• Faculty

  • Eli Zaretsky

    Professor of History


    Office Location
    N - 66 Fifth Avenue

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    Eli Zaretsky


    Eli Zaretsky is Professor of History at The New School for Social Research. He has taught at Lang College since 1999. His interests are in twentieth century cultural history, the theory and history of capitalism (especially its social and cultural dimensions), and the history of the family. His most recent book is Political Freud, published in 2015 by Cambridge University Press. His earlier work includes Secrets of the Soul: A Social and Cultural History of Psychoanalysis and Why America Needs a Left. He is the editor of The Polish Peasant in Europe and America; and of Capitalism, the Family and Personal Life.

    Degrees Held

    PhD 1978, University of Maryland

    Recent Publications


    Political Freud: A History (Columbia University Press, 2015; paperback 2017)

    Why America Needs a Left: An Historical Argument (Cambridge; Polity Press, 2012)
    French Translation: Left: un Essai sur l’autre gauche aux États-Unis (Seuil, 2012)

    Selected Articles and Book Chapters

    Freudianism and Anti-Freudianism in Recent American Culture,” Constellations, 2018, vol. 25, 165-170. 

    “Control, Release and Sublimation: Cultural Freudianism in the 1920s,” in American Literature in Transition: 1920-1930 ed. Ichiro Takayoshi (Cambridge University Press NY, 2017)

    “Psychoanalysis and Jewish History,” Encyclopedia of Jewish History (forthcoming)

    "From Psychoanalysis to Cybernetics: The Case of Her." American Imago 72, no. 2: 197-210, 2015.

    “Freud’s Theory of Memory,” in Dimitri Nikulin, Memory, Oxford University Press, 2015.

    “What is Political History,” Reviews in American History, Autumn, 2013.

    Rethinking the American Left,” Socialist Register, 2012 (Translation: Merkur 2013).

    “Eros of the Impossible and the problem of Freudo-Marxism,” “Eros nevozmozhnogo i problema freidomarksizma,” NZ (Moscow), 2013, 5/91

    “Psychoanalysis, Authoritarianism and the 1960s,” in Joy Damousi and Mariano Ben Plotkin, Psychoanalysis and Politics: Histories of Psychoanalysis under Conditions of Restricted Political Freedom, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012)

    “Psychoanalysis, Vulnerability and War,” in Adrienne Harris, ed., First Do No Harm,  (New York: Routledge, 2010), Translated as Psychanalyse, vulnérabilité et guerre, in Le Coq-’Heron 201

    “Narcissism, Personal Life and Identity: The Place of the 1960s in the History of Psychoanalysis,” Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society, 13, (94-104) 2008

    "Psychoanalysis and the Spirit of Capitalism,” Constellations, 2008, 15 (3), pp, 366-381

                 German translation: Merkur, Spring, 2006

                 French translation: Actuel Marx, Autumn, 2006

                 Polish Translation: Przeglad Polityczny (Political Review)

    “Beyond the Blues: Richard Wright, Psychoanalysis and the Modern idea of Culture,’ in Joy Damousi and Mariano Plotkin, The Transnational Unconscious (New York, Palgrave 2007)

    “Freud in the Twenty First Century,” in Zeitschrift für Individualpsychologie and Österreichische Zeitschrift für Volkskunde (2007) Joe Merlino, Freud at 150, (New York, Rowman and Littlefield, 2007)

    "Psychoanalysis, the Family and Personal Life: Narcissism and the 'Relational Revolution' of the 1960," E.I.A.L. Estudios Interdisciplinarios de América Latina y el Caribe, Volume 18, Number 1, (2007). Special issue on transnational psychoanalysis.

    “The Place of Psychoanalysis in the History of the Jews,” Psychoanalysis and History, vol. 8, no. 2, 2006.

    “Collective Memory and Narrative: A Response to Etkind,” Constellations, 16 (1), pp. 201-204


    "What Is to Be Done?," co-author, Public Seminar, June 4, 2020

    Cited in "How Red Vienna Revolutionized Sigmund Freud," Jacobin, May 28, 2020

    "Culling the Herd: A Modest Proposal," London Review of Books blog, May 14, 2020

    "To Turn the Mass into a Class," London Review of Books blog, December 22, 2019

    "The Case against Obama," London Review of Books blog, August 13, 2019

    "Trump's Charisma," London Review of Books blog, June 27, 2019

    "The Mass Psychology of Brexit," London Review of Books blog, March 26, 2019

    "The Mass Psychology of Trumpism," London Review of Books blog, September 18, 2018

    Interview: "The American Left, Liberalism, and Equality," Boston Review, April19, 2012

    Awards And Honors

    Visiting Fellow, Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra, August, 2005 

    Robert J. Stoller Foundation Award, 1995 annual prize for the best essay on the subject of psychoanalysis awarded for "Bisexuality and the Ambivalent Legacy of Psychoanalysis."

    Affiliated Scholar, Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen, Vienna, July - January, 1995

    Future Courses

    Imperialism: Theory & History
    GPOL 5108, Spring 2025

    Imperialism: Theory & History
    GHIS 5108, Spring 2025

    Independent Senior Project
    LHIS 4990, Fall 2024, Spring 2025

    Independent Study
    GHIS 6990, Spring 2025

    Independent Study
    LHIS 3950, Fall 2024, Spring 2025

    The Rise of Modern Germany
    LHIS 3124, Spring 2025

    Past Courses

    Independent Senior Project
    LHIS 4990, Fall 2023, Spring 2024

    Independent Study
    LHIS 3950, Fall 2023, Spring 2024

    Independent Study
    GHIS 6990, Spring 2024

    The World On Fire
    LHIS 2104, Spring 2024

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