4 April 2012
Venue: Lecture Theatre B5, Owen G. Glenn Building (The University of Auckland Business School), Grafton Rd
Host: Professor Jeffrey M. Masson
In 1981, Professor Jeffrey M. suggested in a talk in New Haven that a key theory Sigmund Freud had developed in 1895 and later repudiated - the so-called seduction theory – may have been valid after all. This talk scandalised the Freudian orthodoxy, as reported in Time, Newsweek, and The New York Times. In this lecture Masson returns to problematise spiritual, charismatic and powerful individuals of all persuasions, before elaborating on his discovery of the unpublished letters by Freud. The subsequent uproar, Masson’s disenchantment with therapy, and his turn to research on animals are all recounted here. The discussion will conclude by discussing whether animals have emotions different or beyond our own, and can possibly help shed light on the origins of human violence.
Professor Masson has previously been a professor of Sanskrit at the University of Toronto and the Projects Director of the Freud Archives. He has since given up psychoanalysis for the world of animal emotions. Two of his books, When Elephants Weep and Dogs Never Lie About Love, have been New York Times best-sellers. His latest book is Dogs Make Us Human.