On Aggression: Psychoanalysis as Moral Politics in Post-Nazi Germany

Event date to be determined

The North Carolina German Studies Seminar Series invites you to attend Dagmar Herzog (Graduate Center, City University of New York)

On Aggression: Psychoanalysis as Moral Politics in Post-Nazi Germany

Sunday, 28 February 2016
5:00-7:00 pm
Room 569, Hamilton Hall, UNC Campus

The heyday of intellectual and popular preoccupation with psychoanalysis in the West reached from the 1940s to the 1970s, from post-Nazism through Cold War consumerism to the anti-Vietnam War movement and the sexual revolution. In each country the ensuing debates over the truth about human behavior took unique form. Only in West Germany did debates about the value of psychoanalysis as a system of thought circle so intensely around the question of whether or not aggression was an ineradicable aspect of the human animal and whether or not it might best be conceived as a “drive” comparable in strength and form to libido. This paper analyzes the wholly unexpected consequences set in motion by the publication of ethologist Konrad Lorenz’s On Aggression, not only on the oeuvre of the preeminent West German psychoanalyst Alexander Mitscherlich, but also on the eventual shape taken by the New Left’s politics and theories of human nature.

DAGMAR HERZOG is Distinguished Professor of History and Daniel Rose Faculty Scholar at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. She has published on the histories of religion, the Holocaust, and gender and sexuality. She is working on a transatlantic history of psychoanalysis in the postwar era, examining the themes of desire, trauma, and aggression, and preparing a project on eugenics, disability, and reproductive self-determination in twentieth-century Europe

Refreshments will be served after each seminar

Please also note the change of venue to Hamilton Hall on the UNC campus. Due to security concerns, Hamilton Hall is automatically locked on the weekends. Someone will be stationed at the door to let attendees enter. On Sundays, there is free parking in the lots by Hamilton Hall and the Cobb Deck, but the lot by Davis Library tends to be full. For more information on parking, please see: http://move.unc.edu/parking/

For more information see: www.unc.edu/ncgs

The NCGS Executive Committee in 2015-16:

Dirk Bonker (Duke University, History);  James Chappel (Duke University, History);  Karen Hagemann (UNC Chapel Hill, History); Tobias Hof (UNC Chapel Hill, History); Konrad H. Jarausch (UNC Chapel Hill, History);   Corinna Kahnke (Duke University, German Studies);  Noah Strote (NC State, History)

Contact: 

Alex Ruble (NCGS Assistant) <aruble@email.unc.edu>

Sponsored by:

Carolina Seminars
  • The Carolina-Duke Ph.D. Program in German Studies
  • The UNC Center for European Studies
  • The UNC Department of History
  • The UNC Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures
  • The Duke Center for European Studies
  • The Duke Departments of Germanic Languages and Literatures
  • The Duke Department of History
Event Location: 
Room 569, Hamilton Hall, UNC Campus