The Navel of the Dream

Jun 17, 2018

Freud by Max Hablerstand, 1921

On this episode Arts & Letters, we journey into the world of dreams and psychoanalysis with professor Elissa Marder. An expert in Freud and his Interpretation of Dreams, Marder serves as Chair of the Department of French and Italian and Interim Director of the Psychoanalytic Studies Program at Emory University.  

“…the dream, which separates things and breaks them down, creates the new.” Charles Baudelaire

Along the way Professor Marder discusses how dreams, in Freud's words, are the “royal road to the unconscious." We also learn about how dreams are meaningful psychic events, which challenge scientific knowledge, and about hysteria, dreams, art, and literature.

Dr. Elissa Marder
Credit Photo provided

Professor Marder's scholarship draws from the frameworks of both psychoanalysis and deconstruction but runs her own unique theoretical thread through the ideas, associations, and images touched upon in her writings that help us negotiate the unconscious.

"The conscious mind may be compared to a fountain playing in the sun and falling back into the great subterranean pool of subconscious from which it rises." Sigmund Freud

Marder's recent publications.

Elissa Marder is Professor of French and Comparative Literature at Emory University where she is formally affiliated with the Departments of Philosophy and Women’s Gender, and Sexuality Studies and the Emory Psychoanalytic Studies Program. She holds honorary appointments at the London Graduate School and the European Graduate School.

Her research includes 19th and 20th century French literature, philosophy, literary theory, psychoanalysis, film, photography, and feminist theory. Situated at the intersection of psychoanalysis, deconstruction and feminism, her work engages with texts and questions that challenge traditional conceptions of temporality, birth, technology, sexual difference, and the limits of the human.

Thank you to composers, singers and songwriters Whitman Bransford, Scott Wollschleger and Kevin Sims, Chris Long, Folk Family Revival, Mike Montgomery, Hosty, and The Ted Ludwig Trio.

Thank you to Stickyz Rock 'N' Roll Chicken Shack for keeping music alive and well in Arkansas. 

Generous funding for this episode was provided by the Arkansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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Executive Producer & Host:  J. Bradley Minnick


Producer: Mary Ellen Kubit

Recorded by J. Bradley Minnick