Since 2001 the Australian Psychoanalytical Society has been publishing the online journal ‘Psychoanalysis Downunder‘ dedicated to publishing articles, papers, book reviews and commentary by psychoanalysts and others. It is offered free to the general community as a contribution to its intellectual life. One is able to read, and think, at one’s leisure.
The release of ‘Psychoanalysis Downunder # 13, under the editorship if Shahid Najeeb who has been doing the job for some years, co incides with a new and revamped website. The adventure implicit inhaving its own facebook page now provides another space for feedback and discussion. Will a Twitter account be next?
The existence of Psychoanalysis Downunder reflects a long tradition of purveying and discussing Freud’s and others’ ideas. Psychoanalysis, as this blog also reflects, has long woven its way through Australian culture, in the cities and the bush since the first decade of the twentieth century when Dr Donald Fraser wrote to Freud about a reading group on psychoanalysis and, two years later was part of a group of medical practitioners who invited Freud and Jung to present at the Australasian Medical Congress. From then, as Joy Damousi sketched out in her 2005 book, Freud in the Antipodes, psychoanalysis entered the fields of education, psychology, theology and philosophy. The Australasian Journal of Psychology and Philosophy, first issued in 1923 under the editorship of Sir Francis Anderson, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Sydney, published articles about psychoanalysis and mental life. The journal was the organ of the Australasian Society of Psychology and Philosophy which had branches in the major capital cities in each Australian state as well as in regional areas. It seems to have faded away after WW2, but the idea of enabling ideas to be transmitted across vast distances remains.
Australians have always had to manage distance. The network of regional papers and newservices across the country responded to people’s hunger for what was going on in other parts of the world but also kept them up to date with intellectual and social developments. More specifically, during her visit to Australia in 1937, British psychoanalyst and educator, Susan Isaacs, not only was well received by city audiences but, to her delight because women in England did not do such broadcasts, was given the opportunity to broadcast her talks about child development through the radio so that country – rural and regional families – could also listen. It was an initiative of the Country Women’s Association in Queensland, and repeated in the southern states as the New Education Fellowship Conference, which hosted her visit made its way across the country, through Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth from 1 August 1937 to 20 Setpember 1937.
Here are the contents for edition # 13:
*John McClean ‘Basic Assumptions And The Training Analysis’
*Maurice Whelan: ‘The Space We Occupy and The Space Where Others Reside’
*Maurice Whelan: ‘Love of the World’
*Paul Schimmel : ‘Outside of Time’
*Shahid Najeeb: ‘In Praise of Fireflies’
*Shahid Najeeb: ‘Sand, Surf and Sky’
The journal also reflects some of the life within Australian psychoanalysis marking changes wrought, sadly, by the passing of colleagues.
*Gil Anaf: “R S Gillen – Analyst in the frame.” and
*Celia Pickworth: “Ron Brookes – Remembering the Sydney “bush” psychoanalyst.”
And book reviews, of course, are form part of the project:
*Maurice Whelan: Review of Paul Schimmel’s “Sigmund Freud’s Discovery of Psychoanalysis: Conquistador and Thinker.”
*Tom Wilmot: Review of Domenico Nesci’s “Multimedia Psychotherapy: A Psychodynamic approach for mourning in the technological age”
Psychoanalysis has made a considerable, but it seems, hidden contribution to Australian culture and life.. and as you read through the journal over the years, it reflects something of the response of its authors and readers to the uniqueness of Australian conditions. Here are the links, this time not in text: