"The Cult and Occult of Psychoanalysis"
"The Cult and the Occult examines Freud's complex relationship to occult forms of communication, or "thought transference," as he was establishing his discipline and its theory of transference. After examining the historical religious antecedes for Freud's nascent theory, I turn to a failed séance that Freud held in his own apartment. I argue that Freud's envy and anxieties surrounding telepathy and mind-reading are continuous with his concerns about the presence of media and communication technology in the psychoanalytic scenario. After demonstrating that psychoanalysis has traditionally ignored the presence of such media, or relegated them to the realm of mere metaphor, the paper argues for a double revision of thinking of psychoanalysis and mediated and as a secular occult practice."
Please join us for the Spring 2023 "Occult Natures" series with Cultural Studies!
Hannah Zeavin is a scholar, writer, and editor. She is an Assistant Professor at Indiana University and the Founding Editor of Parapraxis and the co-director of The Psychosocial Foundation. Her first book, The Distance Cure: A History of Teletherapy was published by The MIT Press in 2021, and she is currently at work on her second book, Mother's Little Helpers: Media, Childminding, and the American Family.