Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Psychoanalysis and Anthropology

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Anthropological Sciences

DESCRIPTION Psychoanalysis has been one of the great intellectual revolutions of the 20th century. Scholars of psychoanalytic anthropology assume that not all that the webs of meaning that constitute culture are not exhaustively understood simply with reference to what is known consciously. Culture is influenced by unconscious thoughts and motives. An anthropological understanding of psychoanalysis will serve to broaden our understanding of the unconscious while at the same time it will serve to deepen our understanding of cultural formations including their unconscious motivations and influences. By examining the formations of the unconscious (Dreams, parapraxis, jokes, symptoms) within an anthropological and cross cultural perspective students will be exposed to psychoanalytic methods and their possible uses and applications within anthropology as well as an understanding of the transferential relationships that shape the anthropologist's encounters within fieldwork.

Study-unit Aims

This unit will aim to:
- Offer anthropology students with an introduction to psychoanalytic approaches to the study of culture.
- Offer psychology students an exposure to cross-cultural issues and problems with diagnosis.
- Provide a broad overview of the different psychoanalytic schools of thought.

Learning Outcomes

1. Knowledge & Understanding: By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Provide an overview of the history and transformations of psychoanalytic anthropology.
- Discuss and explain the areas of cross-over between psychoanalysis and anthropology.
- Produce an informed and comparative discussion of select themes in psychoanalytic anthropology.
- Have an awareness of the the major ethnographic literature on the topic.

2. Skills: By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Present an argument on a select theme within a group.
- Construct an analytically solid argument within an academic essay format.
- Know how to conduct a literature search including utilizing appropriate online sources.

All of these skills are transferable and will prove invaluable to students in other subjects as well in any future careers they undertake.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings

A Reader will be composed from excerpts from the following works:

- Moore, H. 2007 'The Subject of Anthropology'. Cambridge: Polity (NOT in library)
- Muensterberger, W. 1970 (ed.) 'Man and his Culture'. New York: Taplinger. (NOT in library)
- Roheim, G. 1950. 'Psychoanalysis and Anthropology. New York: International Universities Press. (NOT in library)
- Hook, R.H. (ed) 1979. 'Fantasy and Symbol' London: Academic Press. (In library)
- Heald, S. & Deluz, A. 1994. 'Anthropology and Psychoanalysis: An encounter through culture'. London: Routledge.(NOT in library)
- Mimica, J. (ed.) 2007. 'Explorations in Psychoanalytic Ethnography. London: Berghahn. (NOT in library)
- Paul, R. (1989) Psychoanalytic Anthropology. 'Annual Review of Anthropology'. Vol: 18, pp. 177-202. (In Library)

General Reference Books:

- Freud, S. (Various) Collected works (Standard Edition). London: Vintage. (Not all volumes available in library)
- Lacan, J. (2005) 'Ecrits'. New York: W.W. Norton. (In Library)
- Bailly, L. (2009) 'Lacan: A Beginner's Guide' Oneworld Publications.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Independent Study

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Presentation SEM1 No 40%
Assignment SEM1 Yes 60%

LECTURER/S Jean-Paul Baldacchino

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.