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Fall 2019 Comparative Literature and Society & PSCC GU4200 section 001

Call Number 20190
Day & Time
R 4:10pm-6:00pm
201A Philosophy Hall
Points 3
Grading Mode Standard
Approvals Required Department
Instructor Marcus Coelen
Method of Instruction Classroom (0
Course Description

Clinic, Culture, Cruelty: With the three terms one could indicated both the wide range of Freud’s work and the specific force it kept addressing without shying away from the theoretical and practical consequences that came with it. ,

In Civilization and its Discontent Freud develops—in part openly, in part secretly—a peculiar, paradoxical and abyssal logic in order to formalize how culture (or civilization) is in a mortal battle with itself. Even more so, culture is this battle; and civilization is the result of a violence the sole aim and source of which is the destruction of civilization. The determining factors of this logic form the proper object of psychoanalysis which had developed out of clinical concerns; and what occurs here as “violence,” or “destruction,” as it does in several texts whose themes are cultural, historical, or sociological, is given multiple other names in all of Freud’s work or is linked to such names: the unconscious, the drive, libido, Eros, Thanatos, sexuality, narcissism, masochism, even hysteria, obsession and psychosis. All these terms mark instances of the same logic in which what we call the “sexual” and “language” are entangled with a “cruelty” that is neither the opposite of pleasure nor can be derived from any supposedly natural ground. ,

In this seminar, we will trace this logic as well as its material in its reiterations, displacements, and reinventions from Freud’s clinical writings, through his constructions and theories of the “psyche,” to his analyses and speculations in civilization and history. Freud’s text will be read closely, with the attention to details that he himself performed as a virtue and a method. No previous acquaintance with Freud or psychoanalysis is required—only a mind as open as possible to the surprises over what they have to offer today.

Web Site Vergil
Department Comparative Literature and Society, Institute for
Enrollment 14 students (20 max) as of 12:05PM Sunday, October 20, 2019
Subject Comparative Literature and Society & PSCC
Number GU4200
Section 001
Division Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Open To Columbia College, General Studies, School of Professional Studies, Global Programs, Graduate School of Arts and Science, Engineering and Applied Science: Graduate, School of the Arts, International and Public Affairs, Barnard
Campus Morningside
Section key 20193CLPS4200G001

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