1. What is the focus of your research and teaching?
The focus of my work is psychoanalytical concept research and psychoanalytical culture and subject theory. In general, I am interested in issues at the interface of psychoanalysis and culture or critical social theory respectively. My current interest is in the relationship between psychoanalysis and its neighbouring natural science disciplines, and especially neuroscience. Doing so, by adopting a psychoanalytical-critical research approach, not only do I question the conceptual changes, difficulties and challenges here, but also the desires and fears driving on and accompanying such a relationship.
2. What is the content you convey in your module?
I am responsible for the psychoanalytical approach in the Psychoanalytical Cultural Studies course. And this is exactly what I try to convey in the Principles of Psychoanalysis module, although of course the question immediately arises here of what the principles of psychoanalysis really are. So I try to convey and clarify what these principles of psychoanalysis are for me, and how this can be reasoned. Doing so, I provide an introduction to psychoanalytical terms and psychoanalytical thinking and attempt to create an awareness for the cultural content of psychoanalytical concepts. My aim in this regard is to make the students more familiar with the singular aspects of psychoanalysis: As a science of the unconscious, as a method which has been transferred from a clinical setting into research, as a contribution to epistemology and as a subject and culture theory.
3. What can students learn from you?
That thinking is fun and theories are not dry, and that no one can get by without them. A theory is an attempt to make experience tangible, which means that we are dealing with the processing and treatment of empiricism. Such an attempt can prove to be more or less successful, is easily accessible at times and cumbersome at other times, can provide a lot of fun but also be the source of much trouble – and considering and reflecting on exactly this can be extremely interesting. In general, what I want to show is that psychoanalysis and cultural studies are not two separate fields which are then merged in an interdisciplinary manner, but rather that psychoanalytical concepts contain cultural implications, and that psychoanalysis is transdisciplinary and offers a wonderful opportunity to examine cultural phenomena.
4. What is it about psychoanalysis that excites you?
What excites me the most about psychoanalysis is that very thing which can also make it such a challenge at times: That you never get bored with it and it is capable of permitting suffering to become eloquent – in both a clinical and cultural context. And that is the beginning of change.
5. Have you got a favourite saying?
I do not have a motto on life and My favourite sayings change. My current favourite is also one of the most successful first sentences in a book: "Theory is something you do not see" from Hans Blumenberg. And: "Unfortunately that is completely different in psychology" from Sigmund Freud. And from Karl Marx: "The other way around". And even: "We've got Mammy, Mammy/To show us the way/No none of us can choose 'em/That's the way they're born" from Funny van Dannen.
Christine Kirchhoff has been appointed ombudswoman by the Academic Senate in accordance with Section 15 of the university constitution.