News – December 2014
Polity Books, publishers of the new translations of Lacan’s Seminar in English, last month released details on its site of the forthcoming release of Seminar VIII on transference. The release date is listed as September 2015 and a table of contents is available on the holding page here. Polity released Lacan’s Seminar X on anxiety, translated by Adrian Price, last year.
An excellent new paper by Price for Lacanian Compass on Lacan’s work in ‘Joyce le symptôme’ and Seminar XXIII was published in December. With ‘In the Nebohood of Joyce and Lacan’, he gives a detailed examination of how Lacan presented his ideas in these two late works, and how they fit with his use of topology and topological models such as the Borromean knot at this time. In particular, Price argues for why the Borromean ‘knot’ is a misnomer, why Joyce’s father-son allusions are red herrings, and why Joyce is not to be read as the clinical paradigm of ‘successful’ psychosis as some Lacanian commentators present it to be. Read the paper online here.
Lacanian Compass also published the text of an address entitled ‘Failed Encounters with the Real’ given by Neus Carbonell of the Escuela Lacaniana de Psicoanálisis in September. ‘Encounters with the Real’ is also the title of the Clinical Study Days organised by Lacanian Compass which take place in Miami later this month. In her short but punchy paper, Carbonell presents the idea that the fantasy is the subject’s response to his or her first encounter with the real, a repetition of jouissance following something which is impossible to grasp. This then becomes fixed into a symptom which itself conceals the fantasy. It is the subject’s assumption of this fantasy – described by Carbonell as a “responsibility” – which makes a trauma traumatic. Jouissance is described as “the style of enjoying of the subject”, and using a clinical vignette Carbonell shows how the task for the subject is to be able to enjoy this style rather than suffer from it. This would constitute, according to her, a good form of a failed encounter with the real. Read the paper in full here.
Lacan Salon, a psychoanalytic study group based in Vancouver, Canada, has released a call for papers for its 2015 LaConference taking place on 14th-15th May. The theme of the conference will be ‘A Century of the Drive’, with the keynote speaker being Dr. Anne Dufourmantelle of the European Graduate School. The full schedule will be announced at the end of February and details of how to submit abstracts for proposals are available here.
The Australian Centre for Psychoanalysis, in association with the Melbourne Forum of the International Forums of the Lacanian Field, has announced it will be holding an International Lacan Seminar on 20th-22nd March. Conducted by Dr José Monseny and Ana Martínez Westerhausen, the full programme and bibliography is presented on the group’s site here.
The Centre for Freudian Analysis and Research in London has published the timetable of its next term of public seminars, starting on Saturday 10th January and running through 21st March. This term there is a particular focus on the perspectives of the first and second generation of psychoanalysts other than Lacan, including Franz Alexander, Sandor Ferenczi, Donald Winnicott and Melanie Klein. The full timetable is available on the Centre’s site.
Similarly, the Freud Museum in London has announced a ‘Psychoanalysis After Freud’ course for 2015, including Lacan, the details of which can be found here.
AGIP, the Association for Group and Individual Psychotherapy, is hosting the first in a series of Jung-Lacan dialogues in London on 28th March with the aim of “fostering an engagement between two of the most important and creative schools of psychoanalysis”. ‘Jung and Lacan: Philosophically Incompatible?’ is a conversation between Lacanian psychoanalyst and author of Lacan for Beginners and Using Lacanian Clinical Technique: An Introduction, Philip Hill; and Jungian analyst David Henderson. It will be chaired by Corinna Arndt. The event is free for anyone registering before 10th March.
The New Lacanian School’s Congress 2015 has launched its blog for the event, which takes place in Geneva in May: http://www.nlscongress.org/. New content is being added frequently, including an archive of texts preparatory to the Congress on its theme, Moments of Crisis. These include NLS President Yves Vanderveken’s recent presentations in Tel Aviv and Athens. Details of how to register are also on the site.
As mentioned in last month’s news round-up, the team from the MA in Psychoanalysis at Kingston University will on 22nd January host a debate titled ‘Psychoanalysis and the Cognitive Sciences’ between former President of the World Association of Psychoanalysis Eric Laurent and Catherine Malabou, Professor of Modern European Philosophy at Kingston. The event now has a date and location in London: Central St Martin’s, The Granary Building, St Pancras, on 22nd January from 6pm-8pm. Admission is free. Register here. Look out for a podcast of the talk shortly after for those unable to make it in person.
In 2004 a French language collection called The Black Book of Psychoanalysis was published featuring arguments against psychoanalytic practice from forty different authors. It was followed shortly after by a rebuttal in the form of The Anti-Black Book of Psychoanalysis, edited by Jacques-Alain Miller and featuring a large number of contributions from leading Lacanian analysts. In large part, the book focused on countering the rise of CBT and challenging its perception as more effective alternative to psychoanalytic psychotherapy. In this context, an article last month by Luc Miller for Lacan Quotidien drew attention to the recent congressional report in the US that the techniques used on detainees by the United States armed forces in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib constituted torture. The congressional report found that US interrogators employed so-called BSCTs – Behavioral Science Consultation Teams – in both Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib to help develop and implement ‘enhanced interrogation’ programmes for prisoners. For Miller, this is enough to fill a ‘black book’ of behaviourism. In November, the American Psychological Association announced that it was going to conduct an independent review into whether it colluded with or supported the US government’s use of torture methods in these institutions. This however was after it had, in January 2014, refused to condemn its members who had been accused of doing so, and in 2002 amending its ethical guidelines to give cover for those participating in such programmes. As Miller’s article is in French, a summary of the handling of these cases by the APA can be found in this New York Times article, which Miller references in his text.
Finally, for French speakers there are two new journal publications released in December that will be of interest. The first is the online journal of Le Courtil, the institution in Belgium that works with autistic young people and which is the subject of the excellent documentary by Mariana Otero, À ciel ouvert (English subtitles available). The second is latest edition of the Belgian publication Quatro, looking in particular at ‘Making a couple’, and which features a number of contributions from prominent continental Lacanians.
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