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Lakehead University Magazine Spring/Summer 2008

Distinguished Researcher - Todd Dufresne

Against Freud

By Tim Anderson

Dr. Todd Dufresne has devoted most of his academic career to studying the impact of the father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud.

His latest book, published in 2007, is entitled Against Freud: Critics Talk Back. The book features interviews with world-renowned scholars of psychoanalytic theory and practice to show that Freud’s theories were just plain wrong. As Dufresne puts it, “The book’s not just about Freud’s botched science, but about the bankruptcy of psychoanalysis as a socio-cultural movement.”

Born in Fort Frances, Ontario, Todd Dufresne went to high school in Thunder Bay. He completed a BA (Honours) in Philosophy at the University of Western Ontario and then went on to earn an MA and PhD in Social & Political Thought at York University in Toronto. He joined Lakehead’s Department of Philosophy 10 years ago, and has been Chair of the Department for the last six. Last February, he was presented with one of Lakehead University’s highest honors — the 2007 Lakehead University Distinguished Researcher Award.

Dufresne suspects he has only one or two books left to write on Freud, and has already begun to branch his efforts out into other areas. “I’ve started to collaborate with a small group of people doing work on creativity and economic development.” Ideally this work “will provide a vehicle to attract grants so that we can do some collaborative research of real relevance to Northern Ontario.”

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