Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Professor John Fletcher

Profile picture

Professor Emeritus


Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies

Humanities Building, University Road
University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL

Honorary Senior Research Associate, Psychoanalysis Unit, University College London

Founding Scholar, British Psychoanalytic Council


Professor John Fletcher taught courses on the English and Comparative Literary Studies program in the following areas: Shakespeare; English Poetry from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries; eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Gothic and related writing; Classical Hollywood melodrama of the 1940s and 1950s; the formation of modern gay and lesbian cultural identities, sub-cultures, films and writings; psychoanalytic theory; and has published in most of these areas.

Research interests

Psychoanalytic theory and literature, especially the work of Sigmund Freud and Jean Laplanche, are his current research interests. He has edited volumes on film melodrama, the work of Julia Kristeva and Jean Laplanche, including co-translating Essays on Otherness (1999), a special issue of New Formations translating recent work by Laplanche and his co-thinkers (2003), and editing and co-translating Laplanche's final collection of essays, Freud and the Sexual (2011). He has published a monograph on Freud, Freud and the Scene of Trauma, Fordham University Press (2013), and is incubating a book on the psychoanalytic theory of fantasy and its implications for reading literary and film texts: Reading Fantasy: Primal Scenes in Literature, Film and Psychoanalysis.


  • "Jean Laplanche: the Unconscious, the Id and the Other", British Journal of Psychotherapy, vol. 33, no 1, 2017.
  • “La sublimation à l’origine: translation-from-the-beginning as a metapsychological category, with reference to the case of Leonardo da Vinci”, in Séduction à l’origine: l’oeuvre de Jean Laplanche, eds. Christophe Dejours and Felipe Votadoro, Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 2016.
  • Ed. with Nicholas Ray, Seductions and Enigmas: Laplanche, Theory, Culture (London: Lawrence and Wishart, 2014).
  • Freud and the Scene of Trauma (New York: Fordham University Press, 2013).
  • "Gradiva: Freud, Fetishism and Pompeiian Fantasy," Psychoanalytic Quarterly, Vol. LXXXII, no. 4, 2013, pp. 965-1011.
  • Jean Laplanche, Freud and the Sexual, ed. John Fletcher, trans. John Fletcher, Jonathan House and Nicholas Ray (International Psychoanalytic Books, 2011).
  • “ ‘His Majesty the Ego’: from Freud to Laplanche”, Sitegeist: A Journal of Psychoanalysis and Philosophy, No.4, April 2010, pp. 47-71.
  • “ Seduction and the Vicissitudes of Translation: the Work of Jean Laplanche”, The Psychoanalytic Quarterly, vol. LXXVI, no. 4, 2007, pp. 1241-91
  • “The Scenography of Trauma: a ‘Copernican’ reading of Sophocles’ Oedipus the King”, Textual Practice, vol. 21, no. 1, 2007, pp. 17-41.
  • “The Semiotic and the Other: a response to Julia Kristeva” / “Le sémiotique et autrui: une réponse à Julia Kristeva”, in Julia Kristeva, Thinking about Liberty in Dark Times: the Holberg Prize Seminar 2004 / Penser La Liberté en temps de Détresse: le Séminaire du Prix Holberg 2004, Holberg Prize Committee, University of Bergen (Norway) / University of Paris 7 (Dénis Diderot), 2005, pp. 42-9, 100-107.
  • ed. Special Laplanche Issue of New Formations (no. 48, 2003, pp. 5-136), Jean Laplanche and the Theory of Seduction, Editorial Introduction: “Recent Developments in the General Theory of Primal Seduction” (pp. 5-25).
  • “Freud, Hoffmann and the Deathwork”, Angelaki, vol. 7, number 2, August 2002, pp. 125-141.
