The Effectiveness of Symbols


Interdisciplinary Conference at the Freud Museum London
Saturday 24 October 2015, 9.30am – 5pm

The shaman’s art is like a dramatic performance, and drama can be thought of as a kind of shamanic ritual. What unites the two domains of experience is the impact of symbols, words and narrative on the body and emotion. This conference is for anyone interested in ‘the effectiveness of symbols’, the title of a seminal essay by French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss.

Lévi-Strauss opened up new ways of thinking about the symbolic dimension of human life, offering a subtle reformulation of the Freudian unconscious and putting forward a theory of symbolic function that continues to resonate within psychoanalysis and anthropology. It is still to be widely appreciated in art theory, theatre studies and performance.

This conference brings together eminent speakers to reflect on Lévi-Strauss’ paper and its influence, and to discuss symbolic effectiveness in their own research and practice.

£60 Full Price / £45 Students/Concessions
£5 reduction for Members of the Freud Museum