Karl Fallend
IFK_Gast des Direktors

Duration of fellowship
01. October 2019 bis 31. January 2020

Karl Fallend


“Dictators Don’t Have Swing”: Tracing the History and Biography of Jazz, Psychoanalysis, and National Socialism


While psychoanalysis and jazz, two outstanding cultural creations of the twentieth century, seem at first glance to have little in common, much unites them. We need think only practically in terms of “free association” versus “free improvisation,” of the “controlled loss of control” (Konrad Heiland), or, in the professional relationship, of the “equal attention” given individual protagonists. Even the notion that psychoanalysis, quasi by definition, “can only flourish where there is freedom of thought” (as Anna Freud put it to August Aichhorn) relates to jazz’s being historically premised on the foundations of freedom and individuality (Joachim Ernst Berendt). Both implicitly contradict totalitarian systems, a contradiction that can be illuminated from many points of view, e.g., by analyzing biographies of Otto Rank and Karl Farkas alongside those of major figures in jazz history.


Karl Fallend studied Psychology at the University of Salzburg and received his Habilitation at the University of Klagenfurt in 1994. Since then, he has taught at numerous Austrian universities and worked at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for History and Society and, most recently, at the August Aichhorn Institute at the Joanneum University of Applied Sciences in Graz. There, he co-edited a series on the history of social work and social-work research. The sociopsychological research he engaged in as a member of the historical commission studying forced labor practices at the former Reichswerke Hermann Göring in Linz also led to a stagedrama, “To Whom Should I Write? To God?” (2002). Fallend has been a co-editor of WERKBLATT, a journal of psychoanalysis and social critique, for 35 years and has published widely on the history of psychoanalysis, psychology, human rights, and National Socialism.


Mimi & Els. Stationen einer Freundschaft. Marie Langer – Else Pappenheim – Späte Briefe, Wien 2019; Unbewusste Zeitgeschichte. Psychoanalyse – Nationalsozialismus – Folgen, Wien 2016; gem. mit Thomas Aichhorn (Hg.), August Aichhorn, Vorlesungen. Einführung in die Psychoanalyse für Erziehungsberatung und Soziale Arbeit, Wien 2015; Caroline Newton. Jessie Taft. Virginia Robinson, Spurensuche in der Geschichte der Psychoanalyse und Sozialar- beit, Wien 2012.

  • Lecture

Die beiden aus Wien emigrierten Psychoanalytikerinnen, Marie Langer und Else Pappenheim, waren seit Kindheitstagen befreundet. An ihrem Lebensabend tauschten sie in Briefen ihre Erinnerungen aus – zwischen New York und Mexico City. Karl Fallends biografische Recherchen beleuchten neue Facetten der Lebensentwürfe dieser beiden Frauen.