News – November 2020
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Several exciting new books are due to be released before the end of the year. One of the most promising is Alireza Taheri’s Hegelian-Lacanian Variations on Late Modernity: Spectre of Madness, due out 30th December and published by Routledge. Taheri combines Hegelian speculative reason and Lacanian psychoanalysis to argue for how “identities-in-difference” produce the deadlocks that mark our contemporary situation, showing that is only through the “path of despair” (Hegel) that we can hope to achieve “joyful wisdom” (Nietzsche). Taheri is a psychoanalyst in Toronto, teaches at the Toronto Psychoanalytic Institute and Society and the HamAva Psychoanalytic Institute in Tehran, and is the current editor-in-chief of Psychoanalytic Discourse, a marvellous independent international journal for the clinical, theoretical and cultural discussion of psychoanalysis. Its latest edition came out in October and is available online here.
Rosalinda Quintieri’s Dolls, Photography and the Late Lacan: Doubles Beyond the Uncanny is out on 31st December from Routledge. It examines our fascination with simulacra by tracing the anthropological complexity and recent renewed interest in the life-size doll in European and American visual culture. Approaching visual theory through this phenomena, as expressed through its contemporary photographic and cinematic forms, Quintieri explores the hypermodern, post-Oedipal aesthetic through a series of case studies that blur the boundaries between practices such as photography, performance, sculpture, painting, and documentary.
The Resistant Object of Architecture: A Lacanian Perspective by Petra Čeferin will also be published by Routledge on 31st December. The book addresses the problems posed by architecture’s role in “the all-pervasive system of globalised capitalism” and how it has become a “constituent, complicit part of its mechanism.” Beginning with the question ‘what is architecture?’ Čeferin responds by looking at the logic that governs it, and how it works both as an instrumental thinking practice and as a practice of creative thinking. The book draws not only on psychoanalysis but the philosophy of Alain Badiou and, of course, contemporary architectural theory.
Lastly on the schedule for release at the end of December is Rahna McKey Carusi’s Lacan and Critical Feminism: Subjectivity, Sexuation, and Discourse. Carusi approaches Lacan’s fundamental concepts through a critical feminist reading that combines discourse and sexuation theories, exploring a feminist subjectivity within a non-masculine logic.
Looking further ahead to next year, and April has finally be set as the release date for the English translation of Lacan’s Seminar IV, The Object Relation, edited by Jacques-Alain Miller and published by Polity. Adrian Price returns as translator. A Seminar that marks a turning-point in the progression of Lacan’s re-reading of Freud, it presents his thoughts during this period on the Oedipus complex, myth, phobia, and – as the title suggests – the increasingly prominent object relations school. The translation is based on the 1998 Miller-edited French edition, and will be welcomed by English-speaking scholars looking for an alternative to the many other ‘unofficial’ versions of Seminar IV in circulation at present. The most recent alternative translation is provided by the Earl’s Court Collective and is based on the transcript of the original stenographs. The first 8 sessions of the Seminar are available free online here.
On 6th May (Freud’s birthday), Bloomsbury will publish Miguel de Beistegui’s Lacan: A Genealogy. Providing a genealogical account of Lacan’s work from his early writing on paranoia to his later work on the real and surplus enjoyment, Beistegui takes a historical and critical approach inspired by Foucault. Desire is cited as the crucial thread that runs through political economy, psychiatry, and psychopathology to knit the various “discourses of recognition” that shape the current politics of identity.
Lacan and the Environment is a new collection from the Palgrave Lacan Series, announced for release in May next year, bringing together leading and emerging Lacanian scholars’ contributions to the current debates on the environment and climate change. Edited by Clint Burnham and Paul Kingsbury, its contributors will argue that understanding these issues requires “first understanding how our terrifying proximity to the real undergirds our relation to the environment, how we mistake lack for loss and mourning for melancholy, and how we seek to destroy the same world we seek to protect.” Its papers examine topics as diverse as doomsday preppers, forest suicides, indigenous resistance, and the mathematics of climate science. The book grew out of the 2018 LaConference organised by Lacan Salon on psychoanalytic responses to the environment.
Among journals, the tenth edition of The Lacanian Review, ‘Paranoia’, will be released in December. Examining the early formations of Lacan’s work up to the “contemporary pandemic politics of conspiracy”, it includes a new translation of Lacan’s paper on the infamous crimes of the Papin sisters, ‘Motives of Paranoiac Crimes’, and a translation of Jacques-Alain Miller’s Paranoia, A Primary Relation to the Other.
The latest issue of Lacanian Ink, 55/56 on Feminine Jouissance, is out now. Among other articles, Jacques-Alain Miller’s contributions are on ‘Generalised Foreclosure’, ‘A New Covenant with Jouissance’, and ‘Is Feminine Jouissance not Jouissance as Such?’ It is available through Amazon Kindle and can be previewed on Lacan.com.
Turning to events, a virtual reading of the Oedipus story – Oedipus/Kingsley by Robert Beshara, based on Iain Johnston’s English translation of Sophocles’ drama – will take place on 19th December. Prominent Lacanians will read for the various roles. Register for this free event and watch the trailers on YouTube here and here. An interview with screenwriter Robert Beshara is available on YouTube in addition.
Also on 19th December the London Society of the New Lacanian School will be hosting guest speaker Florencia F. C. Shanahan, member of the NLS and recently nominated Analyst of the School, who will give a testimony of her own experience of analysis and the procedure of the pass (Lacan’s innovation in psychoanalytic training designed to mark the end point of an analysis leading to the formation of the analyst). Register for the event (on Zoom) here.
In a year in which the COVID-19 pandemic has affected so many events and gatherings, important institutions like the Freud Museum London have taken a lead in transferring their content online and allowing virtual experiences that open up the possibility of remote access irrespective of geography. Take a virtual tour of the Freud Museum London, and check out its On Demand series of past events with recording access. Upcoming events for 2021 are also listed on this page. Become a Friend of the Museum this Christmas and support its vital work over this difficult period.
Check out the new YouTube channel Unconscious Berlin which promises to offer quality videos on innovative ideas in psychoanalysis. Launched in December, its opening series is on autism, beginning with Dr Leon Brenner asking ‘What is autism today?’. Autism is the subject of Brenner’s new book The Autistic Subject: On the Threshold of Language, which was released by Palgrave earlier this year.
Also on YouTube, check out ‘The Digital Unconscious and Decolonizing Lacan’, a discussion with Lacan Salon President and SFU English Professor Clint Burnham. Speaking to how Lacan’s ideas are taken up in the digital age, Prof Burnham covers Lacanian theories of the unconscious and extimacy, as well as racism, microaggressions, and virtual interactions in a time of pandemic.
The School of the Freudian Letter will be running a webinar on 29th December under the title ‘A few remarks on the ‘Future of an Illusion’, “Science” and Psychoanalysis’ with Petros Patounas, psychoanalyst of the School. As well as a response to Freud’s 1927 text, Patounas will discuss the operation of Science around the ‘mind’ in professions such as psychology and psychiatry, and psychoanalysis. More information and a link to join here.
Finally, exciting new research presenting a Lacanian view of fatigue comes thanks to Dr Amanda Diserholt in the form of her PhD thesis, ‘Fatigue and the Mind-Body Relation: A Lacanian Exploration’, which is now available online. Check it out here.
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