Sadoff, Dianne F.
Sadoff, Dianne F.
Education: University of Oregon, B.A., M.A.; University of Rochester, Ph.D., 1973.
Office—Miami University, 143 Upham Hall, Oxford, OH 45056. E-mail—[email protected]
Miami University, Oxford, OH, professor of English and associate dean of the college of arts and sciences.
Monster of Affection: Dickens, Eliot, and Brontë on Fatherhood, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 1982.
(Editor, with William E. Cain) Teaching Contemporary Theory to Undergraduates, Modern Language Association of America (New York, NY), 1994.
Sciences of the Flesh: Representing Body and Subject in Psychoanalysis, Stanford University Pres (Stanford, CA), 1998.
(With John Kucich) Victorian Afterlife: Postmodern Culture Rewrites the Nineteenth Century, University of Minnesota Press (Minneapolis, MN), 2000.
Contributor to books, including Jane Eyre: A Casebook, edited by Beth Newman, Bedford Books of St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1996. Contributor to periodicals, including Massachusetts, Review, Genre, and Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society.
Dianne F. Sadoff is an English professor whose research interests cover Victorian literature and psychoanalysis, as well as French neurology, film studies, nineteenth-century historicism, gender studies, and visual culture. Her Sciences of the Flesh: Representing Body and Subject in Psychoanalysis presents a "fascinating and intricately researched study of the shaping of the notion of the subject [of psychoanalysis] in Freud's research and writing in the 1880s and 1890s," reported Jenny Bourne Taylor in Victorian Studies. Sadoff examines the methods by which Sigmund Freud's existing research and treatments of conditions such as hysteria were used to establish fundamental concepts of psychoanalysis. In particular, Sadoff looks at how Freud derived "a notion of the self in which the hidden traces of the mind could be at once expressed and symbolically transformed in somatic symptoms," Taylor stated. She looks at how medical treatments of the 1880s, such as hypnotic suggestion, the rest cure, and affect-based psychotherapy, contributed cultural context and social function to treatments designed for middle-class subjects and mid-level managers in both business and domestic contexts. Taylor further remarked that "Sadoff's detailed account of the precise moves through which Freud assimilated and rejected these contemporary practices as he struggled to theorize the links between affect, trauma, and memory makes a crucial contribution to studies of the psychiatric profession in the late-nineteenth century, as well as to the history of psychoanalysis." The last three chapters of the book examine Freud's theories of sexuality and fantasy as they existed in the late 1880s, and how those theories were formed and applied to Freud's development of psychoanalysis. Taylor concluded that Sciences of the Flesh is a "demanding, but rich study" of the founder and the early development of psychoanalysis.
Victorian Afterlife: Postmodern Culture Rewrites the Nineteenth Century, edited by Sadoff and John Kucich, contains a series of essays addressing the issue of how modern cultural critics can effectively respond to a current surge of scholarly work representing postmodern Victoriana. Contributors cover topics such as the ongoing interest in Victorian photographs; the perpetual popularity of Victorian literature over works from other periods as source material for movie adaptations; the concept and contemplation of the Zeitgeist as a holdover from Victorian times; and the effective use and explication of Victorian science in cyberpunk and associated science fiction works. Kucich and Sadoff "are to be credited with raising important questions and inviting such a talented group of scholars to offer answers," asserted Siman Joyce in Victorian Studies.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Victorian Studies, spring, 2002, Siman Joyce, review of Victorian Afterlife: Postmodern Culture Rewrites the Nineteenth Century, p. 555; autumn, 2003, Jenny Bourne Taylor, review of Sciences of the Flesh: Representing Body and Subject in Psychoanalysis, p. 153.