White Institute Calendar

Events » White Institute Calendar

Bookmark and Share

White Society Colloquium: Old-fashioned Lust in Theory and Practice

Date: Feb 24, 2017 7:30 pm

Speaker: Rosemary H. Balsam FRC, Psych, MRCP

Discussant: Michelle Stephens, PhD


Since the decline of Freud’s instinct theory, the roles of sex, the body, and the implied passionate experience of lust in psychic life have lost their centrality in theory and thus in clinical cachet. How can we view this? Perhaps in the old days, lust was assumed to be more urgent and knowable, and thus more dramatic in its absence. Examples from modern case vignettes will be compared to snippets from the letters of young Sigmund and Martha Freud, James and Nora Joyce, and a Shakespeare sonnet. Together these materials will be used to contemplate what may be gained and lost in an old-fashioned, Oedipally-inflected drive theory approach to such associative materials, as compared to a more modern, object relational and preoedipal perspective.


Rosemary H. Balsam, F.R.C.Psych (Lond), M.R. C. P. (Edin), is a psychiatrist originally from Belfast, N. Ireland.  She is an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry in the Yale Medical School, staff psychiatrist in the Yale Department of Student Mental Health and Counseling, and a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Western New England Institute for Psychoanalysis, New Haven, Conn. Her special interests are gender development, young adulthood, the place of the body in psychic life, the work of Hans Loewald, and teaching. She has written award winning papers and books, lectured in the United States and abroad, and was a National Woman Traveling Psychoanalytic Scholar for APsaA.  She is on the editorial boards of Psychoanalytic Quarterly and Imago, and co-edits the Book Review Section of JAPA. Her most recent book is: Women’s Bodies in Psychoanalysis (2012, Routledge).
A link to a recent lecture at the School for Visual Arts, New York: “The Pregnant Body Through the Looking Glass of Psychoanalysis or, What has Motherhood Got to Do With It?” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05B3gNcVKFI

Michelle Stephens teaches in the Departments of English and Latino and Caribbean Studies at  Rutgers University, New Brunswick and is the current Chair of the Department of English.  Originally from Jamaica, West Indies, she graduated from Yale University with a Ph.D. in American Studies. She teaches undergraduate courses in African American, American, Caribbean and Black Diaspora Literature and Culture and graduate courses  in race and psychoanalysis. She is the author of Black Empire: The Masculine Global Imaginary of Caribbean Intellectuals in the United States, 1914 to 1962 (2005) and Skin Acts: Race, Psychoanalysis and The Black Male Performer (2014). She is a 2016 graduate of the Licensure Qualifying Program at the William Alanson White Institute of Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis and Psychology.
Register here.
Click here to learn more about accreditation and CE/CME credits.