Public Events

Maud Ellmann, “‘Vaccies Go Home!’: Evacuation, Psychoanalysis and Fiction in World War II Britain”

November 10, 2017

On September 1, 1939, the British government launched a program ominously codenamed Operation Pied Piper, whereby thousands of children were evacuated from the cities to the countryside. This operation brought class conflict into the foreground, laying bare the drastic inequalities of British society, but also provided the foundations for the development of child psychoanalysis. This talk examines the impact of the evacuation crisis on psychoanalytic theories of the child, comparing these to the depiction of children in wartime fiction.

Maud Ellmann Maud Ellmann is the Randy L. and Melvin R. Berlin Professor of the Development of the Novel in English at the University of Chicago; she has previously held senior positions at the Universities of Cambridge and Notre Dame. She has written widely on modernism and psychoanalysis: her most recent book is The Nets of Modernism: James, Woolf, Joyce, and Freud (2010). Currently the M.H. Abrams Fellow at the National Humanities Center, she is writing a comparative study of World War II fiction and psychoanalysis in Britain and France.