Participants: Mary Bergstein, Abigail Gillman, Diane O'Donoghue (moderator), Bennett Simon, Andrew Stein Raftery
A masterpiece of graphic design, the Philippson Bible (1858) has text not only in two languages, but two alphabets, along with an expanded scientific apparatus of notes and references and over 700 engraved illustrations. Philippson's remarkable work is nothing less than a monumental archive of image/text interface, grandly authoritative in its scope and scale. Philippson's overwhelming reliance on Orientalist imagery, animals, romantic landscapes, and Greco-Roman antiquities reinforces the sense that the work presents a veritable encyclopedia of nature and antiquity, explained visually by way of ethnography, archaeology, and art. This was the book from which Sigmund Freud was educated by his father in his earliest years. As an elderly bibliophile, with a profound knowledge of art and archaeology, Freud stated that his "deep engrossment in the Bible" from his first years as a reader had an enduring effect upon the direction of his interests. This is to say nothing of the imprint of its numerous and varied images on his unconscious mind. This roundtable will address the religious, literary, psychoanalytic, archaeological, and art-historical aspects of the Phillipson Bible, as well as the sources and technical production of its design.
Mary Bergstein is an authority on Italian Renaissance art with a special focus on sculpture. Her important monograph, The Sculpture of Nanni di Banco, was published by Princeton in 2000. She has written numerous articles on the historiography of art, some of which deal with Freud and the classical tradition. Bergstein is currently the head of History of Art and Visual Culture at the Rhode Island School of Design.
Abigail Gillman is Associate Professor of Modern Languages and Comparative Literature at Boston University, where she teaches courses on modern German and Hebrew literature and on Hebrew Bible. Her research focuses on German Jewish literature, Bible translation, the art and architecture of memory, and on the historic dialogue between German and Hebrew. Her book, Viennese Jewish Modernism: Freud, Hofmannsthal, Beer-Hofmann, and Schnitzler is forthcoming in the Refiguring Modernism series of Penn State Press. She is currently writing a cultural history of the German Jewish Bible from 1783 to 1937, which examines the tradition of Bible translation by German Jewish intellectuals such as Mendelssohn, Zunz, Philippson, Buber, and Rosenzweig.
Diane O'Donoghue is Chair of the Department of Visual and Critical Studies at Tufts University, in affiliation with the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and is a member of the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, where she has been a Silberger Scholar. She was the Fulbright/Freud Scholar of Psychoanalysis (2001) and Visiting Fulbright Professor at the Academy of Fine Arts (2006), both in Vienna, and received the CORST Prize from the American Psychoanalytic Association in 2002. Her most recent publications include articles in the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, American Imago, and Visual Resources: An International Journal of Documentation.
Bennett Simon is a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst affiliated with Harvard Medical School (Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Cambridge Health Alliance) and the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute (Training and Supervising Analyst). He was the Sigmund Freud Visiting Professor at the Hebrew University from 1989-90 and the Heinz Kohut Visiting Professor at the Committee on Social Thought, University of Chicago, during the spring of 2002. He has long been involved in the borderlands between psychoanalysis and the humanities, and psychoanalysis and the social sciences. He is also a lifelong student of the Hebrew Bible and of ancient Greek literature and culture.
Andrew Stein Raftery is a printmaker specializing in narrative engravings of contemporary American life. His work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions across the United States, and is in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Fogg Art Museum, the Yale University Art Gallery, and the New York Public Library. In 2003, Raftery received the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award and is a 2008 fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. He is represented by Mary Ryan Gallery in New York, where his exhibition, Open House: Five Engraved Scenes, is on view from October 16th through November 26th. In his position as Associate Professor of Printmaking at Rhode Island School of Design, he is currently working as consulting curator for The Brilliant Line: The Journey of the Early Modern Engraver, scheduled for fall 2009.