Friday Program
Imagination and the Adapted Mind 
Saturday Program
 

Transference and the Cultural Imaginary

Gabriele Schwab
Professor of English
UC Irvine

In my contribution I will outline a theory of literary transference in relation to more general phenomena of cultural transference and their role in the cultural imaginary. I argue that we need to expand the paradigms of textuality and cultural translation that have dominated discussions about the relationship between literature and culture to include transference as a new paradigm able to address the cultural function of literature from the vantage point of a non-realist epistemology. A theory of transference allows one to develop a non-realist, non-representational model of reading and reception that would not only be valid for literature but also for aesthetic experience more generally. I will draw on a range of theories, including Bateson, Bollas, Winnicott, Maturana and Varela, Dissanayake, and Hayles in order to prepare the ground for a theory of transference that reaches beyond the confines of its original grounding in psychoanalysis and object relations theory. I see such a theory of literary transference as an expansion of my earlier theories developed in Subjects without Selves (Harvard) and The Mirror and the Killer-Queen (Indiana).
 

  
Gabriele Schwab is Professor of English at UC Irvine. The following books and articles are particularly relevant to her presentation: The Mirror and the Killer-Queen: Otherness in Literary Language (1996); Subjects without Selves: Transitional Texts in Modern Fiction (1994); "Nonsense and Metacommunication: Reflections on Lewis Carroll," in The Play of the Self (1994); "The Multiple Lives of Addie Bundren's Dead Body: On William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying," in The Other Perspective in Gender and Culture: Rewriting Women and the Symbolic (1990) and "Cyborgs and Cybernetic Intertexts: On Postmodern Phantasms of Body and Mind," in Intertextuality and Contemporary American Fiction (1989), and "Genesis of the Subject, Imaginary Functions, and Poetic Language," in New Literary History (1984). 
 
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Friday Program
Imagination and the Adapted Mind 
Saturday Program