cover of book

Freud Upside Down: African American Literature and Psychoanalytic Culture
by Badia Sahar Ahad
University of Illinois Press, 2010
eISBN: 978-0-252-09000-4 | Cloth: 978-0-252-03566-1
Library of Congress Classification PS153.N5A398 2010
Dewey Decimal Classification 810.935299607302


This thought-provoking cultural history explores how psychoanalytic theories shaped the works of important African American literary figures. Badia Sahar Ahad details how Nella Larsen, Richard Wright, Jean Toomer, Ralph Ellison, Adrienne Kennedy, and Danzy Senna employed psychoanalytic terms and conceptual models to challenge notions of race and racism in twentieth-century America.


Freud Upside Down explores the relationship between these authors and intellectuals and the psychoanalytic movement emerging in the United States over the course of the twentieth century. Examining how psychoanalysis has functioned as a cultural phenomenon within African American literary intellectual communities since the 1920s, Ahad lays out the historiography of the intersections between African American literature and psychoanalysis and considers the creative approaches of African American writers to psychological thought in their work and their personal lives.

Nearby on shelf for American literature: