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Rubin, A. Mandelbaum, B. Frosh, S. (2016). ‘No Memory, No Desire’: Psychoanalysis in Brazil during Repressive Times. Psychoanal. Hist., 18(1):93-118.

(2016). Psychoanalysis and History, 18(1):93-118

‘No Memory, No Desire’: Psychoanalysis in Brazil during Repressive Times

Aline Rubin, M.A., Belinda Mandelbaum and Stephen Frosh

Until recently, the growth and significance of Brazilian psychoanalysis has been neglected in histories of psychoanalysis. Not only is this history long and rich in its professional and cultural dimensions, but there was an especially important ‘event’ - the so-called ‘Cabernite-Lobo affair’ - that took place during the period of the military dictatorship, which can be seen as dramatizing some of the issues concerning the erasure of memory in psychoanalysis, especially in connection with political difficulties. In this paper, we provide an outline of the origins and dissemination of psychoanalysis in Brazil before looking again at the Cabernite-Lobo affair in order to examine in a situated way how psychoanalysis engages with political extremism, and particularly to explore the consequences of an unthinking generalization of the idea of ‘neutrality’ from the consulting room to the institutional setting. We draw especially on Brazilian papers in Portuguese, which have not been accessible in the English-language psychoanalytic literature.

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