Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.590268
Title: Bodies, gazes and images between hysteria and modernism : tracing the maternal in the case history of 'Frau Emmy von N' and in selected paintings by Suzanne Valadon
Author: Heath, Joanne Margaret
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2011
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Abstract:
This thesis is structured around the dual scenarios of doctor/patient and artist/model. Having analysed the underlying politics of class and gender that structured the relationship between doctor and patient, and between artist and model, at the fin-de-siecle, it goes on to examine how these relations were transformed by two developments: the emergence of psychoanalysis in relation to hysteria, and the growing involvement of women as artists in the field of modernist painting. Its key research questions fall, therefore, upon identifying a historical method for understanding the impact of women’s self-enunciation in these scenarios that shifts the now classic image of masculinised modernism in both its psychological and aesthetic dimensions. It is centred upon a close reading of two case studies—that of ‘Frau Emmy von N’ from the Studies on Hysteria, published jointly by Sigmund Freud and Joseph Breuer in 1895, and that of model-turned-artist Suzanne Valadon (1865-1938)—and examines the extent to which the scenarios of doctor/patient and artist/model underwent a radical internal transformation as a result of their reconfiguration by the women involved. Moving between psychoanalysis and modernism at the moment of their historical co-emergence, and re-reading their conjunction through contemporary feminist theory, it also interrogates one of the traditional blind spots of psychoanalysis: maternal subjectivity. In the first two chapters, I revisit Freud’s first written case history of ‘Frau Emmy von N’ in order to explore the significance of Freud’s belated acknowledgement of his patient’s ambivalent experience of motherhood to the history and theory of what would become psychoanalysis. Having tracked the shift in the relations between doctor and patient that occurred over the course of this early, proto-analytic, encounter, I go on to examine a corresponding transformation in my second identified scenario of artist/model. In the third chapter, I consider the social, artistic and psychic dilemmas faced by those self-consciously modem ‘New Women’ who sought in the early years of the twentieth century to participate in modernist art and culture not merely as mute objects of representation, but as creative subjects in their own right. In this chapter, I investigate how the question of the maternal might be processed in the being of women as artists in the modernist moment. Having analysed both the possibilities and limitations of those psychoanalytic theorisations that view feminine creativity as necessarily bound up with depressive mourning for the mother and the maternal body, in the final two chapters, I draw upon the Matrixial theory of Bracha Ettinger in order to consider how the traces of some different relation to the feminine/maternal may be otherwise inscribed in certain paintings of the female nude by Suzanne Valadon.
Supervisor: Pollock, Griselda Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.590268  DOI: Not available
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