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Senior Fellow Clara Chin '19 presents a multi-media project "Dora's Room: Digital Dreams" on view this week in the Hop Garage. The work is a visual and tactile illustration of Chin's written thesis on the famous psychoanalysis patient Ida Bauer, better know as "Dora" in Freud's 1905 publication, Fragments of an Analysis of a Case of Hysteria. Chin has assembled "words, animated film, fabrics, bits of fur, a bed, boxes of books, Japanese screens and a bowl of tiny keys" (Dartmouth News) among other objects and effects, and has created the dreamscape that currently resides in the Hop Garage. The room is an exploration of Dora's inner world, of Freud's theories as to the cause of her "hysteria", of desire and the fear of one's desires, of vulnerabilty and the fear of being vulnerable. Motifs that appear throughout the space take inspiration from across genres, from images found in French horror filmography to figures of women's "hysteria' in classic and contemporary literature.
Dartmouth News reports Chin as attributing the roots of her project to Assistant Professor of English Azeen Khan's course, "Sigmund Freud and the Contemporary Cultural Imagination". Chin's imagination was sparked during class discussion, "What fascinated me was the way people reacted so strongly to Dora in the class," says Chin. "Some were like, oh, this case is sexist, and Freud was so sexist—obviously he was—but the case did open up conversations about sexual stigma and social stigma" (Dartmouth News).
Associate Professor of English, Aden Evens, is quoted in the Dartmouth News on the breadth of Clara Chin's fellowship project: "Clara has such an active, associative mind. She is really interested in putting big ideas together with other big ideas. That synthetic approach is too rare in the academy generally, and certainly many undergraduates can be overwhelmed by the amount of knowledge that one has to acquire before one can make an original contribution. But that never stopped Clara. She was always an expansive thinker, even as a sophomore."
"Dora's Room: Digital Dreams" is currently on display at the Hop Garage from 1:00-6:00pm, through Sunday, April 7th, 2019. Clara Chin will be present to give reading from her written work Sunday.