“Historians do not psychoanalyze…”

“Historians do not psychoanalyze people of the past; rather, they work in the archives, with the residues of the dead whose voices remain silent until they re-sound in the mind of the historian. Historians explore the many ways that the past survives within the present – as institutions, myths, habits of thought or silences; they show how that which has been forgotten may yet influence some of the most recalcitrant problems of an age….” (emphasis added)

– Sally Alexander and Barbara Taylor, “Introduction”, in History and Psyche: Culture, Psychoanalysts, and the Past, edited by Sally Alexander and Barbara Taylor (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), p. 2.

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