News – January 2022
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Beginning with the latest books, the much-anticipated third volume of the Reading Lacan’s Écrits series has just been published by Routledge. Reading Lacan’s Écrits: From ‘Logical Time’ to ‘Response to Jean Hyppolite provides paragraph-by-paragraph commentaries on some of the most famous papers from Écrits, including in this volume ‘The Function and Field of Speech and Language in Psychoanalysis’, often seen as Lacan’s manifesto of the Return to Freud period. Bernard Burgoyne, Marc De Kesel, and Russell Grigg are among the contributors under the editorship of Derek Hook, Calum Neill, and Stijn Vanheule. It is available to order at a 20% discount from the publishers using the link above, or from Amazon.
The Image of a Voice: The Mirror Stage of Jacques Lacan by Angelos Tsialides was released at the start of the year. Drawing on examples from everyday life, popular stories, mythology and psychoanalytic cases, Tsialides explores many of the nuances of Lacan’s theory of the image – transitivism, inversion, beauty, immortality and death among others – that rarely get detailed treatment. The book is richly and thoughtfully illustrated by Stella Violari, thanks to which it succeeds in illustrating Lacan’s theory both metaphorically and literally. Tsialides is a Lacanian psychoanalyst, member of the School of the Freudian Letter UK and founding member of the Cyprus Society of the SFL.
Daniel Tutt’s Psychoanalysis and the Politics of the Family: The Crisis of Initiation is the latest from the Palgrave Lacan series and was released in mid-February. Aiming to resituate how models of liberation and emancipation are theorised in relation to the family, it uses Lacan’s rereading of the Oedipus complex together with the work of the American historian and psychoanalytic thinker Christopher Lasch, French social scientist René Girard, and various others to consider the political and theoretical implications of debates on the family over the past 40 years.
Feng Dong’s Desire and Infinity in W.S. Merwin’s Poetry was released at the end of 2021. Drawing on Lacan for his study of the work of the former US Poet Laureate, Dong positions Merwin at the intersection of contemporary poetics, philosophy, and psychoanalysis. Also appealing to Levinas and Heidegger among others, the book argues for how “Poetry carries with it a phantasmal inner force that constantly breaches its own form.”
In French, Jacques-Alain Miller’s Comment finissent les analyses [How Analyses Finish] has just been published and is available from the ECF store for international shipping. Presenting Lacan’s view as one in which analyses can be terminable rather than interminable, Miller presents the end of analysis as a “conclusion of a logical order” in the context of the ‘pass’, rather than simply the result of a mutual agreement between analyst and analysand, or a “weary abandonment” in place of an ending.
Turning to the journals, the London Society of the NLS has just published Psychoanalytical Notebooks 37/38: The Other, the One. A double issue, it features two lectures from Jacques-Alain Miller’s last Seminar, Being and the One, from 2011. Other articles focus on the psychoanalytic clinic beyond the ‘binary’, and the ‘Pass and the School’.
The Lacan Circle of Australia has just launched Volume 5 of its journal, PsychoanalysisLacan, titled ‘Lockdown!‘ With an Editorial Introduction by Jonathan Redmond in memory of Francois Sauvagnat, it contains the latter’s paper on ordinary psychosis and elementary phenomena, as well as a response by David Ferraro to John Dall’Aglio on the prospect of a Lacanian neuropsychoanalysis.
The latest edition of the European Journal of Psychoanalysis is on ‘Lacan & the Americans’ and features a great paper by Darian Leader which turns the tables on the widely-held assumption that Lacan owes little to the contemporary American analysts of his time, and that his engagement is merely a critique of the ego psychology tradition that evolved there in the post-war years. The article was initially invited by the French journal Essaim, and then rejected by its editorial committee, with its response to Leader’s submission published in this edition of the European Journal (scroll down for English translation). Leader’s subsequent reply to the editorial committee is also published therein.
The Guild of Psychotherapists is organising an exciting series of seminars on ‘Decolonising Psychoanalysis’, with Gautam Basu Thakur in discussion with Sharon Numa on Saturday 23rd April on ‘Occupying Psychoanalysis in a Post-Colonial World: Fanon’s ‘zone of nonbeing’ and the subject of racism.’ Thakur is the author of Postcolonial Lack: Identity, Culture, Surplus, which opens a dialogue between Lacanian psychoanalysis and postcolonial theory, and co-editor of 2020’s Reading Lacan’s Seminar VIII: Transference and 2018’s Lacan and the Nonhuman. Organised by the Race and Culture Committee of the Guild of Psychotherapists, the series is intended to open up conversations about psychoanalysis by initiating transatlantic dialogues between academics and psychotherapists, bringing clinical responses to their academic decolonial work.
