Speaker: Professor Craig Clunas
Lecture and reception hosted by the International Dunhuang Project (IDP) at the British Library with the Freud Museum
Although there is no evidence that they ever met, the careers of close contemporaries Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) and Sir Marc Aurel Stein (1862-1943) offer some intriguing parallels. Both were born as Jewish subjects of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, yet ended their lives as exiles from their homelands, on British (or imperial British) soil. Both were fascinated by the ancient world, and while Stein became one of the most famous archaeologists of his age, Freud was gripped by the extent to which archaeology provided a metaphor for the new practice of psychoanalysis. Both were collectors of Asian antiquities, and while Stein’s achievements are well known Freud’s significant Chinese collections have attracted much less attention than his Egyptian and Graeco-Roman objects. Both had significantly close relationships with their dogs. And both were and remain highly controversial figures, revered and occasionally reviled. This lecture will look at some of the shared intellectual interests and parallel activities of these two giant figures in their respective fields, considering what links as well as what separates them today.
6 November 2015, 6pm
The British Library Conference Centre
96 Euston Road
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