Psychoanalysis: Theories of the Unconscious

Applicable for the 2023-2024 academic year.

Advisor: Professor DOBSON; Secondary Advisors; Professors LEE, KRZYCH, RIKER

Minor Requirements

Psychoanalysis is the theory of human mentality that acknowledges that all that we think and do is profoundly impacted by unconscious processes. The psychoanalysis minor explores theories of the unconscious from Freud to the present, seeking ways to engage the unconscious in conversations that can lead to the integration and potential transformation of the human psyche. It also provides a foundation for pursuing theoretical, literary, and/or clinical studies in the students’ majors and can include courses in that major, although only one course can be counted for both the major and the minor.

The minor consists of 5 units and a final capstone paper that may be completed in one of the courses upon the approval of the advisors and professors involved or it may be written in an independent study for one unit: HS 370. The below courses do not have to be taken in sequence, but at least one course from each category is required. 


Category One: Basic Courses:

PY 120, PH 262, CO 200: Discovering the Unconscious (Dobson)

PH 325 Philosophy and Psychoanalysis (Riker)


Category Two: Text Seminars:

One or more of the following courses:

PH 265 Freud (Lee, Riker)

PH 314: Text Seminar: Jacques Lacan (Lee)

HS 218 Psyche, Symbol, Dream: The World of C.G. Jung (Dobson)

PH 325 Philosophy and Psychoanalysis (Readings in Freud and Kohut). NB: This course cannot count as a basic course if it is taken as a text seminar under this rubric.


Category Three: Elective Courses

 (The elective courses below may follow the students’ more particular leanings in the psychoanalytic field and contribute to their majors (although only one course can be given credit for both the major and the minor):

PH 203 Psychoanalysis, Self and Creativity (Rosenzweig)

FM 203 Media and Psychoanalysis (Kryzch)

CL 220/CO 200/FG 220 Myth and Meaning (when taught by Dobson)

CL 255 Life of the Soul (Dobson, Riker)

PH 361 Philosophy of Emotions (Furtak)*

PY 160 Women and Madness (Waters)

PY 281 Personality (Roberts)

PY 362 Abnormal Psychology (Erdal)*

PH 203 Philosophical Topics when appropriate (1/2 block)

CO 200 Topics courses in Comparative Literature emphasizing literature and psychoanalysis (such as Journey to the Dark Side of the Soul: on German Romanticism at the end of the 19th Century (Bill Davis).

Other courses that are pertinent may be considered for this section of the minor. Please consult with Professors Dobson or Riker for approval.


Category Four: Capstone Courses:

Capstone Course in Chicago -- PH 263/CO 200: Contemporary Psychoanalysis (in Chicago). (Riker, Dobson)*.

This course can be taken at any time, under either of the first two categories, but students are highly encouraged to take it later in the minor.

HS 370: Independent Study for the purpose of writing the capstone*.

The Final Capstone paper will be from 10-15 pages long on any topic of the student’s interest.  This capstone may be completed in one of the already mentioned courses with approval of the instructor, or taken as an independent study, HS 370. (Students who come to Chicago often choose to write an annotated bibliography on a topic of interest to them there as a foundation for this paper.)

Indicates prerequisites


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