Professor of Psychoanalysis & Clinical Psychology
Professor Rogers has conducted studies on a range of topics including girls’ psychological development and trajectories of change in child analysis, as well as studies of language and visual art in psychosis. Co-Director of Hampshire’s Psychoanalytic Studies Program, she is Analyst Member and Faculty at the Lacanian School of San Francisco and Associate Member of the Association for Psychoanalysis & Psychotherapy in Ireland. She is also a Member of Zea Mays Printmaking.
Professor Rogers is a recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland; a Radcliffe Fellowship at Harvard University; a Whiting Fellowship at Hampshire College; and an Erikson Scholar at Austen Riggs. She is the author of three books: A Shining Affliction (Penguin Viking, 1995) and The Unsayable (Random House, 2006), and Incandescent Alphabets: Psychosis and the Enigma of Language, Karnac, 2016), in addition to numerous scholarly articles, short fiction, and poetry.
In this course we will explore psychosis as a structure of human experience that gives voice to the inaudible and vision to the imperceptible. We will study psychosis and its insights into the human through the artistic work of those who have left a trace of their experience in visual works and writing. We will consider historic art by psychotic patients, and also look at "outsider artists" in modern and contemporary time. We will be guided into the experience of psychosis through published writings by psychotic subjects; our theory of that experience will rely on a Lacanian, structural framing of psychosis. Each student will write a long essay on psychosis in response to the images and writings of the course, and will be responsible for three revisions of this essay during the semester. This course is intended for division II students who are interested in psychoanalysis, clinical psychology, the visual arts or creative writing.
Students will learn Lacanian psychoanalysis through working both in solitude and in collaboration. We'll read primary and secondary literature on Lacanian psychoanalysis, including cases by Freud. Students will work in groups to create scenes in which Lacan visits Freud and advises him on a case, and perform that scene. We'll also explore Lacan's concept of desire, the Other of language, and the Real unconscious. Finally, students will be involved in working at the Hampshire College Farm Center, recording their impressions, associations, and any dreams that refer to this experience. The idea is to learn how formations of the unconscious emerge, to understand their logic and use them to make something new. The final project takes the form of an artistic production, with a Lacanian analysis. Div. III students may take this course as an advanced course.
The course offers a sustained engagement with words and images, understood as constructions of the unconscious. We will work with words as images, and words with images. The unconscious is constructed in both psychoanalysis and art-making through associative processes: the convergence and divergence of elements (through repetition, variation, gaps, erasures, and contradictions) create emergent meanings that dissolve into nonsense, paradox, and questions. Students will create a poetics grounded in these processes. While a background in psychoanalysis, creative writing, or the visual arts is not a requirement for this class, those students are welcome. The goal is to learn a repertoire of strategies for reading the unconscious, as well as making new work with a conceptual sophistication grounded in visual sources and an original poetics. Students will be required to create a box of images and words, write a poetics based on psychoanalytic texts, and participate in classroom discussions and group collaborations.
How does psychoanalysis understand the treatment of children and adolescents historically? How have ideas and practices of child psychotherapy within psychoanalysis changed over time? What does an analyst actually do in sessions and with what results? These are the major questions we'll address in this course. Students will engage in intensive reading of primary sources and two major papers, in addition to regularly reviewing concepts through in-class essays and role-plays. We will read classic historical cases such as Freud's Little Hans case and Melanie Klein's Narrative of a Child Analysis, and move toward contemporary accounts psychoanalysis with children. In a mid-semester paper, students will review one child case and apply a different approach to psychoanalysis to that case. In a final assignment, students will read one of four novels and create a fictional treatment relationship with a child character, then give a psychoanalytic explanation of the treatment. Students are expected to prepare for discussions (the readings are not easy), and to participate fully in class.
The course is designed as an introduction to concepts of psychoanalysis for students with no previous knowledge of Freud. We will take an historical approach, tracing the development of Freud's thought through close readings of key essays, clinical case studies, and selected literary works that inspired Freud, tracing various concepts through their evolution, abandonment, retrieval, and revision in Freud's writing from the 1890s to the 1920s and beyond. The course will start with the origins of psychoanalysis in trauma theories of hysteria, their replacement by dream analysis, theories of sexuality and the Oedipus complex, and the return of trauma in new forms in Freud's late work on the repetition-compulsion and the death drive, his theory of the uncanny and dream analysis revision. We will also read the literature that stages Freud's concerns and questions: Sophocles' Oedipus the King, and a novella by Hoffmann, The Sandman. Students are expected to write response papers to the course website, read and comment on one another's work regularly, and write two substantive papers.