Hampshire College offers unique opportunities for undergraduate students to explore psychoanalysis in relation to society and culture.
Students can explore psychoanalysis in its clinical traditions as well as contemporary forms, and are encouraged to elaborate their psychological interests and questions in relation to philosophy, creative writing, theater, literature, and the arts. Students become acquainted with a complex, controversial, and changing field through coursework; build a portfolio of work across courses; and can choose to pursue a final thesis capstone project directed by a committee in psychoanalytic studies.
Faculty who teach and advise in psychoanalytic studies come from three of the five interdisciplinary schools at the college: Critical Social Inquiry (CSI), Humanities, Arts, and Cultural Studies (HACU), and Interdisciplinary Arts (IA).
Literature and Psychoanalysis
This course examines the relationship between psychoanalysis and literature by focusing on Freud's concept of the "uncanny" as it appears in his famous essay of the same name, and as it emerges in literary examples in the nineteenth and twentieth century. Freud himself drew on the work of E.T.A. Hoffman, whose "Sandman" features mysterious strangers, a mechanical doll, family romance, and madness. In the course of the semester, literary texts may include Hoffman's story, "The Sandman," Dostoevsky's The Double, E.A. Poe's Collected Stories, Henry James's "The Turn of the Screw" and The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter. In addition, we will examine the aesthetic categories related to the uncanny, such as the grotesque, the horrific, and the abject and trace the development of genres such as the Gothic and the ghost story in literature and film.
Hampshire Psychoanalytic Initiative
The Hampshire Psychoanalytic Initiative was created in 2011 by alumni who had studied psychoanalysis as undergraduates and wanted to remain involved with one another and with Hampshire College. This alumni group meets two times a year at the college with to present papers or creative works, and to explore questions about further training in psychoanalysis. The purpose of the group is to keep alive an interest in contemporary psychoanalysis while young adults enter their graduate training and working lives.
Hampshire College has many library resources on psychoanalysis, including a database of psychoanalytic journals. Psychological Electronic Publishing, a fully searchable digital archive, contains the full text of the Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud and the full text of eighteen premier journals in psychoanalysis. There are over 50,000 articles (with over seventy million words) and 4,000 figures and illustrations that originally resided in more than 400 volumes with a total of 250,000 printed pages.