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Making Sense of History
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Dark Traces of the Past
Psychoanalysis and Historical Thinking
Edited by Jürgen Straub and Jörn Rüsen
232 pages, 6 ills, bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-84545-753-2 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (December 2011)
eISBN 978-1-84545-399-2 eBook
“Contrary to the functions ordinarily focused upon, Dark Traces of the Pastopens a considerably expanded scope of functions for psychoanalytically oriented historical studies, designating potentials of psychoanalysis that historical research and historiography will not be able to ignore at length without disadvantage.” · SirReadaLot
The relationship between historical studies and psychoanalysis remains an open debate that is full of tension, in both a positive and a negative sense. In particular, the following question has not been answered satisfactorily: what distinguishes a psychoanalytically oriented study of historical realities from a historical psychoanalysis? Skepticism and fear of collaboration dominate on both sides. Initiating a productive dialogue between historical studies and psychoanalysis seems to be plagued by ignorance and, at times, a sense of helplessness. Interdisciplinary collaborations are rare. Empirical research, formulation of theory, and the development of methods are essentially carried out within the conventional disciplinary boundaries. This volume undertakes to overcome these limitations by combining psychoanalytical and historical perspectives and thus exploring the underlying “unconscious” dimensions and by informing academic and nonacademic forms of historical memory. Moreover, it puts special emphasis on transgenerational forms of remembrance, on the notion of trauma as a key concept in this field, and on case studies that point the way to further research.
Jürgen Straub is Professor of Psychology at the University of Chemnitz. He was research director and member of the management committee at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities Essen (Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut Essen, KWI) from October 1999 to September 2001. Beginning in April 2004, he will lead the research group Intercultural Communication – Intercultural Competence at the KWI. His research topics include the psychology of cultural practices, methodology of qualitative research, and historical consciousness.
Jörn Rüsen was President of the Kulturwissenschaftliche Institut in Essen (Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities at Essen) and is now Senior Fellow there and Professor emeritus of History and Historical Culture at the University of Witten-Herdecke.
Subject: History (General) Sociology
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