Return of the Repressed? Psychoanalysis and the Legacy of Totalitarianism in the 21st Century

3rd Conference of an International Research Project on the History of Psychoanalysis in the Polish-German-Jewish Cultural Context

Cooperation: Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Pedagogical University, Cracow, International Psychoanalytic University Berlin,  NPRH Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education, Polish Psychoanalytic Society, Warsaw, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Polin, Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Polish Academy of Sciences.

Scientific and Organisational Committee: Ewa Kobylinska-Dehe (IPU Berlin, IFiS PAN), Paweł Dybel (IFiS PAN, Warsaw, UP Cracow), Katarzyna Prot-Klinger (APS, Warsaw), Karolina Szymaniak (Wroclaw University), Ludger M. Hermanns (Karl Abraham Institut, Berlin), Ewa Głód (PTPa, Warsaw)

The term “Return of the repressed“ refers to the tendency discovered by Freud to repeat the past that has not been worked through in the form of symptoms. We would like to ask the question if the “antiliberal turn“ in Poland and in other post-communist countries, also noticeable in Germany and in some West-European countries, could be treated as the symptom of the legacy of past century totalitarianism that has not been worked through? Or is it the expression of new regression to archaic fears and politically manipulated aggression towards the globalisation processes that cannot be integrated by the traditional democratic mechanisms? Are the current crisis of liberal democracy and the breaking down of European project only temporary phenomena or do they have deeper roots in the socio-cultural transformations of our time?

Psychoanalysis as the heir of European Enlightenment preached the ideas of social and individual emancipation. The Freudian project consisted of three elements: ethics of self-knowledge, critical hermeneutics of culture and psychotherapy. But as the result of the development of psychoanalysis the therapeutic element became dominating.

We would like to ask the question about the critical potential of contemporary psychoanalysis. Does it offer the adequate cognitive means to understand the disturbing social phenomena? Could it become the critical theory and practice again?


15.03. – 17.03.2019 (Friday – Sunday


Polin, Museum of the History of Polish Jews, ul. Mordechaja Anielewicza 6, 00-157 Warsaw, Audytorium


Polish, English



Conference Fee

  • Conference Fee until 15 February 2019 is 140 €, after that date 170 €.
  • University students and Psychoanalytic Institutes candidates 110 €, after that date 140 €.
  • The Fee includes: participation in the conference, materials, two coffee breaks, two lunches, visiting the Polin Museum with a guide.

Conference fee should be paid to the account:
Donner & Reuschel
IBAN: DE35 2003 0300 0118 069100
With a note:
Conference Warsaw 5055 first name and last name

Registration for the conference is based on the payment of the fee.

Conference Flyer (English; PDF)
Conference Flyer (Polish; PDF)