The centenary of the publication of Sigmund Freud’s “The Uncanny” will be celebrated next year. In this fascinating work, Freud argued that aesthetics should not be understood only as a “theory of beauty” but also as a “theory of the qualities of feeling”. The papers in this conference will explore the particular qualities of feeling that belong to the uncanny: unsettling experiences, sentiments of disquiet and strangeness usually sudden and temporary; they involve the perception of something familiar as de-realised or something unknown and yet bizarrely familiar, recognisable in works of art and literature. In the clinical situation, the analyst’s capacity to identify such states of mind in the patient, or in themselves, and his/her own capacity to bear them, are seen as essential to making possible a powerfully transforming psychoanalytic process.
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Image by ©Matthew Childers
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