Visualizing Psychoanalysis

editors: Katarzyna Bojarska, guest editor Joanne Morra


Ellen Gallagher, Odalisque, 2005, Ichthyosaurus, The Freud Museum, London, UK, (detail) Photo: Mike Bruce

Imago was the title of the journal founded by Sigmund Freud in 1912. It was devoted to applied psychoanalysis, but also to anthropology, archaeology, literature, and aesthetics. This is not surprising at all, since, as Griselda Pollock points out, the emergence of psychoanalysis in Germany during the 19th century coincided with the formation of the scholarly disciplines of art history, cultural history and anthropology. From the start, psychoanalysts have found that the visual arts forms a vital archive wherein knowledge and understanding of the psyche can be found. Thus, we can say that psychoanalysis has never existed outside of a multi-disciplinary ‘image culture’, a culture that, as we know it today, is even more image infused than ever.

For the forthcoming issue of the journal View, we are specifically interested in understanding the roles played by images, the imagination and the imaginary in psychoanalytic theory and clinical practice.

How is our understanding of the complexity of the human psyche related to the visual? Is the subject - according to psychoanalysis - a speaking (and listening) subject? Or an image-maker and receiver? What would such a difference entail and mean? How have the practices of visual artists accompanied or reinterpreted psychoanalytic theory and/or practice? What can the coded structures of psychic representation (such as the dream-work), or defense mechanisms (eg. sublimation, projection, displacement, undoing) offer us in our understanding of the visual field? How do images enable us to work through the psychic life of our emotions - for instance, anxiety, trauma, eroticism, phantasy, jealousy?

We are also keen on contributions that analyze the history and contemporary reconfiguration of psychoanalytic theory and practice. For instance, what can be said of (not) looking and the power dynamics at play within the psychoanalytic consulting room: (who decides) who looks and at whom, what purpose does (not) looking serve? How has this conventional configuration been challenged / changed recently because of Covid-19? What impact has this had on psychoanalytic treatment and our imaging of ourselves as subjects/patients/therapists?

Sexualiy is a keystone within psychoanalytic thought. How do its ideas fair within today’s ever differing and expanding world of re-embodying and re-imaging of gender and sexuality?

Within the ever-changing psycho-social landscape of the world within which we live, how has our personal, political, and cultural consciousness of intersectional subjectivities impacted upon our understanding of the image within psychoanalytic theory and practice, and the role they can play within our work for social equity and justice?

Ultimately, we are interested in the ‘work’ of images, the imagination and the imaginary. What do they do to and for us as psychic subjects; and what do they enable us to do?

We welcome texts by visual culture scholars, practicing psychotherapists/analysts, and visual artists who would be willing to share their work with us.

We look forward to working together!

Abstracts (max. one A4 page) must be submitted by July 20, 2022. We will notify you of acceptance by August 20, 2022. The deadline for the submission of first drafts is October 20, 2022. Please include in your submission: an author bio, an abstract, and a bibliography (Chicago style). Please send your proposal to

For editorial and technical requirements, please go to