1 July 2017, Freud Museum, London, 9.30am – 5.00pm

***Discount Code for BSHS Members: BURSARY2***

Freud in Cambridge: Hidden Histories of Psychoanalysis

Day Symposium

What kind of a project is psychoanalysis? The publication of John Forrester’s last book, co-authored with Laura Cameron, has not only opened new avenues of research in the history of psychoanalysis but suggests new and surprising answers to this central question.

It also serves as a reminder of how psychoanalysis as a set of ideas and a therapeutic practice can be easily undermined by shifts of power in institutional and national politics.

This conference looks at surprising hidden histories and research topics of psychoanalysis and their relevance for today.

Lisa Appignanesi (Writer and researcher)
Laura Cameron (Co-author Freud in Cambridge)
Felicity Callard (Professor in Social Science for Medical Humanities at Durham University)
Matt Ffytche (Director of the Centre for Psychoanalysis at Essex University)
Daniel Pick (Psychoanalyst and Professor of History at Birkbeck College, London)
Bob Hinshelwood (Psychoanalyst, Psychiatrist and author)
Philip Kuhn (Poet and independent researcher)
Brett Kahr (Psychotherapist, author and broadcaster)


Laura Cameron
Freud in Cambridge? Fieldnotes on Place and Process
So now we know: the title is a counterfactual, Freud never went to Cambridge. However Freud in Cambridge takes a measure of the ways in which a set of Freudian ideas about the workings of the human mind, about the unconscious and sexuality, impacted on men and women in this place during the early 20th century, and shaped their thinking across a range of disciplines from anthropology to psychology, from philosophy, to literature, education and biology. This talk retraces a number of key sites in Freud in Cambridge and touches on the 18 year-long process of working with its first author, the much-missed John Forrester.

Felicity Callard
The Daydream Archive
In this paper, I provide and reflect on fragments from the daydream archive that I am attempting to build. The archive will draw together materials from the late nineteenth century to the present that relate to the elicitation of daydreams, fantasies, reveries, and manifestations of the wandering mind. I aim in this paper to point to some of the methodological and historiographical challenges of building a daydream archive. In particular, I consider why psychoanalysis, despite the importance of reverie in its practice, has lost traction and authority in relation to other epistemological domains (including psychology and cognitive neuroscience) that have developed models and accounts of the daydream, reverie and the wandering mind.

Matt Ffytche
Messages from the Other Life: Poetry and Psychoanalysis in 1970s-80s Cambridge
This talk investigates a ‘hidden Freud’ behind the context of John Forrester’s Freud in Cambridge. It will describe a pattern of alliances between poets and psychoanalytic theory being explored amongst writers who were students at Cambridge in the 1970s, before setting it in the context of a broader narrative about the use of Freudian ideas and techniques in poetry, from modernist poetry, to symbolism and its associated occult psychologies. On the way I will try and pose the question: what makes this writing specifically Freudian? And what new forms of poetic practice emerged from this specific generational brush with psychoanalysis?

Daniel Pick
Cambridge Freud in Context: Some Comparative Reflections on British Psychoanalysis, Politics, and Culture.
Abstract TBA

Bob Hinshelwood
Behind the Scenes, John Rickman
John Rickman (1891-1951) was influential through his organisational capacity and his remarkable, inspiring effect on colleagues. This paper will give a brief account of Rickman’s life and his connection with Cambridge. It will continue with a discussion of the seminal work that inspired Bion and others during WW2, in thinking radically about the treatment of soldiers who had broken down in the theatre of war. Rickman’s interest in Anthropology and friendship with Rivers, as well as with Roheim, eventually cohered with his understanding of Lewin’s social field theory. The ‘re-discovery’ of Rickman in Forrester and Cameron’s book is timely.

Philip Kuhn
Forging the early History of British Psychoanalysis
When Ernest Jones came to write the history of British Psychoanalysis he portrayed himself as its founding pioneer. That Jones version, published in 1945, immediately became the ‘Official History’ and has gone virtually unchallenged for over 70 years. Much has been written out of the early history, or studiously ignored, not just by Jones, with the tacit and at times active encouragement of Freud, but also by subsequent psychoanalytic historians who have been content to collude, wittingly or unwittingly, with the official Jones version. Although this falsification of the early history is shocking in itself, it also raises disturbing questions. For example: why was the ‘official’ Jones version allowed to go un-challenged for so long? How has the wholesale decimation from the record of so many early practitioners infected our understanding of the subsequent history of British psychoanalysis? And what does this censoring of the early history tell us about a community that prides itself in encouraging others to fearlessly face their past?

