Kurt Grahnke and Dr. Marlene Kocan discuss the “New Freud”


Kurt Grahnke, Denison University German major, presented the results of his summer scholar program and his semester-long directed studies work with Gabriele Dillmann in front of a very interested and highly engaged audience at the latest event offered by the Association of Psychoanalytic Thought (APT) at the Cincinnati Psychoanalytic Institute (CPI) on Friday, October 17th.

Grahnke’s comparative  study of the new translation of Sigmund Freud’s work, edited by Adam Phillips for Penguin’s Modern Classics Series, with the Standard Edition yielded fascinating results about how we can better understand Freud’s diverging reception in the humanities vs. that by the scientific or medical communities. Essentially, Kurt asked the provocative question: was Freud primarily a humanistic or a scientific thinker and how did the Standard Edition contribute to that artificial dichotomy? In his exploration, Kurt focused primarily on Freud’s pivotal work The Ego and the Id in a side by side reading of the original German text in comparison with the SE and new Penguin edition. This is the first time that an undergraduate student presented his work at the institute. It was very well received.CPI_APT Talk_Kurt_Ego and Id

Psychoanalyst and scholar, Dr. Marlene Kocan, was the formal respondent to Kurt’s presentation. Her insightful talk showed how relevant and important Freud’s work continues to be for both psychoanalytic and non-psychoanalytic scholars and therapeutic practitioners alike.

The intense discussion that followed both talks further provides evidence of the timeliness and pertinence of the ideas presented by the speakers. In the audience were faculty members from the ICP, the University of Cincinnati, Xavier University, and practicing analysts, which provided an opportunity for a uniquely informed discussion from many different psychoanalytic and philosophical perspectives.

Kurt was joined by fellow Denisonians, students from the Denison Seminar “The Renaissance of Psychoanalytic Thought: Studying Freud in the 21st Century,” taught by APT’s new board member, Professor Gabriele Dillmann. The group enjoyed a traditional German-Austrian meal at Mecklenburg Gardens before this intellectually stimulating event.

Special thanks go to Dr. Norman Hirsch, president of the APT, and the board members of the APT, for inviting Kurt Grahnke and Dr. Kocan and making this exciting event possible.

The whole event was captured digitally, which you can visit or revisit here:

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Modern Neuroscience and Freud Event

Modern Neuroscience and Freud

The Association for Psychoanalytic Thought (APT) is pleased to present “Modern Neuroscience and Freud” at 7PM on Friday, March 21st, 2014, at the Cincinnati Psychoanalytic Institute, 3001 Highland Ave, Cincinnati, Ohio 45219.

Konstantin Bakhurin of the systems/computational neuroscience laboratory at UCLA will discuss learning-dependent modulation and potential neurological correlates for past experience influencing present behavior; this is a possible model for understanding Freud’s ID, EGO, and SUPER-EGO as  ‘residing’ in the brain as an effect of its organization and interacting function.

Marcia Kaplan, Institute Faculty Member, Board certified in psychiatry and psychoanalysis, Board eligible in neurology, and practicing psychiatrist and psychoanalytic psychotherapist, will discuss findings involving firing of single neurons correlating with psychoanalytic models explaining behavior and information – processing in “bottom-up” and “top-down” ways by both brain and mind.

Please RSVP early by calling 513-515-6836 or by emailing  hirschnorman@gmail.com.


Gabriele Dillmann and Christian Faur from Denison University will digitally capture this event and the institute will make it available on their website. A link will be posted here as well.

If you cannot attend but wish to participate with questions or comments, please submit these to me via email and I will post them here. 

Question from Kurt Grahnke, Denison University (submitted March 19th via email from Germany)

Although Freud did have a background in neurology, when he was developing his psychoanalytic theory, he did not intend for his models of the psyche to have neuroanatomical correlates. What sorts of problems do you run into when trying to map models of the psyche onto models of the brain, with the psyche having a different ontological nature than the brain? What benefits can be derived from doing so? – Perhaps a more holistic way of understanding behavior, specifically neurotic behavior?