Thesis ID: CBB692045705

The Serpentine Genesis of Hysteria: Psychoanalysis, Photography, Artificial Intelligence (2021)


This dissertation establishes a novel historiography of hysteria framed as a wide study of Genesis. Specifically exploring and reading together the genesis of ontology, subjectivity, discipline, medicine, psychoanalysis, psychology, neurology, photography, and artificial intelligence. Arguing that Genesis is the fundamental myth of psychoanalysis in that it provides the structure of hysterical subjectivity in the form of knowledge as discipline. Seeking out a radically different understanding of "conversion disorder", "functional neurological disorder", or "dissociative neurological symptom disorder" from the those that have gained traction in contemporary disciplines, the project conceptualizes the serpentine genesis of hysteria in terms of Lacan's hysteric and Nietzsche’s madman. In doing so, it first attempts to take seriously everything that has been said within this history, proceeding from the observation it is all "true". This then begs the question of the status of this truth of hysteria, truth as produced in the discourse of the hysteric, especially as these truths have been violently contradictory. Here a framework is required to account for both the historical specificity of hysteria's symptomatic formations, the radical divergence of symptoms historically, as well as the structure of hysteria, which I argue remains constant. The apparatus and technology of discipline, making an epistemic claim possible by visualizing the as hysteric as specific object of knowledge—be it photography, systems of classification like the ICD or DSM, or contemporary neuro-imaging technologies—does not present the hysteric as such. Rather it paradoxically creates and constructs its object in the act of abstraction through the force of understanding. It is easy to see absurdities of past modes of capture and believe contemporary technologies move us closer to the truth of illness, visualizing and presenting the body as such, overcoming the distance of separation. However, these technologies all belong to the same history. Artificial intelligence is present from genesis in every sense. This is the paradox of the title of the project, where what comes prior to the colon, "the serpentine genesis of hysteria", something of a distant past, is placed in direct relation to what follows, psychoanalysis, photography, and artificial intelligence usually conceptualized as modern apparatuses.

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Authors & Contributors
Maung, Hane Htut
Twentyman, Ralph
Leung, Danny C. K.
Aragona, Massimiliano
Goncalves, Valeria Portugal
Ortega, Francisco
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
History of Psychiatry
Annals of Science: The History of Science and Technology
História, Ciências, Saúde---Manguinhos
Medicina Historica
Sophia Books
Johns Hopkins University
Baylor University Press
L'Erma di Bretschneider
Oxford University Press
Philosophy of medicine
Nosology; classification of diseases
Mental disorders and diseases
Disease and diseases
Steiner, Rudolf
Allbutt, Thomas Clifford
Braid, James
Mesmer, Franz Anton
Charcot, Jean Martin
Menninger, Karl
19th century
21st century
20th century
18th century
20th century, late
17th century
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)

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