SE, vol 2):
    1. Chap. I, “On the Psychical Mechanism of Hysterical Phenomena: Preliminary Communications.”
    2. Chap. 2, Case Histories : “Miss Lucy R,” “Katarina.”
  2. from Freud, Project for a Scientific Psychology: (SE, vol 1): Part 2, “Psychopathology,” sections 1-5.
  3. Freud, “Further Remarks on the Neuro-Psychoses of Defence” (SE 3).
  4. James Joyce, “Eveline” (handout).

Week 3: Childhood and Sexuality

  1. Freud, Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality, SE 7.
  2. Freud, “On the Sexual Theories of Children” SE 9.

Week 4: Hysteria and Seduction (1)

  1. Sheridan Lefanu: Carmilla from In a Glass Darkly, OUP, 1993. Also available as a free download.

Week 5: Hysteria and Seduction (2)

  1. Henry James, The Turn of the Screw (Norton Critical Edition).
  2. Felman, “Henry James: Madness and the Risks of Practice” (pp. 196-228), from Norton Edition of The Turn of the Screw.

Week 7: Dreams

Freud, Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis, V-XV (SE 15) and New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis, 29 (SE 22).

Week 8: The Ego as Love Object

    1. Freud, “On Narcissism” SE 14.
    2. Freud, Mourning and Melancholia, SE 14.
    3. Jacques Lacan “The Mirror Stage” (handout).

Week 9: Ego, Superego, and Violence

  1. Didier Anzieu, “The Skin Ego’’, Psychoanalysis in France, ed. S. Lebovici and D. Widlocher, NY,1980 (handout).
  2. Freud, "Group Psychology and Analysis of the Ego," SE 18.
  3. Freud, "The Economic Problem of Masochism," SE 19.
  4. Week 10
  5. Nella Larsen, Quicksand.


Term 2:


Weeks 1-2: “Wolfman Workshop”

Week 1:

Freud, From the History of an Infantifle Neurosis (aka “The Wolfman”); SE 17.

Week 2:

  1. Ruth Mack Brunswick, "Supplement to Freud's History of an Infantile Neurosis,"in International Journal of Psychoanalysis, no. 9, 1928 (available as e-text via PEP).
  2. Nicolas Abraham and Maria Torok, The Wolf Man’s Magic Word: A Cryptonomy.
  3. Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, “Plateau 2: 1914: One or Several Wolves?” in A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (available as e-text through library portal).
  4. John Fletcher, from Freud and the Scene of Trauma, Chap. 10: "The Wolf-Man II" (recommended reading; available as e-book through library portal).

Week 3: The Permutations of Fantasy

  1. Freud, “A Child is Being Beaten” (SE 17).
  2. Anna Freud, “Beating Fantasies and Daydreams” (1922), in The Writings of Anna Freud, vol.1, 1922-35,London: The Hogarth Press, 1974 (handout).
  3. Laplanche and Pontalis, “Fantasy and the Origins of Sexuality” (handout).
  4. James Joyce, “An Encounter.”

Week 4: Gender and Sexuality (1)

  1. Freud, “A Case of Paranoia Running Counter to the Psychoanalytic Theory of the Disease” (SE 14).
  2. Freud, “Femininity” in New Introductory Lectures(SE 22).
  3. Luce Irigaray, from This Sex Which Is Not One: Chapter 2, "This Sex Which Is Not One."
  4. Elissa Marder, “Freud’s Fictions: Fixation, Femininity, Photography.” Paragraph3 (2017): 349-367.

Week 5: Gender and Sexuality (2)

1. Freud, “Fetishism” (SE 21).

  1. Jacques Lacan, “The Signification of the Phallus” (handout).
  2. Joan Riviere, ‘Womanliness as Masquerade’ in International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 1929 (pp. 303-313) (available on PEP).

Week 7: Post-Freudian Modernism

  1. Freud, from ThePsychopathology of Everyday Life (SE 6), Chap. 11, “Combined Parapraxes.”
  2. Samuel Beckett, Molloy. (Faber, 2009; intro by Shane Weller)

Week 8: Gender, Psychosis, Fantasy, Rage

  1. Melanie Klein, “Notes on Some Schizoid Mechanisms” (available on PEP).
  2. Gilles Deleuze, from Essays Critical and Clinical: "Louis Wolfson; or, The Procedure" (available as ebook through library portal).
  3. Valerie Solanas, Scum Manifesto.

Week 9: The Lacanian Subject

  1. Jacques Lacan, “Subversion of the Subject and the Dialectic of Desire” (handout).
  2. James Joyce, “A Painful Case” (handout).

Week 10: Psychoanalysis, Colonialism, Racism, and Liberation

Frantz Fanon, “Algeria Unveiled,” and from The Wretched of the Earth: “Colonial Wars and Mental Disorders.”



Books to buy


  1. Sheridan LeFanu, Carmilla in In a Glass Darkly, Oxford World’s Classics, Edited and with an Introduction by Robert Tracy. Carmilla is widely available as a free download, but this edition is recommended.
  2. Henry James, The Turn of the Screw, Norton Critical Editions (3rd Edition), W. W. Norton, Deborah Esch and Jonathan Warren, eds. (make sure to buy this edition as it contains additional required reading)
  3. Nella Larsen, Quicksand, available in Quicksand and Passing, Serpent’s Tail Classics. Other editions are acceptable.
  4. Abraham and M. Torok, The Wolfman’s Magic Word: A Cryptonomy, University of Minnesota Press.
  5. Samuel Beckett, Molloy (preferably Faber, 2009, with introduction by Shane Weller; other editions are acceptable).
  6. Valerie Solanas, Scum Manifesto(with an introduction by Avital Ronnell), Verso Books (other editions acceptable).


Texts by Sigmund Freud (except where noted above) are available via PEP, through our library portal. Detailed instructions on obtaining electronic texts forthcoming soon. The links will likely be available through a different platform, which the library will put online over the summer. You will be notified when they do.