In addition to the strengths the department of Romance Studies possesses in the study of particular cultures, histories, and literatures of various regions it also has a strong background in certain key theoretical approaches and critical traditions such as psychoanalytic theory.  Romance Studies offers both introductory courses in psychoanalytic theory that explain its invention beginning with Freud as well as courses that are more focused on a particular psychoanalytic theorist and tradition like Jacques Lacan, for example.  Students in these seminars are taught the basic differences between the various different kinds of psychoanalytic theoretical traditions in the 20t-21st centuries--ego psychology, object relations theory, Lacanian psychoanalytic theory, Kleinian theory etc.--and the cultural, historical, social contingencies that allowed for certain theoretical traditions to flourish in some areas of the world and not in others.  For example, some questions posed ask why ego psychology become dominant in the U.S. after WWII?  Another question might ask why a Lacanian orientation is more dominant in Latin American psychoanalytic communities at this moment to the virtual exclusion of an ego psychological orientation?  Students in our seminars are taught the basic psychoanalytic concepts that make up the theories as well as the history of psychoanalytic traditions as they’ve taken or not taken root in particular regions and cultures.  Our courses in psychoanalysis also teach students what it would mean to read various kinds of texts through a psychoanalytic lens.  These types of seminars teach students how to employ psychoanalytically informed reading practices to interpret and analyze films, literature, media, social and political movements, etc.