More details have been released of the 2022 Lacan: Clinic & Culture conference, scheduled for 14th-16th October at Duquesne University, Pittsburgh. An impressive list of keynote speakers has been lined up to discuss topics at the intersection of the cultural field and clinical practice. Questions of psychosis, trauma, and the body are critical sites of dialogue in clinical work, while race, politics, sexuality, and institutionalised mental health treatment are at the forefront of cultural issues. A series of seminars and workshops which revisit, critique, and apply key Lacanian concepts are also planned. A Call for Papers is open till 1st May. The Saturday evening of the conference will feature a panel, with Bruce Fink celebrating the 25th anniversary of his A Clinical Introduction to Lacanian Psychoanalysis. This will be followed by a book launch party where several new texts on Lacan will be introduced by their authors/editors, and a conference celebration.
The Lacan Circle of Australia has begun its calendar events for 2022. These include a seminar series on ‘The Real Lacan’ starting 12th March presented by Russell Grigg over 10 weekly sessions, and Jonathan Redmond’s ‘Introduction to Lacan: Return to Freud’ beginning 10th March. These seminars are available in person in Melbourne, Australia or by Zoom from anywhere, and all sessions are recorded. A reading group for Lacan’s Seminar IV is open to all and meets every Wednesday by Zoom only.
Sergio Benvenuto will be discussing his latest book, Conversations with Lacan: Seven Lectures for Understanding Lacan, with Prof Dany Nobus on 16th March in an online talk from the Freud Museum London. Benvenuto is a psychoanalyst in Rome and Editor of the European Journal of Psychoanalysis. His book is available here.
The World Association of Psychoanalysis’ 2022 Great Online International Conversation, hosted from Paris 31st March-3rd April, will be a big fixture for many Lacanians. Registration is now open, the schedule published, Arguments for the theme (‘Woman does not exist’) are now available together with various bibliographic fragments. You can stay up to date with more news on the event by joining its mailing list. A new edition of the journal Scilicet promises to be published in advance, and a copy will be sent to every registered member. It will bring together the contributions of 110 analysts from around the world, 88 of whom worked within cartels on 22 themes related to Lacan’s proposition that ‘Woman does not exist’.
The NLS Congress 2022, on ‘Fixation & Repetition’, has been announced to take place on 2nd-3rd July 2022. The Argument for the Congress, written by Alexandre Stevens, is now published online and available in a video presentation on YouTube. The Congress blog will also be coming shortly, as will a link to register.
On YouTube, Darian Leader talks to Philip Lance on the New Books Network about his latest book, Jouissance. Leader has also recently published a short digital pamphlet on the Little Hans case, based on a series of lectures he gave at CFAR last year. Rereading Little Hans can be purchased on the CFAR site. Also on YouTube, and on podcast, Clint Burnham, Paul Kingsbury, Alessandra Capperdoni, and Calum Matheson discuss their respective contributions to their new book, Lacan & the Environment – published by Palgrave last year – with Vanessa Sinclair whose Rendering Unconscious podcast is now in its fifth year.
Recording is now available, thanks to Radio Lacan, of Elisa Alvarenga’s talk for Lacanian Compass on 28th November last year titled ‘The Real is the Mystery of the Speaking Body’. The talk was preparatory for the Clinical Study Days 14 in Miami on ‘What Real at Stake?’, which took place 4th-6th February this year.
Finally, the winners of the 2021 Gradiva Awards were announced last month. Granted by the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis, the Gradiva Awards honour work that represents and promotes psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. Among this year’s winners were Mark Solms for The Hidden Spring: A Journey to the Source of Consciousness. Previous winners include Patricia Gherovici & Christopher Christian for Psychoanalysis in the Barrios: Race, Class, and the Unconscious in 2020, and George Makari for the outstanding Revolution in Mind in 2009. A full list of nominees for 2021 is on the site (thank you to the judges for the Best Documentary nomination for this).
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