Journal of Romance Studies

Savages and neurotics: Freud and the Colonial School

Journal of Romance Studies (2011), 11, (3), 27–41.

Abstract

By means of comparative cultural analysis and drawing on Freud’s cultural theory, particularly his thinking in Totem and Taboo, the article examines the role played by the Colonial School in Lisbon as a disciplinary apparatus at home and in the overseas colonies. It looks at how the educational guidelines set up an hierarchical system of power that not only contributed to implement regulatory practices to discipline the colonized, but which at the same time established mechanisms of contention for uneducated settlers, seen as the European counterparts to colonial savagery. It also argues that the discursive practices of colonial education produced by the system were contentiously ambivalent. As seen in Schwalbach Lucci’s Emigração e colonização (1914), the colonial narrative was indeed disrupted by conservative counter-discourses that denounced the settler’s pathological neurosis. This worked as a figuration of reverse appropriation that struck at the psychotic heart of the colonial fantasy and became a subversive counter-narrative to the tale of hegemonic imperialism.

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Almeida, Miguel Vale de (2004) An Earth-Colored Sea: ‘Race’, Culture and the Politics of Identity in the Post-Colonial Portuguese Speaking World (New York and Oxford: Berghahn). Race An Earth-Colored Sea: ‘Race’, Culture and the Politics of Identity in the Post-Colonial Portuguese Speaking World Google Scholar

Bhabha, Homi (1994) The Location of Culture (London: Routledge). The Location of Culture Google Scholar

Boas, Franz (1995) Race, Language and Culture (Chicago: University of Chicago Press). Race, Language and Culture Google Scholar

Boxer, Charles Ralph (1969) The Portuguese Seaborn Empire 1415–1825 (New York: Random House). The Portuguese Seaborn Empire 1415–1825 Google Scholar

Braga, Teófilo (1885) O povo português nos seus costumes, crenças e tradições, 2 vols (Lisbon: Pub. D. Quixote). O povo português nos seus costumes, crenças e tradições Google Scholar

Braga, Teófilo (1894) A pátria portuguesa: o território e a raça (Porto: Livraria Internacional). A pátria portuguesa: o território e a raça Google Scholar

Cabral, João Pina (1991) Os contextos da antropologia (Oeiras: Celta). Os contextos da antropologia Google Scholar

Coelho, Adolfo (1973) Para a história da instrução popular, ed. Rogério Fernandes (Lisbon: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian). Para a história da instrução popular Google Scholar

Ernst, Waltraud (1991) Mad Tales from the Raj: The European Insane in British India, 1800–1858 (London: Routledge). Mad Tales from the Raj: The European Insane in British India, 1800–1858 Google Scholar

Fanon, Frantz (1967) A Dying Colonialism (New York: Grove Press). A Dying Colonialism Google Scholar

Foucault, Michel (1975) Surveiller et punir (Paris: Gallimard). Surveiller et punir Google Scholar

Foucault, Michel (1999) Les Anormaux: cours aux Collège de France 1974–1975 (Paris: Gallimard). Les Anormaux: cours aux Collège de France 1974–1975 Google Scholar

Frazer, James (1995) The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion (Oxford: Oxford University Press). The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion Google Scholar

Freud, Sigmund (1961) The Ego and the Id and Other Works, The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Vol. XIX (1923–25), ed. James Strachey (London: Hogarth Press). The Ego and the Id and Other Works Google Scholar

Freud, Sigmund (1961) The Future of An Illusion, Civilization and Its Discontents and Other Works, The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Vol. XXI (1927–1931), ed. James Strachey (London: Hogarth Press). The Future of An Illusion, Civilization and Its Discontents and Other Works, The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud Google Scholar

Freud, Sigmund (1986) Totem and Taboo: Some Points of Agreement Between the Mental Lives of Savages and Neurotics [1913], The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Vol. III (1913–1914), ed. James Strachey (London: Hogarth Press), vii-162. Totem and Taboo: Some Points of Agreement Between the Mental Lives of Savages and Neurotics [1913], The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud Google Scholar

Freud, Sigmund (2001) Totem e Tabu: alguns pontos de concordância entre a vida psíquica dos selvagens e dos neuróticos, trans. Leopoldina Almeida, rev. Pedro Luzes (Lisbon: Relógio d’Água). Totem e Tabu: alguns pontos de concordância entre a vida psíquica dos selvagens e dos neuróticos Google Scholar

Gonçalves, José Júlio (ed.) (1962) Criação e reorganizações do Instituto Superior de Estudos Ultramarinos (1906–1961), 2 vols (Lisbon: Agência-Geral do Ultramar, ISEU). Criação e reorganizações do Instituto Superior de Estudos Ultramarinos (1906–1961) Google Scholar

Hegel, Georg Wilhelm (1982) Lectures on the Philosophy of World History, trans. H. B. Nisbet (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Lectures on the Philosophy of World History Google Scholar

Kafka, Franz (2000) [1919] Drucke zu Lebzeiten: Kritische Studienausgabe, ed. Gerhart Neumann, et al., Stuttgart: Fischer). Drucke zu Lebzeiten: Kritische Studienausgabe Google Scholar

