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GERMAN-CFP-L  May 2008

GERMAN-CFP-L May 2008

Subject:

CFP: Freud and the Fairy Tale (7/31/08, book volume)

From:

Laurie Johnson <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

German Studies CFP Forum <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 13 May 2008 10:29:33 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (39 lines)

Call for Papers:
Freud and the Fairy Tale: New Approaches to Very Old Stories

The title of the May 2005 issue of Der Spiegel magazine asked “Was Freud Right?”  The sixth Freud cover in the periodical’s history appeared in April 2006, with the title “Sex and the Self: The Rediscovery of Sigmund Freud.” In March of that same year, Newsweek’s cover announced that “Freud is (Not) Dead.” 

Freud seems to be back, as evidenced, among other things, by new publications such as the Journal of Neuro-Psychoanalysis and the implicit endorsement of scientists including Erich Kandel, who acknowledges that no one but Freud has been able to provide a satisfactory explanatory model for unconscious psychic processes. One of the things Freud seems to have been right about is the nature of “screen memories.” In his essay On the Occurrence in Dreams of Material from Fairy Tales, Freud contends that memories of fairy tales can “screen,” or stand in for, memories of actual past events. The analyst’s awareness of this process helps him realize when he is being confronted with a patient’s real memories and when he is hearing fiction presented as fact. Freud points out that memory is not very stable: our knowledge of the real factual past is not always reliable, and in fact may be literally partly fiction particularly when our desires, fantasies, and capacities for denial are activated, which is often.

Perhaps the return to Freud, together with a renewed focus generally in the humanities on clashes and commingling of tradition and innovation, means that it is time to revisit psychoanalysis and the fairy tale. But Lacanian, Zizekian, and other approaches within the real of the psychoanalytic are also welcome; we wish to re-read tales as aesthetic structures that are open to interpretations that move beyond Bruno Bettelheim’s still-seminal The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales (1975) and its theses about the tales’ mobilization of the psychic mechanisms of projection and identification. Essays could also invoke a “psychoanalytic stance” rather than pursue a rigorous application of Freudian concepts to a tale or tales. In short, we are interested in exploring the status and nature of psychoanalytic interpretation today, via the fairy tale: a form at once seemingly arch-traditional, yet also potentially innovative, supple, and adaptable to every cultural space and time. 

Possible operative concepts for contributions include but are not limited to: desire, paranoia, repetition, guilt, anxiety, love, longing, loss, melancholy. Is a new psychoanalysis of the fairy tale possible? Tales from any traditions and cultures are welcome, but the essays may also focus on interpretation itself as much or more than on a particular tale or tales. 

Abstracts of approximately 500 words are welcome by July 31, 2008. We will approach publishers with this more specific information and with a prospectus and proposed table of contents. The final essays (15-20 double-spaced pages in length) would be requested by July 1, 2009. 

Please submit abstracts and direct any questions or suggestions to:

Laurie Johnson at [log in to unmask]

Thank you very much for considering contributing to this volume!

Laurie Johnson
Associate Professor of German, in the Program in Comparative and World Literature, and in the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
2090 FLB, 707 S. Mathews Ave.
Urbana, IL 61801

Laurie Johnson
Helen Corley Petit Scholar of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Associate Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures, in the Program in Comparative and World Literature, and in the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
2090 FLB, 707 S. Mathews Ave.
Urbana, IL  61801
Phone: 217/265-4037

*******************
The German Studies Call for Papers List
Editor: Stefani Engelstein
Assistant Editor:  Megan McKinstry
Sponsored by the University of Missouri
Info available at: http://www.missouri.edu/~graswww/resources/gerlistserv.html

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