Introduction to Theory: Sigmund Freud

In this second installment of our Introduction to Theory series, Scott Ferguson presents an introduction to psychoanalytic theory by exploring key theoretical writings by Sigmund Freud: The Interpretation of Dreams (1899); Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality (1905);& Beyond the Pleasure Principle (1920). Drawn from a semester-long university course titled “Theory for Film & Media Studies,” the recorded lecture takes up three distinct texts in order explore continuities and divergences in Freud’s complex contributions to modern thought and society. Framed as an advanced introduction that is hardly exhaustive, Ferguson’s lecture strives to orient students to Freud’s contested historical significance and to model forms of situated close reading that resist reductionism.

Included for your convenience below is Freud’s diagram of the psychical apparatus that Ferguson references at various times throughout the lecture.

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