  • "Gender, Sexuality and the Theory of Seduction", Women: A Cultural Review, June-July, 2000b, vol. 11, nos. 1 and 2, pp. 95-108. Revised and reprinted in The Academic Face of Psychoanalysis, ed. Louise Braddock and Michael Lacewing, London: Routledge 2007, pp. 224-240.
  • “The Haunted Closet: Henry James's Queer Spectrality", Textual Practice, vol.14, no. 1, 2000, pp. 53-80. Reprinted in Gothic: Critical Concepts in Literary and Cultural Studies, volume 3, ed. Fred Botting and Dale Townshend, London: Routledge, 2004.
  • ed., and co-translated with Luke Thurston, Jean Laplanche, Essays on Otherness, with an Introduction, "Psychoanalysis and the Question of the Other" (pp. 1-51), Warwick Studies in European Philosophy, London: Routledge, 1999
  • "The Sins of the Fathers: the Persistence of Gothic", in Romanticism and Postmodernism, ed. Edward Larrissy, Cambridge University Press, 1999, pp. 113-40.
  • " Marx the Uncanny ?: Ghosts and their relation to the Mode of Production", Radical Philosophy, no.75, Jan.-Feb. 1996.
  • "Primal Scenes and the Female Gothic: Hitchcock’s Rebecca and Cukor’s Gaslight", Screen, vol. 36, no. 4, December 1995, pp. 341-370. Reprinted in Gothic: Critical Concepts in Literary and Cultural Studies, volume 4, ed. Fred Botting and Dale Townshend, London: Routledge, 2004.
  • "Masculinity and its Discontents", review article, Screen, vol. 36, no. 1, 1995, pp. 65-74.
  • "Forster's Self-Erasure: Maurice and the Scene of Masculine Love", in Sexual Sameness: Textual Differences in Lesbian and Gay Writing, ed. Joseph Bristow, London: Routledge, 1992, pp. 64-90.
  • "The Letter in the Unconscious: the Enigmatic Signifier in the work of Jean Laplanche", in Jean Laplanche: Seduction, Translation and the Drives, ed. John Fletcher and Martin Stanton, London: Institute of Contemporary Arts, ICA Documents series, 1992 (pp. 93-120). Revised and translated as "La lettre dans l'inconscient: le signifiant énigmatique dans l'oeuvre de Jean Laplanche", in Colloque internationale de psychanalyse: Nouveaux fondements pour la psychanalyse, Actes du Colloque de Montréal (3-5 Juillet 1992, Jean Laplanche et collaborateurs, ed. Jacques André, Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1994, pp. 29-55.
  • "Melodrama - an Introduction", in a special issue on Melodrama and Transgression, Screen, vol.29, no. 3, 1988, pp. 2-12.
  • "Versions of Masquerade: John Brahm's The Locket" and Alfred Hitchcock's Marnie", in Melodrama and Transgression, Screen vol. 29, no. 3, 1988, pp. 43-70.
  • "Freud and his Uses: Psychoanalysis and Gay Theory", in Homosexuality, Which Homosexuality?, International Scientific Conference of Lesbian and Gay Studies, Amsterdam, 1987, Social Sciences, vol. 2, pp. 274-286. Revised and reprinted in Coming on Strong: Gay Politics and Culture, ed. Simon Shepherd and Mick Wallis, London: Unwin Hyman, 1989, pp. 90-118.
  • "Poetry, Gender and Primal Fantasy", in Formations of Fantasy, ed. Victor Burgin, James Donald and Cora Kaplan, London: Methuen, 1986, pp.109-141


  • BA with First Class Honours in English Literature and History (1968, University of Melbourne)
  • Kathleen Fitzpatrick Exhibition in the Combined School of English and History
  • Enid Derham Prize for thesis on "The Poetry of Sir Thomas Wyatt"
  • BPhil (Oxon 1974), "Shakespeare and the Drama to 1640", thesis on "The Player-King in Shakespeare's Henry IV".
  • MA with Distinction, Biblical Studies, " 'Consider the people of Israel': Paul, the Last Supper and some Old Testament Paradigms", (King's College London, 2023)

If any former students happen across this webpage, do get in touch. I'm always interested to catch up with what you are now doing.

Jane Clegg, I lost your phone number. Do get in touch again.

Psychoanalysis Podcast Lectures

an interview with John Fletcher on his work esp. Freud and the Scene of Trauma (NY: Fordham, 2013)

by Jamie Katz