The Special Collection brings together a selection of papers from the ‘Literature, Law and Psychoanalysis 1890–1950’ conference held at the University of Sheffield in April 2019, and supported by funding from AHRC. The period of 1890–1950 was a time of literary experiment, of scientific developments and of worldwide conflict. These changes demanded a rethinking not merely of psychological subjectivity, but also of what it meant to be subject to the law and to punishment. The time is right for the re-examination of twentieth-century literature that ‘Literature, Law and Psychoanalysis’ attempts. This is shown through a recent run of influential interdisciplinary publications. For example, Anne C. Dailey’s Law and the Unconscious: A Psychoanalytic Perspective (2017) has already been identified by reviewers as a watershed moment, as Dailey’s book explores the missed opportunities that twentieth-century culture offered for law and psychoanalysis to be more fully integrated and considers how the relationship might be corrected in the future. This Special Collection chimes with and develops Dailey’s work in a literary direction, as well as engaging in dialogue with other recent, excellent work being done by law and literature scholars, such as Peggy Kamuf’s Literature and the Remains of the Death Penalty (2018) or Robert Spoo’s Modernism and the Law (2018). It addresses topics and contexts including developments in Freudian psychoanalysis; the founding of criminology; landmark modernist publications; and the ‘Golden Age’ of detective fiction.

This Special Collection is guest edited by Dr Katherine Ebury (University of Sheffield, UK) and Dr Samraghni Bonnerjee (University of Sheffield, UK).

Literature, Law and Psychoanalysis

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Special Collections