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Title: A self of one's own : psychoanalysis, self-identity and affect, 1909-1939 : a creative and critical exploration
Author: Lockwood, Alexander Raymond
ISNI:       0000 0004 5370 0406
Awarding Body: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2015
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The thesis is in two parts: a creative component comprising a historical novel Obélisque concerned with psychoanalysis and self-identity, and a critical component that investigates the role of therapeutic language in the formation of identities in the period 1909-1939. Obélisque fictionalises the performance of psychoanalysis in mid-1930s Paris. Set around the Obelisk Press publishing house, the novel explores how new forms of psychosurgery (the lobotomy) and psychoanalysis were assimilated into culture as methods of self-control, forced onto physical bodies and mental selves. It tells the story of an editor at the Obelisk who enters analysis, and creates a dialogue with the history of psychoanalysis as it affected creative practice. The critical component is in three parts. The first offers an overview of theories of affect in relation to psychoanalytic language and therapy culture. It brings together the work of theorists Lauren Berlant, Ann Cvetkovich and Eva Illouz in studying affect to find alternatives to neoliberalism. It argues that such alternatives can be found in the modernist period, in moments of resistance to therapeutic narratives as they were being absorbed into consumer practices, legitimating the ‘acceptable’ forms that a ‘self’ could take. The second part examines Norah James’ Sleeveless Errand, banned on publication in 1929 and subsequently published by the Obelisk Press. Sleeveless Errand is a study of an ambivalent self produced in reaction to cultural standards. The third part examines the psychoanalytic work of Marion Milner and her interwar experiments in self-analysis, which resisted emerging therapeutic languages in an attempt to find a method for self-making that was her own. This thesis, then, seeks to assess how such emotional therapeutic narratives of psychoanalytic language shape the self. It explores what these historical moments of counter-cultural resistance to the dominance of therapeutic narratives can offer for contemporary examinations of self-making.
Supervisor: Whitehead, Anne; Crumey, Andrew Sponsor: University of Sunderland
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available