Department of History and Philosophy of Science

Teaching Officers

John Forrester

John Forrester


Research interests: History and philosophy of psychoanalysis and human sciences

He is Editor of Psychoanalysis and History.

Freud in Cambridge

John Forrester is completing a study (with Laura Cameron) of the reception of psychoanalysis in Cambridge in the early twentieth century. A number of elements of this study have been published – these are available below in PDF form:

  • (2010) 'The psychoanalytic passion of J.D. Bernal in 1920s Cambridge', British Journal of Psychotherapy 26(4): 397–404 [74 KB PDF file]
  • (2008) '1919: Psychology and Psychoanalysis, Cambridge and London: Myers, Jones and MacCurdy', Psychoanalysis and History 10(1): 37–94 [660 KB PDF file]
  • (2006) 'Remembering and forgetting Freud in early twentieth-century dreams', Science in Context 19(1): 65–85 [130 KB PDF file]
  • (2004) 'Freud in Cambridge', Critical Quarterly 46 No. 2 pp. 1–26 [850 KB PDF file]
  • (2003) '"A sort of devil" (Keynes on Freud, 1925): Reflections on a century of Freud-criticism', Österreichische Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaften 14 (2) (2003) pp. 70–85 [1.1 MB PDF file]
  • (2000) (with Laura Cameron) 'Tansley's psychoanalytic network: An episode out of the early history of psychoanalysis in England', Psychoanalysis and History 2(2) (September 2000): 189–256 [570 KB PDF file]
  • (1999) (with Laura Cameron) '"A nice type of the English scientist": Tansley and Freud', History Workshop Journal 48 pp. 65–100 [2.65 MB PDF file]

Sex, Babies and Gender

As one of the co-applicants of the Wellcome Trust Strategic Award on 'Generation to Reproduction', headed by Nick Hopwood, he is researching the relations between the psychological disciplines and the development of new technologies in the areas of sexual enhancement, assisted reproduction and (trans)gender construction in the 1950s and after. Within this area of research, he has published a paper on the work of Robert Stoller ('The Psychoanalytic Case: Voyeurism, Ethics, and Epistemology in Robert Stoller's Sexual Excitement' in: Angela N. H. Creager, Elizabeth Lunbeck, and M. Norton Wise (eds.), Science without Laws. Model Systems, Cases, Exemplary Narratives, Durham & London: Duke University Press, 2007, pp. 189–211) and will be delivering the Robert Stoller Lecture at the Los Angeles Psychoanalytic Society in 2011.

Other recent work and published books

  • (2009) 'Dr. G.s stürmische Übertragungsneurose. Über Gebrauch und Mißbrauch der Abstinenz' in: Anna Koellreuter (ed.), Wie benimmt sich der Prof. Freud eigentlich? – Ein neu entdecktes Tagebuch von 1921 historisch und analytisch kommentiert, Gießen: Psychosocial-Verlag, S. 245–58
  • (2007) 'On Kuhn's Case: Psychoanalysis and the Paradigm', Critical Inquiry, 33 No. 4, Summer 2007: 782–819 [185 KB PDF file]
  • (2005) 'A tale of two icons: "The Jews all over the world boast of my name, pairing me with Einstein" (Freud, 1926)', Psychoanalysis and History 7(2) (2005): 205–226 [115 KB PDF file]
  • (1997) Truth Games. Lies, Money, and Psychoanalysis, Foreword by Adam Phillips, Harvard University Press, paperback edition March 2000
  • (1997) Dispatches from the Freud Wars. Psychoanalysis and Its Passions, Harvard University Press. Paperback edition, 1998
  • (1996) 'If p, then what? Thinking in cases' History of the Human Sciences 9 No. 3, pp. 1–25 [2.57 MB PDF file]
  • (1992) with Lisa Appignanesi, Freud's Women, London: Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1992/New York: Basic Books, 1992; paperback (UK: Virago; US: Basic), October 1993 (UK), February 1994 (US); 2nd edition with Afterword, Penguin, 2000; 3rd edition with Afterword, Orion 2005
  • (1990) The Seductions of Psychoanalysis. Freud, Lacan and Derrida, Cambridge: C.U.P; published in paperback November 1991, paperback reprinted May 1992; second reprinting 1994
  • (1980) Language and the Origins of Psychoanalysis, London: Macmillan; New York: Columbia University Press; paperback edition, 1982, reprinted 1985