Published: June 1, 2010

paul gordonCourse: Hitchcock and Freud

Department: Humanities

Professor: Paul Gordon (right)

Course description: This class applies Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic method of interpreting works of art to Alfred Hitchcock’s films. It will seek to explain Hitchcock’s recurrent and complicated use of “maternal super-egos” (as in Psycho), of male narcissism (Rear Window), of a violent “male protest” (Shadow of a Doubt) and the persistent figure of “Mother” as it informs all of the leading female characters in relation to their male counterparts’ desire for “Madonna/Harlot” figures.

Reading list: Freud’s Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis (Liveright), Freud’s Writings on Art and Literature (Stanford University Press) and Robin Wood’s Hitchcock’s Films Revisited (Columbia University Press).

Requirements: Weekly viewings of the films will be accompanied by class presentations and discussions, culminating in a final research project involving the psychoanalytical interpretation of at least one of Hitchcock’s films.