Brett Kahr
Introduction to the Plenary
Abstract TBA


Lisa Appignanesi is visiting Professor in Literature and Medical Humanities at King’s College London and Chair of the Royal Society of Literature. A novelist and writer, she is former chair of the Freud Museum and a former deputy director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. She is the author of many books, fiction and non-fiction, including The Things We Do for Love (a novel, 1997), Freud’s Women (with John Forrester, 1992) and Mad, Bad and Sad: A History of Women and the Mind Doctors from 1800 to the Present (2008). Her most recent books are All About Love: Anatomy of an Unruly Emotion (2011) and Trials of Passion: Crimes in the Name of Love and Madness (2014)

Laura Cameron is an Associate Professor of historical geography at Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada. She is the author of Openings: A Meditation on History, Method and Sumas Lake (1997), co-editor of Emotion, Place and Culture (2009) and Rethinking the Great White North: Race, Nature and the Historical Geographies of Whiteness (2011), co-author of Freud in Cambridge (2017) and has published numerous papers on the history of fieldwork, psychoanalysis, ecology and sound. Ongoing research-creation with sound artist Matt Rogalsky addresses the life and work of field recordist WWH Gunn. Currently she is completing a book that centres on correspondence between Marie Stopes and CG Hewitt.

Felicity Callard is Professor in Social Science for Medical Humanities at Durham University; she is based in the Department of Geography and Centre for Medical Humanities. Felicity has a background in both the humanities and the social sciences and her research addresses twentieth- and twenty-first century psychiatry, psychology, psychoanalysis and cognitive neuroscience. From October 2014 to December 2016, Felicity was Director of “Hubbub”, the first interdisciplinary residency of the Hub at Wellcome Collection, where she led a team of approximately 40 people on a project on rest and its opposites in mental health, cognitive neuroscience, the arts and the everyday. She is Editor-in-Chief of History of the Human Sciences. She is currently writing a book on experimental investigations of daydreaming, mind-wandering and fantasy.

Matt Ffytche is Director of the Centre for Psychoanalysis at the University of Essex, and Editor (with Dagmar Herzog) of the journal Psychoanalysis and History. He has published on the nineteenth-century idea of the unconscious (CUP, 2011), as well as on Psychoanalysis in the Age of Totalitarianism (Routledge/New Library of Psychoanalysis, co-edited with Daniel Pick) and delivered numerous papers on psychoanalysis and on poets including John Wilkinson, Denise Riley, George Oppen and J.H. Prynne. His own chapbook of poetry – What Fell Out in Life – was published by Barque Press in 2006.

Daniel Pick is professor of history at Birkbeck College , and a psychoanalyst. He currently holds a Senior Investigator grant from the Wellcome Trust for a project entitled ‘Hidden Persuaders: Brainwashing, Culture, Clinical Knowledge and the Cold War Human Sciences, c. 1950-1990’. His books include The Pursuit of the Nazi Mind: Hitler, Hess, and the Analysts (OUP 2012) and Psychoanalysis: A Very Short Introduction (OUP 2015).

Bob Hinshelwood is a Fellow of the British Psychoanalytical Society and of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. In addition to practising as a psychoanalyst, he worked in the public service, in the NHS including as Director of the Cassel Hospital and was Professor in the Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies, the University of Essex. He has written on various aspects of the history of psychoanalysis, its organisation and its ideas in Britain, as well as Kleinian theory and practice, and the application of psychoanalysis to social science. He founded and published the journal Psychoanalysis and History.

Philip Kuhn is a poet, independent researcher, historian, designer, maker and publisher of limited edition artists’ books. As a poet Philip has contributed to various poetry journals and anthologies and also published three book-length poems: at maimonides table (Shearsman Books 2009); paradoxes becoming / notes for a poem (itinerant press 2009) and how to make radical leaflets (itinerant press 2011). He has also collaborated with Ruth von Zimmermann on a translation of Welten, Gertrud Kolmar’s last cycle of poems, which has been published as Worlds (Shearsman Books 2012). As an historian Philip has numerous articles in academic Journals including, Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, the International Journal of Psychoanalysis, The Psychoanalytic Review, Psychoanalyse Texte zur Sozialforschung, Studies in Gender and Sexuality as well as Psychoanalysis and History. His book Psychoanalysis in Britain 1893-1913, Histories and Historiography has just been published by Lexington Books (2017). Philip has also recently completed the penultimate draft of a biography of Georg Ferdinand Springmühl von Weissenfeld (c 1840-1902) and is currently working on a book which examines the early medical career of Ernest Jones.

Brett Kahr has worked in the mental health field for over thirty-five years. He is currently Senior Clinical Research Fellow in Psychotherapy and Mental Health at the Centre for Child Mental Health in London, and Senior Fellow at the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships at the Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology. He has worked in many branches of the psychotherapy profession as clinician, teacher, researcher, author, and broadcaster, having served previously as Resident Psychotherapist on B.B.C. Radio 2. Author of eight books including Life Lessons from Freud and the best-selling Sex and the Psyche, he is also Series Editor of the “Forensic Psychotherapy Monograph Series” for Karnac Books and Series Co-Editor of the “History of Psychoanalysis Series”. He practices psychotherapy with individuals and with couples in Hampstead, North London, and he is a Trustee of Freud Museum London