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Narrative, Impossibility, Desire: On Psychoanalysis Today (Hybrid)

Travis Alexander

Event details

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Join us for this timely reappraisal of Janet Malcolm’s 1981 “witty and wicked” text, Psychoanalysis: The Impossible Profession. Travis Alexander, a postdoctoral fellow at Rice University, will lead us through a history of the decline of psychoanalysis in the US and the UK. If the practice was already receding in 1981, it has only become more sidelined since the rise of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Jumping off from Malcolm’s analysis of the profession in the early 1980s, this presentation proposes to offer an account of the forces that facilitated CBT’s rise — in particular, the dominance of private insurance — and an examination of how psychoanalysis ultimately conflicted with American attachments to and ideas of self-improvement. Finally, explore paths towards the reintegration of certain psychoanalytic practices into both therapy and US life more generally.

This program will be offered both in-person and via livestreaming. Please use the registration form to select which way you plan to participate. If you register to attend online, you will be emailed viewing instructions either the evening before or the morning of the event. Please be sure to check “spam” and “junk” folders!

This class will be recorded. Recordings will be available for registered students, and only upon request.
Recordings are not available for purchase after the program ends.

All times are CT. Please contact with any questions.

Please register early. Programs with four or fewer participants are subject to cancellation, 48 hours prior to their start.

About the instructor

Travis Alexander

Travis Alexander (PhD) is a postdoctoral fellow at Rice University. There he writes and teaches on issues ranging from psychoanalysis to pandemics. His research has appeared in academic journals such as American Literature, Criticism, and Public Culture, as well as in public-facing venues such as Aeon, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and Pop Matters. He is currently completing a book manuscript titled A Glamorous Nightmare: HIV/AIDS, US Literature, and the Viral Power of Whiteness.

General details

Date & time


Thursday, July 28,
6 - 7:30pm CT

1.5 h

Number of sessions




$15.00 USD


$20.00 USD


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