The Freud Museum

Events Archive

10 June 2013
7.30pm (doors open at 7.15pm)

Dr. Allen Frances: How Well Does Freud's Work Stand the Test of Time?

The Freud Memorial Lecture 2013

The Freud Museum and King’s College London present The Freud Memorial Lecture 2013.

Allen Frances MD was the Chair of the Task Force that prepared the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV), often called the bible of the American psychiatric profession. However, he has been a vocal critic of the new DSM V, condemning what he calls its diagnostic hyperinflation. His new book, Saving Normal, is part mea culpa, part j‘accuse, and part cri de coeur. It explores why psychiatry has always been subject to so many fads, while deploring the medicalization of everyday human experience and the excessive use of psychiatric medicine.

In the prestigious Freud Memorial Lecture, Dr Frances argues that the current under-estimation of Freud is in part the price for his having been overestimated during his lifetime. ‘It is unwise to worship Freud or the DSM as bibles - but equally unwise not to know them,’ he says. His lecture will draw attention to which of Freud's contributions he thinks still relevant, which quaint historical artefacts.

A graduate of the Columbia University Psychoanalytic Center, where he taught the Freud course for ten years, Allen Francis is now Professor Emeritus in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University, where previously he was Chair.

Convenor: Lisa Appignanesi, Chair of the Freud Museum and visiting Professor in Literature and the Medical Humanities, Kings College London.

Respondent: John Forrester, Professor of History and Philosophy of the Sciences, University of Cambridge. His many books on Freud and psychoanalysis include Dispatches from the Freud Wars.

The Freud Memorial Lecture is a leading event in the Freud Museum London events calendar. In past years it has been delivered by such luminaries as Edward Said, Slavoj Zizek, Adam Phillips and Michael Brearley.

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