Bloomsbury and Psychoanalysis seminars at UCL Centre for the History of Psychological Disciplines


The ‘Bloomsbury and Psychoanalysis’ seminars are intended to re-examine the historical contexts in which ‘Bloomsbury’ introduced and translated Freudian and Kleinian psychoanalysis.  Especial attention will be paid to James Strachey, Alix Strachey and Joan Riviere with particular reference to Freud’s failure in analyzing them.  In this connection, a new light will also be shed on Karl Abraham, Melanie Klein and Virginia Woolf as well as Freud.


February 19 (Alix Strachey)

March 5 (James Strachey)

March 12 (Joan Riviere)

March 19 (Melanie Klein and Karl Abraham)

 Time: 11.30am-1pm

 Location: UCL Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology, Room 446, 4th Floor, 1-19 Torrington Place, WC1E 7HB.

 Required Readings:

Alix Stachey 1922. ‘Analysis of a Dream of Doubt and Conflict.’ International Journal of Psycho-analysis 3 (1922): 154–162.

Joan Riviere. 1929. ‘Womanliness as a Masquerade.’ International Journal of Psycho-analysis 10 (1929): 303-13.

 Melanie Klein. 1927. ‘Early Stages of the Oedipus Conflict.’ International Journal of Psycho-analysis 9 (1928): 167-80.

 Sigmund Freud. 1933. Lecture 33: Femininity, in New Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis. S.E. 22, 112-35.

 Karl Abraham. 1924. ‘Origin and Growth of Object Love’ Part 2 of ‘A Short Study of the Development of the Libido.’ Selected Papers on Psychoanalysis. London: Karnac (Maresfield Library), 1988, 480-501.

Background Readings:

Bloomsbury/Freud: The Letters of James and Alix Strachey 1924-1925. Eds. Perry Meisel and Walter Kendrick. New York: Basic, 1985.

 Russell Grigg. ‘Introduction’ Female Sexuality: The Early Psychoanalytic Controversies. Eds. Russell Grigg, Dominique Hecq and Craig Smith. London: Rebus, 1999, 7-18.

 Lisa Appignanesi and John Forrester. ‘Joan Riviere and Alix Strachey: Translating Psychoanalysis’ Freud’s Women. London: Phoenix, 2005, 352-71.

 John Forrester. ‘Remembering and Forgetting Freud in Early Twentieth-Century Dreams.’ Science in Context 19(1): 65–85 (2006)

 For a general introduction to these seminars, Russell Grigg’s ‘introduction’ is highly instructive; as for Alix Strachey’s text, John Forrester’s article is very informative.


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