Keller, Richard (2001) Action psychologique: French Psychiatry in Colonial North Africa 1900– 1962 (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press). Action psychologique: French Psychiatry in Colonial North Africa 1900– 1962 Google Scholar

Leal, João (2000) Etnografias portuguesas (1870–1970): cultura popular e identidade nacional (Lisbon: Pub. Dom Quixote). Etnografias portuguesas (1870–1970): cultura popular e identidade nacional Google Scholar

Lowe, Lisa (1991) Critical Terrains: French and British Orientalisms (Ithaca: Cornell University Press). Critical Terrains: French and British Orientalisms Google Scholar

Lucci, Luís Filipe de Lencastre Schwalbach (1914) Emigração e colonização, PhD thesis (Lisbon, Escola Colonial). Google Scholar

Martinho, José (2001) Pessoa e a psicanálise (Coimbra: Almedina). Pessoa e a psicanálise Google Scholar

Medeiros, Paulo de (2005) ‘Memórias pós-coloniais’, in Colóquio de Outono: estudos de tradução. Estudos pós-coloniais, ed. Ana Gabriela Macedo and Maria Eduarda Keating (Braga: Universidade do Minho, CEHUM), 27–42. Memórias pós-coloniais Colóquio de Outono: estudos de tradução. Estudos pós-coloniais 27 42 Google Scholar

Medeiros, Paulo de (2006) ‘Voiding the centre: notes towards a reconfiguration of postcolonial studies,’ in Towards a Portuguese Postcolonialism, ed. Anthony Soares, Lusophone Studies 4, 27–46. Voiding the centre: notes towards a reconfiguration of postcolonial studies, Towards a Portuguese Postcolonialism 4 27 46 Google Scholar

Medeiros, Paulo de (2011) ‘A cripta de Pessoa’, in A cultura portuguesa no divã, ed. Isabel Capeloa Gil and Adriana Martins (Lisbon: UCEditora), 85–99. A cripta de Pessoa A cultura portuguesa no divã 85 99 Google Scholar

Moniz, Egas Moniz (1914) ‘As novas ideias sobre o hipnotismo: aspectos médico-legais’, Separata da Revista da Universidade de Coimbra, V.3,4. As novas ideias sobre o hipnotismo: aspectos médico-legais Separata da Revista da Universidade de Coimbra Google Scholar

Moniz, Egas Moniz (1915) ‘Lição do curso de neurologia’, A Medicina contemporânea 33, 377–83. Lição do curso de neurologia A Medicina contemporânea 33 377 83 Google Scholar

Monteiro, António Laranjo Ferreira (1925) A psico-análise de Freud (Coimbra: Tipografia Bizarro). A psico-análise de Freud Google Scholar

Morujão, Carlos (2011) ‘Egas Moniz e a psicanálise’, in A cultura portuguesa no divã, ed. Isabel Capeloa Gil and Adriana Martins (Lisbon: UCEditora), 29–40. Egas Moniz e a psicanálise A cultura portuguesa no divã 29 40 Google Scholar

Pessoa, Fernando (2006) ‘O provincianismo português’ [1928], in Obra essencial de Fernando Pessoa, vol. 3, ed. Richard Zenith et. al. (Lisbon: Assírio & Alvim), 374–5. O provincianismo português Obra essencial de Fernando Pessoa 374 5 Google Scholar

Queirós, Alírio (2007) A recepção de Freud em Portugal (1900–1956) (Coimbra: Coimbra University Press). A recepção de Freud em Portugal (1900–1956) Google Scholar

Ribeiro, Margarida Calafate and Ana Paula Ferreira (eds) (2003) Fantasmas e fantasias imperiais no imaginário português contemporâneo (Porto: Afrontamento). Fantasmas e fantasias imperiais no imaginário português contemporâneo Google Scholar

Said, Edward (2002) Freud and the Non-European (London: Verso). Freud and the Non-European Google Scholar

Sanches, Manuel Ribeiro and João Ferreira Duarte (eds) (2010) Europe in Black and White: Immigration, Race and Identity in the ‘Old Continent’ (Bristol: Intellect). Europe in Black and White: Immigration, Race and Identity in the ‘Old Continent’ Google Scholar

Santos, Boaventura de Sousa (2002) ‘Entre Próspero e Caliban: colonialismo, pós-colonialismo e inter-identidade’, in Entre ser e estar: raízes, percursos e discursos da identidade, ed. Maria Irene Ramalho and António Sousa Ribeiro (Porto: Afrontamento), 23–85. Entre Próspero e Caliban: colonialismo, pós-colonialismo e inter-identidade Entre ser e estar: raízes, percursos e discursos da identidade 23 85 Google Scholar

Stoler, Ann (1995) Race and the Education of Desire: Foucault’s History of Sexuality and the Colonial Order of Things (Durham: Duke University Press). Race and the Education of Desire: Foucault’s History of Sexuality and the Colonial Order of Things Google Scholar

Tylor, Edward (1974) Primitive Culture: Researches into the Development of Mythology, Philosophy, Religion, Art and Custom (New York: Gordon Press). Primitive Culture: Researches into the Development of Mythology, Philosophy, Religion, Art and Custom Google Scholar

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Gil, Isabel Capeloa

Gil, Isabel Capeloa