This course provides an introduction to some of the central concepts in the writings of Sigmund Freud, focusing mainly on his understanding of the development of the ego or sense of self, the operations of the unconscious and the genesis of sexual drives in the constitution of male and female subjects. The course will explain these basic Freudian concepts through the central feminist question of sexual difference.
Being a self-contained introduction to the overlapping concerns of psychoanalysis and feminist theory, the course aims to familiarize issues and debates that have ensued in feminist theory.
The overall aim of the course will be to develop accounts of the ways in which male and female subjects are formed through the construction and control of infantile sexual drives, the pre-oedipal and oedipal forms of sexual desire, and the creation of the unconscious as a system of repressed wishes. Special emphasis will be placed on the different paths of development laid out in our own culture for masculine and feminine forms of subjectivity.