Hidden Persuaders Symposium

Freud Museum London

6th April 2019 | 9:00AM

As part of a series of public events related to the Wunderblock exhibition, this informal half-day symposium will explore the historical and contemporary relationships between child psychoanalysis, observation and visual culture. The focus will be on the methodological innovations and clinical legacies of the inter-war and post-war decades, including baby observation, cinematic microanalysis, play technique and the therapeutic use of children’s art.

The morning will include discussion between clinicians. writers and academics, as well as short screenings of rare research films of mother-infant interaction, and an original film montage on the theme of child development by filmmaker Ian Magor. Contributors include Margaret and Michael Rustin, Isobel Pick, Lynda Nead, Dagmar Herzog, Katie Joice, Sarah Marks and Daniel Pick.

Tickets includes free entry on the day to the Museum and Emma’s ‘Wunderblock’ exhibition (usual price £9).

6 April

9:00 am – 12:30 pm

£20 – £25

Lacan, Biology, and Sex. One day intensive course with Lorenzo Chiesa

Freud Museum London

7th April 2019 | 10:00AM

It is often misleadingly claimed that, by thinking the sexual unconscious in linguistic terms, Jacques Lacan does not deal with biology.

In this one-day intensive course we will contrast this naïve assumption. We will see how, in order to develop a logic of sexuation, Lacan needs to con­front the biological notion of sex from a psychoanalytic perspective.

On the one hand, we will focus on how Lacan’s attack on the – more or less – essentialist and fusional teleology of evolutionary theory, including that of the beginnings of molecular biology, is a constant throughout his oeuvre. Moving from a materialist perspective, psychoanalysis should problematize any alleged logos of life. For instance, the XX and XY chromo­somes are not, according to Lacan, a scientific writing of the way in which sex­ual difference generates the sexual relationship, but, instead, yet another reassertion of the mythical cosmic complementarity between matter and form, Yin and Yang as predicated in premodern times. Ignoring the clinical evidence provided by psychoanalysis, biology continues for the most part to take for granted a harmony between the sexes, and thus reduces itself to what we could call a “psycho-erotology”.

On the other hand, we will show how psychoanalysis cannot overlook the fact that cutting-edge research in behav­ioral neuroscience also contrasts this stance, and goes as far as defining sex as a set of “symptoms” that only successively allow for a “diagnosis” of male and female. Forty years after Lacan’s death, it is high time to establish a dialogue with some recent developments in the life sciences. Today, psychoanalysis should lend an ear to their own endeavor to have done with what Lacan, tacitly following the medicine Nobel laureate Jacques Monod, defines as animism, namely, the persistent anthropocentric assumption that natural objects in the world think (as we do).

Finally, we will argue that this dialogue should continue to endorse the question “What is a sci­ence that includes psychoanalysis?” as opposed to the – badly posed for Lacan – “Is psychoanalysis a science?”, that is, avoid conforming psychoanaly­sis to a hegemonic idea of science.


10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Cost:£48 – £65


A Royal Progress

Museum of the Order of St John

8th April 2019 | 12:00PM

A new guided tour highlights the role of royals past and present in the dramatic history of the Order of St John.

This tour explores 900 years of history, from the founding of the Clerkenwell Priory under Henry II to the creation of the modern St John Ambulance organisation under Queen Victoria, and the continuing involvement of today’s Royals as patrons of the UK’s leading first aid charity. Join on a lunchtime or evening tour to see this amazing story told through our historic buildings and unique rarely seen objects from our collections.

Tours at 12.00pm or 6.30pm on selected dates from March – September

Tickets from £6

Click here to check times and book tickets

Exploring Ageing in History: Exhibition launch

Royal College of Nursing Library & Heritage Centre

11th April 2019 | 5:30PM

Join us for an evening of talks and activities to launch of our new exhibition ‘Aspects of Age’ which explores the healthcare of older people throughout history.

Experiment with the Royal College of Pathologists for Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, and try a virtual walk through dementia. Talks include Pat Thane on getting old in English history, Dawne Garrett on older people’s care today and Nola Ishmael’s personal reflections on ageing.

Doors open at 5.30pm with exhibition viewing and activities.
Talks from 6 – 7.30pm
Closes 8.30pm

Pat Thane, Research Professor in Contemporary British History, will explore the myth that ageing is a modern issue. She will explain how the changing social and family networks surrounding older people have affected the ways in which we grow old, while recognising that throughout history, there have been criticisms of institutional and community care.

Nola Ishmael OBE was London’s first black director of nursing. She will be sharing her experiences of growing older, and reflect on the knowledge and wisdom she has gained throughout her memorable nursing journey.

Dawne Garrett is the professional lead for older people and dementia care at the Royal College of Nursing. Her current research explores older peoples’ experiences of sexual intimacy.


Normansfield Open Day

Langdon Down Museum

13th April 2019 | 10:00AM

Museum and theatre open 10am to 5pm

Talk at 11am: The History of Normansfield’s Buildings

A talk about the development of the buildings at Normansfield from 1868 until 2016 using maps, architectural drawings and photographs.

Normansfield was the home and institution developed by the famous Victorian physician Dr John Langdon Down and his family where a revolutionary and enlightened approach was developed for the care, education and training of people with learning disabilities.

When he arrived in 1868 he bought the White House and over the coming years extended the building. The theatre John and Mary Langdon Down created has been restored and is still in use today with a large Victorian scenery collection.

On the 42 acre site, they set up a farm and workshops with a boat house on the Thames. In 1951 Normansfield became an NHS hospital with new residential buildings including a school, arts centre and hydrotherapy pool. Since its closure in 1997 much of the site has been converted to housing and part of the original building is now home to the Down’s Syndrome Association.

Speaker: Ian Jones-Healey is archivist at the Langdon Down Museum, Normansfield Theatre and Down’s Syndrome Association. He is a member of the Social History of Learning Disability (SHLD) Research Group at the Open University.

Free talk. Booking not required. Donations welcome.

Tour of the museum and theatre at 12.30

The archivist will give a 40 minute talk around the museum and theatre. Max 15 of people. First come basis.