Literature and Psychoanalysis (LIT 440)

2023 Spring
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Sibel Irzık,
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Formal lecture,Interactive lecture
Discussion based learning
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The course focuses on the critical evaluation of the impact of psychoanalytic discourses on literature and literary studies and vice versa. Basic concepts of psychoanalytic theory and criticism will be covered with reference to the writings of Freud and Lacan, as well as to the later interventions by such theorists as Derrida, Zizek, Deleuze and Guattari. Students will be encouraged to develop their skills in the textual analysis of a range of literary and psychoanalytic works, considering them as distinct ways of talking about desire, fantasy, memory, madness, and the unconscious.


To teach the basic concepts and structure of psychoanalytic theory and to provide an understanding of how literature and psychoanalysis inform and influence each other.


  • knowledge of the fundamental psychoanalytical concepts and key psychoanalytic texts bearing upon literature
  • ability to discuss the central critical objections to psychoanalytic literary theory
  • an understanding of how psychoanalysis and literature are involved with one another
  • ability to discuss specific literary texts in the light of psychoanalytic literary theory


1. Understand the world, their country, their society, as well as themselves and have awareness of ethical problems, social rights, values and responsibility to the self and to others. 5

2. Understand different disciplines from natural and social sciences to mathematics and art, and develop interdisciplinary approaches in thinking and practice. 4

3. Think critically, follow innovations and developments in science and technology, demonstrate personal and organizational entrepreneurship and engage in life-long learning in various subjects; have the ability to continue to educate him/herself. 4

4. Communicate effectively in Turkish and English by oral, written, graphical and technological means. 4

5. Take individual and team responsibility, function effectively and respectively as an individual and a member or a leader of a team; and have the skills to work effectively in multi-disciplinary teams. 3

1. Develop knowledge of theories, concepts, and research methods in humanities and social sciences. 5

2. Assess how global, national and regional developments affect society. 3

3. Know how to access and evaluate data from various sources of information. 4

1. Demonstrate an understanding of the multiple methodologies and interpret different approaches, concepts, and theoretical legacies in the interdisciplinary field of Cultural Studies. 5

2. Identify interconnections of knowledge within and across the disciplines of sociology, anthropology, literature, visual studies, philosophy, and geography. 4

3. Cultivate a critical approach to the study of culture, articulating the relations between culture, power, and history; exploring cultural diversity and socio-cultural change at the local, national and global level; and exploring the corresponding demands for rights and social justice. 3

4. With the use of appropriate technologies, be able to present advanced oral and written evaluations of developments in the realm of cultural production, consumption, and representation. 4

1. Demonstrate safe working habits and a general understanding of materials and processes in the visual arts. 1

2. Demonstrate knowledge of representational processes using visual as well as audial material as mediums of representation. 2

3. Show working knowledge of the process of transforming abstract/textual concepts into concrete, audio/visual forms. 1

4. Appreciate and express the cultural significance of art and understand its evolution and purposes. 4

5. Develop an awareness of compositional and organizational strategies for the effective deployment of formal elements of visual art. 2

6. Read visual texts with a deep knowledge of art history and theory and the ability of situating the content and form of the visual representation both in a historical and thematic context. 2

7. Employ necessary background knowledge regarding art administration in the body of museums and galleries. 2

8. Show a practical and technical command of materials and methods in one or more media of the visual arts. 1



Sigmund Freud, Writings on Art and Literature
Elizabeth Wright, Psychoanalytic Criticism
Steve Vine, ed., Literature in Psychoanalysis
Deleuze & Guattari, from Anti-Oedipus
Lacan, selected articles
Zizek, selected articles
short stories by Kafka, E. T. A. Hoffman, E. A. Poe, H. James, and others