The Freud Museum

Events Archive

17 March 2018
10am - 5pm (doors open 9.30am)

Freud & the Ancient World

Intensive Day Course

Everyone has heard of the Oedipus complex. Freud's ideas have left a profound impression on the modern cultural imagination. But where did Freud's Oedipus come from? And how did he come up with the phallic mother? How did Freud invent a new way of reading literature and art? And what intellectual history made Freud's psychoanalysis of religion and civilisation possible?

Just as Freud exhorted us to search out the origins of our desires and identities - to become a modern Oedipus - so this series of public lectures excavates the origins of Freud's ideas. We will learn that there would have been no psychoanalysis without Freud's obsession with the ancient world.

First session: examines the importance of ancient ideas about desire and pleasure for Freud's understanding of gender and sexuality.

Second session: will consider the significance of ancient texts for Freud's discussions of literature and art.

Third session: will look at how Freud's discussions of Judaism, Christianity and modern civilisation emerged out of his interest in ancient religion. When Freud formulated the contours of the modern individual in modern society, he could not help but look back to antiquity to understand who we are.

Dr Daniel Orrells is Reader in Ancient Literature and Its Reception at King's College London, where he is Head of the Department of Classics. His research examines the presence of classical antiquity in modern cultural, literary and intellectual history. His most recent book 'Sex: Antiquity and its Legacy' offers a fresh, new narrative about the importance of the ancient world for the development of sexology and psychoanalysis

Dr Daniel Orrells' book 'Sex: Antiquity and it Legacy' is available from the Museum shop.

9.30am - open
10am - first session
12pm - lunch break
12.45pm - second session
2.45pm - tea break
3pm - third session
5pm - finish

Tea and coffee will be provided during both breaks. Please note: there is no cafe on site, however, you are welcome to bring your own lunch, which can be consumed in the classroom, or the Museum garden if the weather is fine.

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