News – October 2014
Mariana Otero’s 2013 documentary, À ciel ouvert (Like An Open Sky), looked at the work of Le Courtil, the medical institution in Belgium that caters for children in social or mental hardship which has become well-known in Lacanian circles for its treatment of autistic children using psychoanalytic ideas. The film now has a companion book – Like an Open Sky (À Ciel Ouvert), Interviews: Le Courtil, Invention from Day to Day – published in English in October, with A.R. Price as translator. Where the film “followed the path of a few children who have a radically different relationship with themselves, with their body, and with others”, as Otero explains, the book is composed of interviews with practitioners at the centre, including its four Lacanian founders: Alexandre Stevens, Dominique Holvoet, Bernard Seynhaeve, and Véronique Mariage. The documentary itself is available in French with English subtitles here.
Video of Eric Laurent’s talk in Dublin in September has been uploaded by its hosts, The Irish Circle of the Lacanian Orientation, part of the NLS. His presentation was entitled ‘Psychoanalysis and the Cognitive Paradigm’ and promotes the English translation of his book Lost in Cognition. In his talk he traces the emergence of cognitivism as a paradigm – from cybernetics to artificial intelligence, to neuroscience and evolutionary psychology, culminating in the DSM project. Contrary to the approach of cognitive therapies – which Laurent derides as “a clinic of logical positivist interpretation” because of their attempt to address complex problems through behavioural modifications – the psychoanalytic approach is a “clinic of the subject”. But in the conclusion to his talk Laurent detects a wider battle today between two conflicting paradigms. On the one hand, the so-called ‘evidence-based’ models favoured by bureaucracies like the state and large private companies which attempt to “reduce any individual to large patterns of behaviour in large statistical series”. On the other, a model of personalised medicine – where Google, with its accumulation of personal data on an individual’s lifestyle and biology, is the best representative – which can be reduced to a computing model. Psychoanalysis stands opposed to both of these, he adds, because neither take account of the experience of subjectivity. “The cognitive paradigm tries to silence the body, reduced to its cognitive dimension. Even if this process is qualified as emotional, Lacan proposed for psychoanalysis another way… which he called beyond the unconscious the speaking body, or the parle-être. It is for psychoanalysis to follow-up on this path.” Watch the talk in full here.
The Freud Museum has made available a podcast of Colette Soler’s talk delivered there this May to promote the English translation of her book, Lacan: The Unconscious Reinvented. Listen to it, and other Freud Museum talks, here.
Lacanian Compass’s annual Clinical Study Days event, which was announced last month to take place in Miami Beach, Florida next January, has put out a call for papers. The theme for 2015 is ‘Encounters with the Real’ and the deadline for submissions is 17th November. Email them to this address. Registration for the event is available on the site here.
Working towards the NLS Congress in May 2015 on the theme ‘Moments of Crisis’, the various branches of the School are holding events discussing this theme. Amongst them, the London Society will host a seminar with Natalie Wulfing and Gabriela van den Hoven on Saturday 29th November entitled ‘Going Through a Crisis: Times Before, During and After a Crisis in Analysis’. Full details here.
A video of a discussion between Jacques Siboni and John Gasperoni, providing an introduction to a series of lectures which will be hosted by the Global Center for Advanced Studies, is now available on YouTube. Amongst other things they discuss problems of the transmission of psychoanalysis in the context of the university and ‘late capitalism’.
Christos Tombras was one of the speaker’s at CFAR’s annual conference in July this year, entitled ‘Sexuality: Phantasy, Discourse and Practice’. He has published an edited transcript of his talk on his blog, which you can read here.
Lacanian psychoanalysis and rock ‘n’ roll are two things that do not usually mix, but in Paris on 8th November they will come together in an event at the Gaité Lyrique hosted by École pratique des hautes études en psychopathologies (EPHEP) and the publishers Editions Odile Jacob. The latter published Manuella Rebotini’s book Totem et Tambour (Totem and Drum, a pun on Freud’s Totem and Taboo) in 2013, which traced the history of rock ‘n’ roll through psychoanalytic reflections. Full details of the event are on the venue’s site here.
The School of the Freudian Letter is hosting a free seminar in London on Saturday 15th November as part of its series The Ascesis of Psychoanalysts. Petros Patounas of the Cyprus Society of the School of the Freudian Letter will be speaking with Richard Klein on ‘Desire and its Constr(a)ction’. Further details on the group’s Facebook page here.
Russell Grigg, translator of a number of Lacan’s Seminars, will be giving a public lecture in London on Wednesday 26th November entitled ‘Why Freud’s Theory of Melancholia is All Wrong’. Full details of the event, hosted by the London Graduate School, are on its site here.
Finally, for French speakers, the École de la Cause freudienne opens its 44th Journées in Paris on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th November under the title Être mère, Being a Mother. The conference will look at “fantasies of maternity in psychoanalysis” from angles such as the demand and desire of the infant, maternal language, the mother’s different partners, and the body in maternity. The full description for the event is available here and a link to register is on the ECF’s site here.
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