January 28, 2016 @ 1:00 am – 2:30 am
141 Herrick Road
Lauren Lukason
617-266-0953 x105

8:00 PM – 9:30 PM
Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute
141 Herrick Road, Newton Centre, MA 02459

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Open to the Public

From Archaeological Ruin to Oedipal Fragment: Freud’s First “Antiquities”

Diane O’Donoghue, PhD (Presenter) Senior Fellow for the Humanities, Tisch College, Tufts University; Faculty and Affiliate Scholar Member, Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute

Humphrey Morris, MD (Discussion Leader) Training and Supervising Analyst, Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute.

This presentation will focus on the first early artifact known to have been acquired by Freud – an Etruscan urn purchased in Orvieto in September 1897.  This transaction occurred just days prior to his epochal letter to Fliess announcing his loss of belief in his theory of a trauma-based “neurotica.”  Bringing these two events together, this paper will discuss how the initiation of his collection may have informed Freud’s process of self-analysis during this period and suggest a possible relationship between the origins of his oedipal construction and his emerging identity as a collector of other forms of excavated fragments.

Learning Objectives:

  1.  Identify the role of visual culture on Freud’s early formulations of the unconscious.
  2. Assess the origins of Freud’s oedipal construction in the context of the emergence of his identity as a collector.
  3. Discuss the impact of Freud’s first “antiquities” on transitions in his thinking about evidence of “history”.


  1. Freud, S.  The Interpretation of DreamsS.E. IV, pp. 122-124.
  2. The Complete Letters of Sigmund Freud and Wilhelm Fliess, 1887-1904. Cambridge: London: Harvard UP, Belknap, 1985. [264]- 278.
  3. Simmons, Lawrence. Freud’s Italian Journey. Amsterdam; NY: Rodopi, 1994. Introduction and first chapter.

This program is FREE.  The target audience for this program is clinicians and academics at all levels and Graduate Students in the field of Psychology.






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