News – March 2017
The XIth Congress of the World Association of Psychoanalysis, taking place in Barcelona 2nd-6th April 2018, now has its own site at newly-launched site at https://congresoamp2018.com/en/. The Argument for its theme ‘The Ordinary Psychoses and the Others Under Transference’ was published last month, written by Anna Aromi and Xavier Esqué. It is in itself an excellent summary of the debate that has been going on since Lacan’s late work in the mid-1970s changed entirely the theorisation of the psychoanalytic clinic. To explain this history – in the classical Lacanian clinic before this time the Name-of-the-Father was considered the lynchpin of the symbolic order and able to limit the ‘real’ of jouissance through the establishment of a group of solutions that were collectively considered under the heading of neurosis. Apart from this were those individuals not able to institute the Name-of-the-Father and, by extension, the means to produce such a solution. These were collected under the heading of psychosis. Thus was established the binary clinic that Lacan operated in until the mid-1970s. At this point, Lacan recognised that the job done by this operator of the Name-of-the-Father had become – if not undermined – at least operationally broadened. What mattered was not so much the Name-of-the-Father itself but the solution the subject was able to put in place through whatever other means, as this solution would have the same effect in modulating the real of jouissance. From this realisation grew the clinic of the sinthome in the mid-1970s, with topographical models and knot theory used by Lacan to account for how it might work. Joyce’s synthesising of his life, work, and name were taken as the paradigmatic example of this kind of alternative, ‘self-made’ solution that a subject could invent to construct particular reality without the need for recourse to the classical Oedipal parameters of paternal injunction and prohibition. Since this time, and after Lacan’s death, there has been a gradual increase in attention to the category of the real in the Lacanian clinic. Next year’s Congress marks the 20th anniversary of one of the major turning points in that post-Lacan history, which has been debated in Lacanian schools ever since – the introduction of the term ‘ordinary psychosis’ by Jacques-Alain Miller in 1998. Miller revisited this concept in 2009, but the practical, clinical use of this concept of ‘ordinary psychosis’ still introduces a number of problems for Lacanian practitioners. What challenge does ‘ordinary psychosis’ present to the classical binary clinic of neurosis/psychosis if it is a psychotic structure nonetheless rather than – as Miller himself insists – a new clinical category? Do the clinical problems it seeks to answer (increased complaints of anxiety states, for example) justify a conceptual reconfiguration, or are these problems closer to the old Freudian ‘actual’ neuroses? How can ‘ordinary psychosis’ avoid being a dumping ground for new forms of complaints that are not understood? The Argument of the Congress traces this history, states some of the bold pronouncements it could imply – “There is only the generalised clinic of the sinthome”, for example – and in the context of this problem announces the task of the Congress of “making this tension fruitful”. Read the full Argument on the Congress’s site here.
A continued flow of new books announced within the last month for publication later in 2017 starts with Patricia Gherovici’s Transgender Psychoanalysis: A Lacanian Perspective on Sexual Difference, which will be published by Routledge in June. Alenka Zupančič’s What IS Sex? follows in August in the US and September in the UK. Then in October three new books hit the shelves: Derek Hook’s Six Moments in Lacan; Éric Smadja’s The Oedipus Complex: Focus of the Psychoanalysis-Anthropology Dispute; and Angie Voela’s Psychoanalysis, Philosophy and Myth in Contemporary Culture: After Oedipus. Of course, the perennial Zizek makes its appearance in late September in the form of The Incontinence of the Void, a collection of musings on the interface between political economy and philosophy with a Lacanian flavour.
Among the events, a recording of last month’s Freud Museum event, with Raul Moncayo in conversation with Dany Nobus on Lacan’s Seminar XXIII on the Sinthome, is now available. It coincides with the recent publication of Moncayo’s Lalangue, Sinthome, Jouissance, and Nomination. If you don’t have time to listen to the recording itself, Richard G. Klein of Freud2Lacan.com has helpfully transcribed the recording, which can be read here.
CFAR, in association with Bristol University, is convening four public seminars on Lacan’s Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, the next on 10th June, with Darian Leader discussing Repetition. A talk on the Drive will follow on 1st July. No prior knowledge of Lacan is assumed and seminars will include clinical examples. Further details available on this flyer.
For those in the US, the Chicago Philosophy Meetup will be following Lacan’s Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis itself in its series of twenty classes exploring Seminar XI (currently up to the seventh). More details on Meetup here.
In New York, Analytica will be hosting a seminar on ‘The Late Lacan – TRANS: Sex, Gender, & Desire’ on 24th April, looking at Seminar XX alongside works that followed it from Guattari, Millot, Irigaray, Ettinger, and Foque. Full details and a link to book are here. Check out Analytica’s YouTube channel as well for videos of previous events.
A two-day conference on ‘Lalangue and the Intersections of Politics, Law and Desire’ will take place in London on 25th and 26th April. The event features a diverse range of Lacanian thinkers and those inspired by Lacan, including Jean-Claude Milner, Professor Emeritus of Linguistics at the Université de Paris-VII. More details on the Eventbrite page here.
Lacanian Compass relaunched its site last month, after bringing the New York Freud Lacan Analytic Group (NYFLAG) into its fold and retiring the latter name in favour of a single organisation representing the Lacanian orientation in the US. Lacanian Compass runs weekly seminars, the annual conference series Clinical Study Days (CSD), virtual seminars, the LC Express journal, and cartels. Its activities are presented in coordination with the World Association of Psychoanalysis (WAP) and the New Lacanian School.
Ten sessions of Lutecium’s Webex lecture series from 2011 and 2012, presented by Jacques B. Siboni, Jeanne Lafont and John Gasperoni, are now available on the group’s site in two parts here and here. For French speakers, the group’s Clinical Topology Workshops are also available to watch here.
Also for French speakers, L’Hebdo Blog, the publication of l’Ecole de la Cause freudienne, celebrated its 100th edition at the end of March. Recent contributions marking the anniversary include those from Jacques-Alain Miller, Eric Laurent, and Christiane Alberti.
Finally, a last call to register for this year’s NLS Congress in Paris, 29th-30th April, on the theme ‘About the Unconscious’. A party on the Seine will take place on the evening of the first day. Register on the Congress’s site by 14th April.
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