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Kaplan, E.A. (1993). Introduction to Special Issue of American Imago on “Psychoanalysis and Cinema”. Am. Imago, 50(4):393-399.

(1993). American Imago, 50(4):393-399

Introduction to Special Issue of American Imago on “Psychoanalysis and Cinema”

E. Ann Kaplan

Editing this special issue of American Imago together with Martin Gliserman has been a rewarding if at times frustrating experience. In the end, we found ourselves with too many essays to include in one volume. Forced to make some sort of thematic selection, we include here pieces dealing by and large with psychoanalysis and women in film, and are holding for the “Psychoanalysis and Cinema: Special Issue II” (PC: II) essays focusing more specifically on psychoanalysis and men in film.

I was delighted that Gliserman wanted an issue of American Imago on psychoanalysis and cinema: but questions immediately arose—what shape should the volume take? How could we contribute to on-going debates about psychoanalysis and cinema? How might the volume produce different knowledge than my earlier edited anthology, Psychoanalysis and Cinema (Routledge, 1990)? How might we situate the volume specifically within debates in the humanities, where cultural studies (often hostile to psychoanalysis) is gaining increasing support, and where the psychoanalytic paradigm developed within cinema studies is being questioned as too abstract, obscure, Euro-centric, and bound by modernist binaries?

We decided that one new direction was to include in the volume specialists not normally found side by side. We hoped that this would provide an opportunity for the reader to construct dialogues among the pieces—to insert him/herself in the gaps between the sometimes startlingly diverse theoretical, methodological and intellectual orientations—and advance debates that way. There are, then, essays by psychology clinicians, psychoanalysts, non-academic film authors, academic film scholars, and cultural studies scholars—an unusual mix.

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