Freud's Archaeological Obsession with Frederika Tevebring

Freud's Archaeological Obsession with Frederika Tevebring

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In this conversation, we will discuss how Sigmund Freud's fascination with archaeology shaped his description of the human mind and the practice of psychoanalysis. Freud once mused that, if only he could afford more antiquities, he might give up smoking. Like cigars, buying ancient art was a self-admitted addiction for the father of psychoanalysis. His "old grubby gods," as he lovingly referred to his artifacts, stood guard on his desk while he wrote and even join him on summer vacations. When the time came to flee Austria for London, Freud went through great efforts and mobilized his most influential friends to save his collection and archaeological books, prioritizing these over much of his medical literature.

But collecting archaeological objects was not only a passionate interest. Freud's writing is replete with references to excavation, buried cities, and to the works of archaeologists and philologists. The objects in his collection reflect the subjects that interested him - such as sexuality, religion, and the parent-child relationshipåÊ- but more importantly, Freud recognized a deep affinity between archaeology and psychoanalysis as two disciplines that both attempt to uncover things that have been lost and forgotten. Indeed, he would claim that the work of archaeologists and analysts was "in fact identical."

Led by specialist Dr. Frederika Tevebring, we'll see the life and history of Freud brought to light by both her expertise and energy. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with a much-learned understanding of Freud and his treasures.

Originally from Sweden, Frederika lived in Berlin and Chicago before settling in London. She holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature with a focus on Classics from Northwestern University. She has also earned a BA and MA in Ancient Studies and Religious History respectively from the Freie Universitet, Berlin, and has several seasons of archaeological fieldwork around Greece under her belt.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.