04/15/2024, 21:20, Vienna  DEUTSCH / ENGLISH

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Leading articles

THE VIENNA PSYCHOANALYST wants to give not only already internationally established psychoanalysts, but also still unknown psychoanalysts the opportunity to post a self-written and not yet published article on the FrontPage of our online magazine!

Our Users then can leave comments, ask questions or discuss the articles in our forum. Our aim is to provide an international platform where for the first time anyone interested in psychoanalysis can exchange ideas on certain topics.
Articles are welcome in German and/ or English.

If you are interested, please send your article to

(For reasons of readability, the male form is used with personal names, however the female form is also always intended.)




In our interview series "in conversation with“, we will briefly present the authors of the leading articles. We want to give our users the opportunity to read the leading article from a different point of view.

This week we are very glad to welcome Carmen Birkle from Marburg, Germany.

After teaching at the Universities of Mainz, Vienna, Bergen, Dijon and the Columbia University in New York City, Carmen Birkle has been a Professor of North American Literature and Cultural Studies at the Philipps-University Marburg since 2008. She was President, Vice President and Managing Director of the German Society for American Studies and is currently its International Delegate.

Since October 2017, she has been the Dean and since August 2017, she is also the co-editor of the American Studies Journal. She is the author of two monographs, Women´s Stories of the Looking Glass (1996) and Migration-Miscegenation-Transculturation (2004) and of numerous articles and (co-)editor of 14 anthologies and special editions of magazines, among others: Literature and Medicine (2009), Communicating Disease (2013) and Waging Health (2015). Her research focuses are gender, ethnicity and popular culture. Currently works at the interface of literature, culture and medicine, especially in the 19th and early 20th century.

DWP: What led you to deal with psychoanalysis, respectively with Freud and his achievements?

Carmen Birkle: Since I am interested in the transatlantic exchange and in the history of medicine in the U.S., I came across the many American medical students and doctors who came to Vienna to study with experts in their fields. And Americans wanting to be analyzed by Freud, then doing their training with him or Anna Freud, and then professionally analyzing others were numerous.

DWP: Have you ever undergone psychoanalysis?

Carmen Birkle: I would prefer not to answer this question since it is a very private one.

DWP: If you had the opportunity to talk to Sigmund Freud, what would be the topic?

Carmen Birkle: I would be very interested in knowing whether he would still emphasize sexuality so much and whether his theories on the intersections of psychology and literature had changed.

DWP: Fabric or leather couch?

Carmen Birkle: leather

DWP: Bruno Bettelheim pointed out the importance of fairy tales in childhood. Will you tell us your favorite fairy tale? And do you see parallels to your own adult life?

Carmen Birkle: I do not have one favorite fairy tale. I have always liked listening to and reading them. I guess, what I like best is that there is always a happy end which makes you feel good although they can also be cruel and depict  violence. But the good win, and the bad are punished. This confirms my desire for harmony.

DWP: I dream, …

Carmen Birkle: ... that self-analysis and, consequently, a glimpse at my unconscious will explain my life – behavior, emotions, etc.

DWP: What do you find good or particularly good about psychoanalysis and is there anything you do not like about it?

Carmen Birkle: Psychoanalysis is a very good way of understanding people’s psychological troubles. By retrieving what we have suppressed and making it conscious we can then find ways to deal with them, for example, through Freud’s idea of the “talking cure.” This is one of his strong contributions to human life.

DWP: Do you have a favorite Freud - quote?

Carmen Birkle: No.

DWP:  Are there other psychoanalysts, in addition to Sigmund Freud, who you like to study?

Carmen Birkle: I am interested in knowing more about women’s contributions to the field, for example, people like Anna Freud, and, then later, Melanie Klein.

Thank you very much for this conversation, we are already looking forward to your leading article!

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