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Psychanalyse et histoire culturelle

Échanges et confrontation

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Published on Wednesday, December 15, 2021


Ce dossier de la Revue d’histoire culturelle (XVIIIe-XXIe siècles) intitulé « Psychanalyse et histoire culturelle : échanges et confrontation » présente de la façon la plus explicite et la plus concrète possible les traverses entre sciences humaines et sociales, histoire culturelle et psychanalyse. Il comprend un préalable : le recours à l’hypothèse de l’inconscient ne consiste pas à psychologiser les faits sociaux et culturels mais à dégager l’envers inconscient du fait collectif. Au-delà, il y a là un véritable enjeu pour les sciences humaines et sociales autour des liens entre sujet, symboles et représentations.



The Revue d’histoire culturelle (XVIIIe-XXIe siècles) is pleased to launch a call for papers for its fifth issue. The editors of this issue devoted to “psychoanalysis and cultural history: exchanges and confrontation” are Paul-Laurent Assoun (psychoanalyst and philosopher), Evelyne Cohen (Professor emeritus at the ENSSIB-University of Lyon) and Pascale Goetschel (Professor at the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne). The Revue d’histoire culturelle (XVIIIe-XXIe siècles) publishes articles in French and English.

This dossier aims to present in the most explicit and concrete way possible the bridges between human and social sciences, cultural history and psychoanalysis. It relies on a preliminary conception: the recourse to the hypothesis of the unconscious does not consist in psychologizing social and cultural facts but in releasing the unconscious side of collective facts. Beyond that, the relations between subject, symbols and representations represent a real challenge for human and social sciences.

The dossier seeks to question the possible links between cultural history understood as social history of representations and psychoanalytical knowledge insofar as it theorizes unconscious processes. How can historians use the psychoanalytical theoretical apparatus as a tool? To what extent does history, in particular history of cultural objects, represents a material for psychoanalysts?

The dossier will follow a double perspective: on the one hand, it aims to confront concepts and notions shared (or not) by cultural history and psychoanalysis; on the other hand, it seeks analyses based on concrete cases, whether they are objects, practices or situations. It will address three main issues.

I/ Epistemological and methodological crossings

  1. Cultural history, social sciences and psychoanalysis
    • Cultural anthropology and psychoanalysis versus “psychohistory”, the Frankfurt School, Freudomarxism, etc.
    • History of actors and successful or aborted encounters between psychoanalysis and cultural history
    • The notion of individual and collective unconscious
  2. Psychoanalysis and cultural history 
    • Freud, social sciences and culture [Psychoanalysis and Kulturgeschichte. The discomfort of the culture to the test of psychoanalysis].
    • Psychoanalysis as a theory of history.
    • The reception of human and social sciences by psychoanalysts.
    • What place for a social, collective, historical construction of the unconscious/subjectivities?
  3. The construction of common objects
    • Comparative and crossed methodology of historical sciences, cultural history and psychoanalysis [emotions, dreams as shared objects of knowledge...]. 
    • Disciplinary languages, knowledge and practices: psychotherapy as a clinical and cultural act; culture, symptom and representations; use of social sciences and history in clinical practice; adoption by historians of specific psychoanalytic concepts such as failed act, drive, acting out, return of the repressed, superego, taboo or trauma; psychoanalysts’ perception of the profession of historian, or of notions specific to the historical discipline (event, anachronism, past...).
    • Conceptions of time in history and psychoanalysis (use of the concept of repression, image of resurgence in history etc.)

II/ Objects / examples of the interaction between cultural history and psychoanalysis

The dossier seeks papers based on crossed approaches, both historical and psychoanalytical. Examples may be chosen from different spheres of political, social and media life. Among them, we can cite:

  1. Political events (the French Revolution, 1968, 2001...)
  2. Situations, categories, social groups (e.g. from the “passion for equality” to totalitarianism); the technologization of the social (the augmented human)
  3. Globalization, massification and culture: the processes of “deculturalization” 
  4. Issues of transmission: from fathers to sons, from mothers to daughters 
  5. Men and women, unconscious and sexual condition
  6. Barbarity and civilization, process of de-civilization (Elias)

III/ Issues related to the relation and confrontation between history and psychoanalysis

  1. Structure and history. On the historical mutation of cultural models and their psychoanalytical interpretation
  2. Psychoanalysis, psychoanalysts as objects of history and history, historians as objects of psychoanalysis
  3. Receptions of psychoanalysis in different historical and socio-cultural contexts


  • Paul-Laurent Assoun (psychoanalyst and philosopher)
  • Evelyne Cohen (Professor emeritus at the ENSSIB-University of Lyon)
  • Pascale Goetschel (Professor at the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)

Submission guidelines

Submission of an abstract (200-250 words) and a bio-bibliographical note by January 31, 2022

Notification to selected authors: February 10, 2022

Submission of complete articles (6000-9000 words): April 30, 2022

Final submission (after taking into account expert opinions): June 30, 2022

Publication: September 30, 2022

Abstracts should be sent to:

  • revuedeladhc@gmail.com
  • evelyne.cohen@wanadoo.fr
  • pascale.goetschel@gmail.com
  • paullaurent.assoun@gmail.com

The articles in the dossier are reviewed by an editorial board after a double-blind evaluation. They may be written in French or English. They may be subject to requests for changes in form and content. The authors will validate the final draft of their text, for which they will be considered responsible. The other texts will be examined by the members of the different sections and the editorial committee.

The expected contributions must follow the French mode of call for papers and can be completed by a bibliography at the end of the article. An abstract in French and English and key words are requested. Illustrations are welcome; they must be free of copyright.



  • Monday, January 31, 2022


  • psychanalyse, histoire culturelle, anthropologie culturelle, Freud


  • Pascale Goetschel
    courriel : rencontres [dot] philies [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Evelyne Cohen
    courriel : evelyne [dot] cohen [at] wanadoo [dot] fr
  • Paul-Laurent Assoun
    courriel : paullaurent [dot] assoun [at] gmail [dot] com

Information source

  • Evelyne Cohen
    courriel : evelyne [dot] cohen [at] wanadoo [dot] fr


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Psychanalyse et histoire culturelle », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Wednesday, December 15, 2021, https://doi.org/10.58079/17w6

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