• The death of psychoanalyst Thomas Szasz was announced in September. Szasz is best known for being at the forefront of the anti-psychiatry movement, most notably with 1961’s The Myth of Mental Illness. Lacan refers to Szasz’s work several times in Seminar X (sessions of 30th January 1963 and 27th February 1963) and Seminar XI (sessions of 15th, 22nd and 29th April 1964). In comparison to what Lacan has to say about some of his other comtemporaries, he is very complimentary to Szasz. In Seminar XI Lacan calls him “no mediocre mind” and refers to his article ‘The Concept of Transference’, which appeared in the International Journal of Psychoanalysis in 1963, as “a truly moving search for the authenticity of the analytic way”. Although Lacan goes on to criticise Szasz for his view that the transference is a defence on the part of the analyst, it is rare for Lacan to comment on other analysts by name without having some level of respect for them. Lacanians may also be interested to know that Szasz was one of the few contemporaries of Lacan in approaching the question of ethics in psychoanalysis. Szasz’s The Ethics of Psychoanalysis was first published in 1965, five years after Lacan’s Seminar with the same title, but Szasz had been writing about ethics in the psychotherapies since 1958 and his bibliography lists 22 works with ‘Ethics’ in the title. Here is a measured and even-handed obituary by Anthony Stadlen, and another on Szasz’s own site here. If you want to see more of Szasz, here he is in full form discussing psychiatry as a pseudo-science. Thanks to jennyphotos.com for the image of Szasz above.


Upcoming Events


  • The Alliance for Counselling and Psychotherapy will be holding a conference in London on 2nd December on the future of the talking therapies. All the details can be found on the Alliance’s site here.  A previous Alliance conference took place in 2009 rallying for principled non-compliance with the Health Professions Council (the body which the UK government proposed be the regulator for psychotherapy). You can find some videos from that conference on their site here


  • Following on from this year’s New Lacanian School Congress in Tel Aviv examining the symbolic order in the 21st century, the XIth NLS Congress takes place in Athens next May with its subject as contemporary psychosis – ‘The Psychotic Subject in the Geek Era – Typicality and Symptomatic Inventions’. NLS President Dominique Holvoet has put together a summary of the topic (proposed at the end of the last Congress by Eric Laurent) which you can read here, and an accompanying bibliography here. A transcript of Laurent’s presentation of the theme from this year’s Congress – ‘Psychosis, or Radical Belief in the Symptom’ – is here. Another of Laurent’s recent papers dealing with this topic, ‘Psychoanalytic Treatment of the Psychoses’, can also be found here


  • In preparation for the Athens Congress, the London Society of the New Lacanian School is concentrating its Seminar programme of 2012-2013 on psychosis or, more precisely, ‘What is it that we call psychosis today?’ The full programme is available here and runs until 15th June 2013.


  • ‘What Lacan Knew About Women’ is the title of the Miami Symposium taking place in Florida in May and June 2013. It coincides with the release of a new journal, ‘Culture/Clinic’, published by University of Minnesota Press. You can now register to attend on the website here.


  • A London-based reading group organised by Julia Evans and Bruno de Florence is tackling Lacan’s Seminar VII, The Ethics of Psychoanalysis. Meeting dates and locations are available here. The group is open to all but if you are not able to attend minutes from the meetings can be found here.


  • Michael J Miller, author of one of the best Lacanian clinical texts of last year, Lacanian Psychotherapy, has just announced a talk in Toronto in April 2013. More information and how to register is here.


  • Philip Hill, Lacanian psychoanalyst and author of Lacan for Beginniners will be leading a workshop on ‘Working with Psychosis’ scheduled for 20th April next year in London. Here’s the link for more information and to book your place.


  • call for papers has gone out for a conference entitled ‘Re-working Lacan at Work’ to be held in Paris in June next year at the ESCP. Geneviève Morel and Dany Nobus are confirmed speakers so far.


  • The ICLO-NLS is also currently putting on a series of ‘Returning to Freud’ seminars on Friday evenings at St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin until April 2013. More info in their flyer here.


Previous Events


  • If you weren’t able to attend it in person (it sold out quickly) Alison Bancroft’s talk on Fashion and Psychoanalysis at the Freud Museum from September is now available on iTunes. You can also read the transcript here or get her book, Fashion and Psychoanalysis – Styling the Self, at Amazon here.


  • The Irish Circle of the Lacanian Orientation often puts together reports summarising its previous events. In October, the organisation hosted a seminar on Lacan and the arts under the title ‘Literature and Psychoanalysis in Dialogue’. You can read this, and other reports, on its site here.



  • Volume 25 of Psychoanalytical Notebooks, the journal of the London Society of the New Lacanian School, is now available here. It tackles the subject of autism and is one of the first publications in English that brings together what French-speaking psychoanalysts have contributed to a debate that has raged over the past year on the other side of the Channel. There is also a small collection of papers in this volume dealing with the Pass.


  • Every month more and more literature that was previously only available in print is added to the web and made accessible for free. If you’re interested in Lacan’s mirror stage theory, you may want to check out Gregory B. Sadler’s paper ‘Situating Lacan’s Mirror Stage in the Symbolic Order’ from the Journal of Philosophy, here.


  • A couple of good articles by Jacques-Alain Miller have appeared in the last couple of months. Here are links to ‘Did you say bizarre?’ , originally presented in New York in 1999, and ‘The Axiom of the Fantasm’. The latter is a good example of what Miller excels at – rendering complex Lacanian ideas crystal clear for the reader struggling to get their head around Lacan’s multiple pronouncements on any given aspect of psychoanalytic theory. 


  • The Association for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy in Ireland (APPI) has put a couple of articles from its journal, Lacunae, online to access for free (link here). Of particular interest is Pierre-Gilles Guéguen’s contribution ‘The Plunge of the Symptom in Hypermodernity’.


  • French Lacanian psychoanalyst Francesca Biagi-Chai’s book Le Cas Landru has been translated into English by Véronique Voruz and Phillip Dravers under the title Serial Killers – Psychiatry, Criminology, Responsibility. Get it from the publisher here or from Amazon here


  • Issue 8 of Hurly Burly, the International Lacanian Journal of Psychoanalysis, was released at the end of October. More details and a link to buy (from the ECF’s French site) here.


  • Lacanian Ink number 40, on the body, is also now available. You can buy it from Amazon or check out the contents at Lacan.com.


  • Lastly, Luca Bosetti’s 2010 PhD thesis ‘Lacan’s Ethics of Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Life’ is here. In particular, the chapter on The Ethics of Addiction (p.316) is well worth checking out.


For French Speakers


  • French speakers can check out the archives of the daily Lacanian news service, Lacan Quotidien, here. The service took a break for a couple of months during the summer but is now up and running again. Amongst the highlights from recent editions is Liliana Mauas’ article ‘Un Désordre Croissant de la Sexuation’, written against the backdrop of the current debate in France over the legalisation of gay marriage and its effect on the symbolic institution of the family.


  • French speakers might also like to check out France Inter’s Journée Freud, an entire day of broadcasts on devoted to Freud, which took place on 9th November. A link to listen again (in French, of course) is here.