News – January 2016
Foremost among the new publications of note last month is Yael Goldman Baldwin’s Let’s Keep Talking: Lacanian Tales of Love, Sex, and Other Catastrophes, a collection of five original Lacanian case studies from the contemporary clinic which has garnered much acclaim from fellow Lacanians. While Baldwin considers her work an “analytic-psychotherapy” rather than psychoanalysis, she affirms that psychoanalytic – and in particular Lacanian theory – grounds her practice. Indeed, Lacanian diagnostic architecture organise the five cases but “Ultimately”, Baldwin writes, “The case studies illuminate specific and universal themes of human suffering and how we can attenuate that suffering by speaking”.
George Makari’s interview on the New Books in Psychoanalysis podcast last month in which he discusses his latest work, Soul Machine, is also certainly worth checking out as an introduction to his mammoth new 700-pager. This new work traces the origins and development of the concept of the modern mind, from the debates between Gassendi and Descartes in the sixteenth century to the frontiers of neuroscience today. For anyone who has had the deep pleasure of reading his magisterial and absorbing history of psychoanalysis, Revolution in Mind, this promising new work is a must-have.
A free download is now available of Derek Hook and Stijn Vanheule’s excellent recent paper ‘Revisiting the Master-Signifier, or, Mandela and Repression’ for the journal Frontiers in Psychoanalysis and Neuropsychoanalysis. The article offers some excellent ways to understand the functioning of the master signifier: as a term which anchors or justifies a certain claim or demand; as a circular, tautological retort to an unanswerable question; or as a point-de-capiton, to use Lacan’s description in the Écrits. Hook and Vanheule also highlight how the master signifier is supported by the libidinal element of object a, writing that “The master signifier only obtains its privileged position in discourse because it comes as an answer to this fundamental deadlock; to the fact that “spontaneous” human relations are marked by an overwhelming jouissance we shy away from”. Through the example of how Mandela functions as a master signifier in contemporary South Africa, they conclude by presenting the role of psychoanalysis as being to “dialectize” these master signifiers. The paper can be read in full here.
For those in the market for new Lacanian titles, Karnac Books, specialists in psychoanalytic publishing, is offering a special offer of 15% discount and free worldwide delivery on featured new Lacanian paperbacks during February. Use the code KARNACNEWLAC at the checkout before 16th February when ordering.
The American University of Beirut has made available the four talks it hosted in December on the theme ‘Lacan contra Foucault: Subjectivity, Universalism, Politics’. All are available on YouTube and they comprise talks by Milan Dolar, Nicolae Morar, Robert Meister, and Lorenzo Chiesa.
New English-language recordings to Radio Lacan last month included audio of Pierre-Gille Guéguen’s talk ‘The Body and the Imaginary: The Case of Francis Bacon’ which was took place in London on 21st Jan, hosted by the London Society of the NLS and the MA in Psychoanalysis at Kingston University. As mentioned in last month’s news update the talk was the first seminar in a series entitled ‘The Speaking Body is Today’s Unconscious: Psychoanalysis in the 21st Century’. Also released in English was ‘Echoes of Vienna: An Interview with Avi Rybnicki’ discussing the First Study-Day of the Viennese Psychoanalytic Seminar.
Audio of Dr. Daniel Tutt’s recent presentation on identification to the DC Lacanian Forum was made available on his site last month. Tutt starts from Freud’s Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego and discusses the treatment of identification in the work of Raul Moncayo (from a Lacanian perspective) and Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen (from a non-Lacanian one) respectively.
Launched last month, a new site – the OlIndex – is a project to index Jacques-Alain Miller’s seminar L’Orientation lacanienne which has been running in Paris since 1981. Text of the seminar itself – spanning 30 years – can be found online for free here (in French). OlIndex also hosts extracts of texts from Guy de Villers published in the Belgian review Quarto.
Among the journals, Lacanian Review Online, the newly-launched newsletter affiliated with the New Lacanian School and World Association of Psychoanalysis, published three editions of its online journal in January. The latest and the month’s previous output can be found on its site. They include articles on cultural and contemporary issues related to the Lacanian field by Tom Svolos, Alisdair Duncan, Francois Ansermet & Ariane Giacobino.
A new edition of Lacanian Ink from Lacan.com – number 47, entitled Porno – is due out Spring 2016. Keep an eye on the journal’s Facebook page for more.
Among forthcoming events announced in January, a call for Papers has been issued by the Associated Psychoanalytic Workgroups and Lacan Salon for its upcoming Fourteenth Annual Conference on Love, taking place between 30th July and 1st August in Vancouver. The deadline for proposals is 28th February and the full conference schedule will be announced at the end of May. In the meantime, the preamble for the conference is available on the APW’s site already, and those in or near Vancouver may also be interested in Lacan Salon’s full fixture of talks for the 2016 academic year.
The London Society of the NLS will be hosting two seminars on 20th February. The first will be part of the Society’s Contemporary Lacanian Clinic seminar, in which Diana Caine will be giving a clinical case presentation; and the second will be on the theme of the NLS Congress coming up in Dublin in July, ‘Discreet Signs in Ordinary Psychosis’, with Veronique Voruz and Florencia F. C. Shanahan as speakers.
Bruno de Florence will be giving a free talk at the Institute of Musical Research in London on 10th March, entitled ‘Ignorance is a Passion’, as part of the Iconea seminar series. Full details can be found here.
Registration is now open for Lacanian Compass’s Clinical Study Days coming up in New York City on 18th-20th March. With the theme ‘Must do it!’ the event will look at new forms of demand in subjective experience and features talks by Marie-Hélène Brousse and Pierre-Gilles Guéguen.
Also in New York City, Paola Mieli and Erik Porge will be presenting talks on ‘Sexuality and the Social Link’ and ‘Sublimation’ respectively as part of Après-Coup Psychoanalytic Association’s programme of talks for February. The Association’s Facebook page has more information and links to sign up.
Finally, for French speakers, the transcript of prominent Lacanian Eric Laurent’s commentary on the attacks in Paris and the controversy around events in Cologne on New Year’s Eve should be of interest. The article – an edited version of Laurent’s remarks at a conference in Brest earlier in January – appeared on the École de la Cause freudienne’s blog last month. Titled De la folie de la horde aux triomphes des religions [From the madness of the horde to the triumph of religions], in the wide-ranging piece Laurent engages with Slavoj Zizek’s controversial article for the New Statesman earlier in January on the response to the Cologne assaults.
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