Pioneering approach to psychoanalytical thoughtNew multidisciplinary effort brings top clinician to campus
By William Harms
John Gedo, a distinguished Chicago psychoanalyst, has been named Visiting Professor of Psychoanalytic Thought as part of an unusual multidisciplinary initiative to encourage the study of links between psychoanalysis and other fields.
As part of the initiative, the first of its kind in the nation, Gedo will give six public lectures in a series titled "Frontiers of Psychoanalysis," beginning with a lecture today, Oct. 23, titled "In Praise of Leisure." The talk will be given at 4:30 p.m. in Classics 10.
Gedo is the author of numerous influential books and articles on psychoanalytic theory and practice. He has written extensively on the application of psychoanalytic ideas and concepts to other areas, including art history, opera and literature.
The lecture series reflects the diversity of Gedo's research. He will present "Creativity in Women" on Thursday, Oct. 30; "The Psychological Core of Opera: Don Giovanni and Der Rosenkavalier" on Friday, Nov. 7; "On Inspiring Confidence: The Therapist as a Real Person" on Friday, Nov. 14; "Psychotherapy as Applied Psychoanalysis" on Friday, Nov. 21; and "What's Wrong with Psychoanalysis?" on Thursday, Dec. 4. The lectures will be presented at 4:30 p.m. in Classics 10.
Gedo was invited to be a visiting scholar by the Committee on General Studies in the Humanities and the Psychoanalytic Studies Program. The position is sponsored by the College and the Humanities and the Social Sciences divisions.
"Dr. Gedo's appointment is a breakthrough in the development of psychoanalytic studies within the humanities and the social sciences," said Susan Fisher, Clinical Professor in Psychiatry and chair of the committee that recommended Gedo's visit.
"There has been a large gap between the psychoanalytic institutes and the academic programs that have been established in universities in recent years," she said. "The problem is that because of their large clinical practices and their commitment to the psychoanalytic institutes, it has been difficult, even impossible, to get the senior psychoanalysts involved in the scholarly activities of these new academic programs. We're hoping this appointment will signify a new alliance between clinicians and academics in the field of psychoanalysis."
Herman Sinaiko, Chairman of the Committee on General Studies in the Humanities, added, "There has been tremendous interest recently in the connections between psychoanalysis and the understanding of work in other fields, but for scholars to appreciate the depth of the connections, they need access to psychoanalysts. This appointment makes that possible."
Gedo will be on campus one day a week. In addition to the lecture series, he will also give a winter-quarter graduate seminar, "Methodological Problems of Psychoanalysis in Relation to Other Disciplines." In spring quarter, he will teach an undergraduate course, "Psychoanalysis for the 21st Century: The Shape of the Future."
Gedo received his B.A. in 1946 and his M.D. in 1951 from New York University. He is the author or co-author of 15 books, including Models of the Mind (1973), Beyond Interpretation (1979), The Mind in Disorder (1988), Portraits of Artists (1983) and The Artist and the Emotional World (1996).