Der Schlaf der Vernunft gebiert Ungeheuer (Caprichos 43)

Course outline

Lene Auestad, PhD in Philosophy from the University of Oslo, moc.liamgnull@datseua.enel

The course is based on my book, Respect, Plurality, and Prejudice: A Psychoanalytic and Philosophical Enquiry into the Dynamics of Social Exclusion and Discrimination, forthcoming, London: Karnac, September/October 2014.

Aims and scope

Our time is characterised by a growth in expressed hostility and violence towards people who are perceived as ‘others’. This course aims to develop a greater understanding of prejudice, racism, antisemitism, xenophobia, islamophobia, sexism and homophobia, enabling reflection about conflicts between theory and practice, layers of implicit- and explicitness, pre- and unconscious experience and the power differentials that shape these constellations. The course is suited for anyone with an interest in thinking about these issues within an interdisciplinary framework of philosophy, psychoanalysis, critical theory, sociology, cultural studies and psycho-social studies. It requires no formal qualifications, and while there will be ample room for discussion, there is no formal assessment.

Time and place

Monday evenings 6.30-8.30 pm, starting October 6th 2014,
at The Marx House, 37a Clerkenwell Green, London EC1R 0DU.


Cost and registration

Waged: £ 60 unwaged: £30 To sign up, please e-mail moc.liamgnull@datseua.enel by Oct. 1st 2014.
A minimum of 8 participants will be required for the course to go ahead.


Suggested readings (non-obligatory)

1. Oct. 6th Subjectivity and Absence – Prejudice as a Psychosocial Theme

Auestad, L. (2014) “Introduction” in Respect, Plurality, and Prejudice: A Psychoanalytic and Philosophical Enquiry into the Dynamics of Social Exclusion and Discrimination, forthcoming, London: Karnac.

Balint, M. (1969) “Trauma and Object Relationship” in Int. J. Psycho-Anal. 50 pp. 429-435.

Gadamer, H-G. ([1960]2004) “4. Elements of a Theory of Hermeneutic Experience” in Truth and Method. London/New York: Continuum, pp. 268-382.


2. Oct. 13th Primary Process Logic and Prejudice

Dalal, F. (2002) Chapter 9 in Race, Colour and the Processes of Racialization. London/New York: Routledge, pp. 171-199.

Ferenczi, S. (1930-32) “On the Revision of the Interpretation of Dreams” in Notes and Fragments, in Final Contributions to the Problems and methods of Psycho-Analysis, London/New York: Karnac Books, 1955/1994, pp. 238-243.

Freud, S. (1900a) Chapter II, III IV and VI in The Interpretation of Dreams, SE, vol. 4 & 5, pp. 96-162 and 277-338 in vol 4.

Laplanche, J. (1989[1987]) from Chapter 3 in New Foundations for Psychoanalysis. Oxford/Cambridge, MA: Blackwell., pp. 89-133.


3. Oct. 20th Contagion, Conflict and Ambivalence – Prejudice as Transfer of Shame and Guilt

Douglas, M. (2002[1966]) Chapter 2, 6 and 7 in Purity and Danger. London/New York: Routledge, pp. 36-50 and 117-172.

Freud, S. (1912-13) Chapter II and III in Totem and Taboo. SE, vol. 13, pp. 18-99.

Taylor, G. (1985) Chapter I, III and IV in Pride, Shame and Guilt. Emotions of Self-Assessment. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 1-16 and 53-107.

Williams, B. (1993) Chapter 4 and 5 in Shame and Necessity. Berkeley/Los Angeles/London: University of California Press, pp. 75-129.


4. Oct. 27th Injurious Speech and Frames of Mind

Butler, J. (1997) Excitable Speech. A Politics of the Performative. New York/ London: Routledge.

Gullestad, M. (2006) Chapter VI and VII in Plausible Prejudice. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, pp. 168-220.

United Nations (1948) The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Available electronically:


5. Nov. 3rd Basic Trust and Alienation or “We have nothing to Reproach Ourselves with”

Fassbinder, R. W. (1974) Fear Eats the Soul (Angst essen Seele auf). DVD by The Rainer Werner Fassbinder Foundation/Arrow Films, 2006.

Sartre, J-P. ([1943]2003) IV the look  in Being and Nothingness. London/New York: Routledge, pp. 276-362.

Winnicott, D. W. ([1971]2005) Playing and Reality. London/New York: Routledge.


6. Nov. 10th Adaptation, Containment, Experience – Adorno, Psychoanalytic Developments and the Potential for Social Critique

Adorno, T. (1968) “Sociology and psychology” in New Left Review, no. 47, pp. 79-97.

Adorno, T.W/Frenkel-Brunswik, E./Levinson, D. J./Sanford, R. N. (1950) Chapter VII, X, XI and XVI in The Authoritarian Personality. N.Y: Harpers & Brothers, pp. 222-279, 337-441 and 605-653.

Adorno, T.W./Horkheimer, M. ([1944]1997) Elements of Anti-Semitism: The Limits of Enlightenment in Dialectic of Enlightenment. London/New York: Verso, pp. 168-208.

Bion, W. R. (1967) “Attacks on Linking” and “A Theory of Thinking” in Second Thoughts. London: Karnac, pp. 93-119.

Bion, W. R. (1962b) Learning from Experience. London: Karnac.

Jacoby, R. (1983) The Repression of Psychoanalysis. Otto Fenichel and the Political Freudians. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.


7. Nov. 17th Perspectivism and Plurality – Arendt’s Contribution to Thinking about Respect and Prejudice

Arendt, H. ([1951]1976) Chapter 9 in The Origins of Totalitarianism. San Diego/N.Y./London: Harcourt Brace, pp. 267-302.

Arendt, H. ([1953]1994) “What Remains? The Language Remains: A Conversation with Günter Gaus” and “A Reply to Eric Voegelin” in Arendt, H/Kohn, J. ed. Essays in Understanding 1930-1954. Formation, Exile, and Totalitarianism. New York: Schocken Books, pp. 1-23 and 401-408.

Arendt, H. ([1957]1997) Chapter 11, 12 and 13 in Rahel Varnhagen. The Life of a Jewess. Baltimore/London: The John Hopkins University Press, pp. 219-259.

Arendt, H. ([1958]1988) Chapter V in The Human Condition. Chicago/London: The University of Chicago Press, pp. 175-247.


8. Nov. 24th Responsibility and the Unconscious. Sketches for a Psychoanalytically Informed Ethics

Abramson, J. B. (1984) Chapter 7 in Liberation and its Limits. The Moral and Political Thought of Freud. London: The Free Press/Collier MacMillan Publishers, pp. 99-123.

Adorno, T. W. ([1978]1998) “Education After Auschwitz” and “On Subject and Object” in Critical Models. Interventions and Catchwords. New York: Columbia University Press, pp. 191-204 and 245-258.

Ferenczi, S. (1933) “Confusion of Tongues between the Adult and the Child” in Final Contributions to Psycho-Analysis. London/New York: Karnac, 199, pp. 156-167.

Freud, S. (1914g) Remembering, Repeating and Working Through (Further Recommendations on the Technique of Psycho-Analysis, II), SE, vol. 12.

Freud, S. (1915e) The Unconscious, SE, vol. 14.

Klein, M. (1927b) “Criminal Tendencies in Normal Children” in Love, Guilt and Reparation. Delacorte Press/Seymour Lawrence, 1975, pp. 170-185.

Mitserlich, A./Mitserlich, M. ([1967]1975) Chapter I in The Inability to Mourn. Principles of Collective Behavior. New York: Grove Press, Inc, pp. 3-68.