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Freud in Meekatharra

October 15 @ 12:00 pm - 12:45 pm


History Research Seminar- Semester 02, 2021

Date:  Friday, 15 October 2021

Time 12Noon – 12.45pm.

Speaker:  Dr Christine Vickers, La Trobe University

Abstract:   What did ordinary settler folk across Australia know and think about Freud and his ideas? How did they respond? The historical myth of the male medical model of psychoanalysis in Australia has masked a more complex view of the infusion of psychoanalytic ideas into Australian culture. A review of the Australian National Library’s digitized newspaper collection shows that from 1903 people across Australia were actively engaging with Freud’s ideas. So much so that from the date of the Anschluss, on March 13 1938 to 31 July 1938 the word, ‘Freud’ was mentioned in the Australian press on at least 305 occasions. 196 items concerned Freud’s plight and his eventual rescue and resettlement in London. The newspaper editor in Meekatharra, in the Pilbara, along with colleagues in Rockhampton, Kalgoorlie, Broken Hill, as well as Orange in New South Wales, all ensured this news was published. Australia’s connection with international knowledge networks- through technology, travel, education and literature, between the centres of Europe, Britain and the United States, ensured the currency of news and ideas. This paper retrieves a larger story about the influence of psychoanalysis in twentieth-century settler Australian culture- and begins the process of restoring several prominent women into their rightful place

Dr Christine Vickers is a historian and psychoanalytic psychotherapist. She is currently writing a book based on the papers of Dr Clara Geroe, Australia’s first training analyst. She blogs at

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October 15
12:00 pm - 12:45 pm
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