The Freud Museum

Events Archive

6 February 2013
7pm

Freud in Zion: Psychoanalysis and the Making of Modern Jewish Identity

Author's Talk: Eran Rolnik with Stephen Frosh

Few episodes in the history of psychoanalysis are as densely packed with trans-cultural, ideological, institutional and ethical issues as the arrival of psychoanalysis in pre-state Israel in the early 20th century. 'Freud in Zion' is the first work to explore this encounter between psychoanalytic expertise, Judaism, Modern Hebrew culture and the Zionist revolution. It offers a look at the relationship between psychoanalysis and a wider community, and follows the life and work of Jewish psychoanalysts during World War II. As such, it makes an important contribution to a central concern of psychoanalytic studies today, the interplay of psychoanalysis, culture, ideology and politics. Can psychoanalysis as a psychological-critical theory and Zionism as an ideology and consciousness really live together? Did historical reality and the new Hebrew culture play a role in shaping local psychoanalytic practice and ethics? The coming of Freudian psychoanalysis to pre-state Israel, where it rapidly penetrated the discourse of pedagogy, literature, medicine, and politics, becoming a popular therapeutic discipline, could thus be regarded as an integral part of a Jewish immigrant society’s struggle to establish its identity in the face of its manifold European pasts and its conflict-ridden Middle Eastern present.


Eran J. Rolnik, MD, PhD. Trained in psychiatry, psychoanalysis and history and is a member of the Israel Psychoanalytic Society. He is the author of several papers on the evolution of Freud's thought and on the history of psychoanalysis. He is also the Hebrew translator and editor of several volumes of Freud's papers. He teaches at Tel-Aviv University and works in private practice.

'Freud in Zion: Psychoanalysis and the Making of Modern Jewish Identity' is published by Karnac Books.

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