The Adventures of the Unconscious: A Cultural History of Psychoanalysis in Italy, 1922-1968


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




This dissertation studies the spread of psychoanalysis in Italy by showing how psychoanalytic notions, vocabulary, institutions, and practices permeated Italian social life. The history of psychoanalysis in Italy—both as clinical practice and cultural trend—has remained largely unexplored. This study demonstrates that the cultural influence of psychoanalysis went beyond the Freudian psychoanalysts to encompass literature, politics, popular culture, and even advertising. Using the history of psychoanalysis as a lens, it sheds new light on the dynamics of cultural modernization in twentieth-century Italy, by showing how psychoanalysis interacted with, and helped shape, changing ideas about the family, gender relations, intimacy and sexuality, and consumption practices.