• CFAR’s annual conference  took place here in London on 23rd June with the title ‘Bipolar or Manic Depressive? Lacanian Perspectives’. Amidst contributions from an array of speakers, one common theme was the lack of clarity of the distinction between the various disturbances classed amongst the overall category of affective disorders. Psychiatrist Furham Iqbal, the first speaker, pointed to the constant revisions of diagnostic criteria found in successive editions of the DSM and ICD diagnostic manuals, tracing the development of the concepts of affective disorders from Kraeplin’s original dichotomy between manic depressive states (later bi-polar affective disorder) and dementia praecox (later schizophrenia). In the second talk Lacanian psychoanalyst Darian Leader pointed to the fact that both Bleuler and Kraeplin were themselves questioning the grounds for this distinction by the 1920s. Ahead of the conference, Leader penned this piece for The Guardian newspaper in the UK on the how burgeoning diagnosis of bipolar has become so popular.

 

  • Similarly, as previously reported the Irish Circle of the Lacanian Orientation, part of the New Lacanian School, held its Study Day back in May on the topic ’How Do We Suffer? The Symptom in Psychoanalysis’. A helpful report on the content of the event has now been added to the NLS site.

 

  • The New Lacanian School held its annual Congress in Tel Aviv in June on theme ‘Reading a Symptom’. 340 attendees gathered in the Israeli city from the NLS’s various affiliate organisations. You can find an English translation of Jacques-Alain Miller’s address to the 2011 Congress in London, setting out the theme of the Tel Aviv conference and the rationale behind it, on the NLS’s website here.

 

  • The excellent (and free) online journal The Symptom (edition number 13) is now available on Lacan.com. It includes an interesting anatomy of Lacan’s three trips to the United States during the most fertile period of his teaching, in the late 1960s and early 70s, by Pierre Gilles-Guéguen entitled ‘Lacan, American’. Also among the articles in this edition is an English translation of Jacques-Alain Miller’s preface to the 1987 volume Joyce avec Lacan, now out of print but which can be found in French here.

 

  • The latest edition (number 7) of the Lacanian journal Hurly Burly is available for order at the École de la Cause Freudienne’s site. The site is in French but the journal is in English, so to order go to this page, click ‘Ajouter au Panier’ (add to basket), then ‘Voir mon panier’ and ‘Procéder au paiement’. The cost is €18. Articles include Lacan’s postface to Seminar XI, Jacques-Alain Miller’s ‘Five Lessons on Language and the Real’ and a Special Dossier on autism and psychoanalysis.

 

  • Video of Bernard Burgoyne’s talk on topology held at Tate Modern in London last November has now re-appeared on the Tate’s website. His comments on the talk by Etienne Balibar (25 mins) – including some introductory remarks on topology and a fascinating story about how he believes himself to be the last man to walk through Berlin from East to West before the Wall went up (18 mins in) – are here, and the Q&A with fellow panelists for this session can be found here. Burgoyne gave four talks in all, and the others are also available, though in audio only. Here are links to the secondthird and fourth.

 

  • For those interested in more psychoanalytic exploitations of topology, there are a series of videos from the second series of Lutecium’s lectures on Lacan’s use of topology available on YouTube. A link to them all is on Lutecium’s new site here.