Psychoanalysis, Money and the Economy
a conference convened for the London Freud Museum
by Prof. David Bennett and Dr. Ivan Ward
2nd-4th July, 2010.
Freud once warned his fellow analysts that there were two subjects that “civilized people” will always treat “with the same inconsistency, prudishness and hypocrisy” and about which psychoanalysts must insist on speaking with “the same matter-of-fact frankness”, namely: “money matters” and “sexual matters”. Yet the psychoanalytic profession has often followed Freud’s own example in decoding “money matters” as symbolic displacements of “sexual matters”. What would speaking “frankly” about money and psychoanalysis entail? This conference, and the volume of essays that will result from it, aims to explore all aspects of the nexus between psychoanalysis, money and the economy, including, but not limited to:
• psychoanalytic interpretations of economic behaviour, including the psychology of financial risk-taking and gambling, stock-market booms and busts, the ‘highs’ and ‘depressions’ of economies, financial traders and investors
• the roles of money and economic models in psychoanalytic theory and case histories
• the history of attempts to fuse psychoanalytic with economic explanations of social and cultural processes, as in the Freudo-Marxist tradition and its critiques of liberal economics’ theories of ‘Homo oeconomicus’
• the roles of money in the analyst–analysand relationship, or the psychotherapeutic encounter.
• psychoanalytic interpretations of monetary transactions and relationships in fantasy, fiction and film
• histories, theories and practices of libidinal economy, including sexual-economic revolutionary theories and movements
• how psychoanalysis as a profession and set of practices and theories is articulated wth specific economic conditions and trends, regionally, nationally and/or internationally
The conference will include a number of invited keynote speakers but there will also be opportunities for unsolicited papers to be presented. Proposals for 20-minute papers on any aspect of the conference theme will be welcome; they should include an explanatory title and a 600-word abstract, and should be sent simultaneously to David Bennett firstname.lastname@example.org and Ivan Ward email@example.com.