The Freudian Association
The Freudian Association was founded in 1997 with the aim to contribute to the discussion on the theory and practice of psychoanalysis, as well as trying to provide a multi-faceted exploration of its history and relationship to other scientific disciplines. The origins of the Freudian Association are two-fold: first and foremost the open seminar that started in the autumn of 1993, held every second Wednesday in Haga in Gothenburg. Furthermore, there existed among the first participants in the seminar a desire to discuss psychoanalysis and the organizational structures for the training of psychoanalysts, a factor that also contributed to the foundation of the association.
The basic idea of the Freudian Association is that anyone who has a serious interest in the theory, practice and history of psychoanalysis, or its relationship to other disciplines, is a priori welcome to participate in the association’s activities.
One the one hand, the activities involve the invitation of a number of guest lecturers to the association each semester; around eight lectures per year spread out over the two semesters of the Swedish academic year. The common denominator among the guest lecturers is that they have demonstrated an intellectually qualified approach to questions that have bearing on the association’s activities, and/or have carried out research regarding one of the four abovementioned aspects of psychoanalysis. The lectures are open and are advertised in various forums.
Several lecturers have been regular guests of the association. They come from Paris. The purpose of letting them return to the association on a regular basis is to give the association’s members the opportunity to partake of the field of knowledge established by the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan (1901-1981). Lecturers from other intellectual traditions are also invited. The aim is to provide an international perspective on the theory and practice of psychoanalysis as well as on its history. In this way, the association tries to offer an improved understanding of how psychoanalysis has taken shape in Sweden and the defining characteristics of the current situation. The lecturers also include Swedish authors and researchers who have devoted themselves to understanding important aspects of the theory and practice of psychoanalysis, as well as the development of the psychoanalytic movement. Another important theme concerns the relationship between psychoanalysis and the major institutions; the church, the state, the university and the psychiatric institution.
On the other hand, the association’s activities comprise a Sunday seminar that takes place regularly on Sundays except during school holidays. This seminar can be regarded as a continuation of the open seminar that started in the autumn of 1993. The current Sunday seminar begins in early September and ends on the last Sunday in May. Participants join the seminar by applying to the committee of the association. The application process involves being interviewed by a member of the committee. An active participation is required; to participate one pledges an attendance rate of at least 75%. At present, the Freudian Association is an intellectual project, that is to say its goal is to give its members access to knowledge and intellectual discussions in an environment that has refrained from creating a hierarchical structure based on the various members’ actual competence or level of training. Nor does the association strive to adapt to the Swedish regulations – of a kind that either already exists or is underway in other European countries – that license psychotherapists. However, the Freudian Association supports the attitude that it is important that those who have a serious interest in psychoanalysis are visible in the public debate and spread their knowledge and ideas in society’s public institutions. To the extent that psychoanalysis can be represented in a creative way in the public space, its presence can be productive. The facilities for the lectures and seminars of the Freudian Association are located at Stora Nygatan 13 in central Gothenburg. Its activities are financed with membership fees, and entry fees to the lectures for non-members. The membership fee and entry fees are decided by the association’s members.
The Freudian Association publishes Arche – Journal of Psychoanalysis, Architecture and the Humanities. The aim of the journal is to publish authors, academics, intellectuals and psychoanalysts working in the field of the association’s activities. Arche also publishes shorter works of fiction, and poetry. It appeals to psychoanalysts, psychologists and psychotherapists, as well as researchers in the humanities and the social sciences. The editor-in-chief and publisher is Per Magnus Johansson. The assistant editors are Mats Leffler and Annika Stiebe. The editor for layout and images is Johan Linton. The editorial board’s secretaries are Jonas Gilbert and Johan Stålberg. The subeditor and coordinator is Andreas Stiebe. The coordinator for the journal’s contacts with France is Yvette Johansson. In 2018, Arche received the award for cultural journal of the year in Sweden.
The following have appeared as guest lecturers at the Freudian Association: Michael Azar (professor of the history of ideas and author), Fethi Benslama (Ph.D. in philosophy, psychoanalyst and author, Paris), Sergio Benvenuto (researcher in philosophy and psychology, editor for the Journal of European Psychoanalysis), Bengt Brülde (professor of practical philosophy, Gothenburg), Pawel Dybel (professor of philosophy and sociology, Warsaw), Claes Ekenstam (associate professor of the history of ideas, Gothenburg), Gunilla Hallerstedt (associate professor of psychology, and university lecturer, Gothenburg), Agnes Heller (philosopher, professor emeritus at the New School for Social Research, New York), , Peter Josephson (lecturer in the history of ideas at Södertörn University) Irina Karlsohn (Ph.D. in Slavic languages, Uppsala), Thomas Karlsohn (associate professor of the history of ideas, Gothenburg/Uppsala), David Karlsson (historian of ideas and editor, Gothenburg), Georg Klein (professor of tumour biology, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm), Sven-Eric Liedman (professor emeritus of the history of ideas, Gothenburg), Mats Leffler (psychologist, psychotherapist and translator, Gothenburg), Gunilla Linde Bjur (professor of art history and architect, Gothenburg), Johan Linton (artist, architect, civil engineer and associate professor of the theory and history of architecture, Gothenburg), Magnus Ljunggren (professor emeritus of Russian, Stockholm), René Major (medical doctor, psychoanalyst and author, Paris), Chantal Talagrand Major (psychoanalyst and author, Paris), Edda Manga (Ph.D. in the history of ideas, Stockholm), Michael Molnar (responsible for the Freud Museum in London and chief archivist, London), Alf Nilsson (professor emeritus of clinical psychology and psychotherapist, Lund), Ingemar Nilsson (professor of the history of ideas, Gothenburg), Martin Nyström (music critic at Dagens Nyheter and culture journalist), Ole Andkjær Olsen (Ph.D. in the history of literature and researcher, Copenhagen), Johannes Nordholm (psychologist and art historian, Gothenburg), Mats Persson (professor of the history of ideas at Uppsala University) Michel Plon (psychoanalyst, researcher and author, Paris), Erik Porge (psychoanalyst, medical doctor and author, Paris), Claude van Reeth (medical doctor and psychoanalyst, Brussels), Astrid von Rosen (associate professor of art history and visual studies, Gothenburg), Elisabeth Roudinesco (psychoanalyst, historian, researcher and author, Paris), Moustapha Safouan (philosopher, psychoanalyst and author, Paris), Barbro Sylwan (psychoanalyst, Paris), Enrique Torres (medical doctor and psychoanalyst, Cordoba), Sven-Olov Wallenstein (theoretician of art and professor of philosophy, Stockholm). Since 1997 and until the present time, 2017, the undersigned has lectured at the Freudian Association at several occasions, as well as introduced the abovementioned lecturers and held concluding discussions in conjunction with each lecture.
The association regularly organizes screenings of films, which are discussed and commented. Among others, the association has shown the TV series In Treatment, and reflected on the meetings between the psychotherapist Paul Weston (played by Gabriel Byrne) and his patients, as well as a number of film versions of August Strindberg’s plays.
Per Magnus Johansson July 08, 2019