News – December 2022
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Beginning with new texts, and news of an exciting new translation of Lacan’s Seminar IX, Identification, which has just been completed by Ben Hooson and is available on his site via the link above. Translated into English from the original French typescripts and the version by Michel Roussan, it will give scholars and clinicians access to a fresh presentation of Lacan’s teaching at Sainte Anne psychiatric hospital during the 1961-1962 academic term. It was in this Seminar that Lacan talked extensively of the many topological models for which his later thinking has since become famous. An excellent preface explains the sources Hooson has used, and the text is helpfully hyperlinked to the various sources Lacan himself cited, which are nearly all in open access. The diagrams and images (ranging from Chinese calligraphy to prehistoric cave markings, alongside the more familiar toric sketches) are also much clearer here than in other versions. It is an excellent piece of work and a great new resource for those interested in studying Lacan’s teaching closely.
Lacan on Depression and Melancholia, edited by Derek Hook and Stijn Vanheule has just been published by Routledge. Featuring contributions on clinical and theoretical themes – from manic-depressive psychosis and the transference, to the ethics of the well-spoken and moralism in public health systems – it examines how the different understandings of depression can be taken apart and reconsidered to aid psychoanalytic work with depression and melancholia.
Returning to Lacan’s Seminar XVII is a new collection edited by Roger Litten and Colin Wright which presents a reading of Lacan’s 1969-70 Seminar on ‘The Other Side of Psychoanalysis’. It is the work of 12 members of the New Lacanian School who consider each of the sessions of the Seminar “not in social, cultural, or political history, but in the living clinic of the present with which analytic practice is necessarily involved.”
The Resistant Object of Architecture: A Lacanian Perspective by Petra Čeferin is out now in paperback and is the latest in an emerging literature considering Lacan’s work in relation to architecture and the build environment (Reading Architecture with Freud and Lacan: Shadowing the Public Realm by Lorens Holm was published by Routledge last September, and the work of academics like Don Kunze in papers like this and this is part of this burgeoning research area). Čeferin’s book addresses the problem of how architecture has become constituent and complicit in serving globalised capitalism, and argues instead for the “immanent structural logic of architecture that enables it to work not only as an instrumental thinking practice, but as a practice of creative thinking.”
James Penney’s Genet, Lacan and the Ontology of Incompletion will be published by Bloomsbury towards the end of January. The book endeavours to highlight the similarities between the poet and the analyst’s perspectives on the inherently enigmatic nature of representation, arguing that they both share an ontological view of the fragility, incompleteness and prematurity of signification.
As heralded last month, Psychoanalysis and the New Rhetoric by Daniel Adelman and Chris Vanderwees was published by Routledge at the end of 2022. It is an interdisciplinary work that examines the relationship between psychoanalysis and rhetoric. Exploring the influence of Lacanian psychoanalysis on Kenneth Burke’s “new rhetoric,” it investigates the rhetorical dimensions of psychoanalytic concepts such as transference, free association, and listening.
Duchamp Looked At (From the Other Side) – Duchamp With (and Against) Lacan by Eric Alliez and Jean-Claude Bonne is a detailed examination of the motivations and precise coordinates of Duchamp’s move away from painting and into the field of the linguistic sign. The book argues that Duchamp subverted the aesthetic regime by cutting painting off from the plastic arts through a reversal of Bergson’s in-the-making, using readymades as a literalised signifier of this perspective. Alliez and Bonne offer a new account of the relationship between contemporary art and the connections Duchamp fabricated between image and idea, science and art, painting and language. It also analyzes Duchamp’s entire oeuvre, including his Nudes, Large Glass, Étant donnés, and installations such as 1200 Sacks of Coal and Miles of String.
Lacan and Chan Buddhist Thought by Raul Moncayo and Yang Yu was published by Routledge last month and examines how Lacan’s later teachings draw on concepts from Chan Buddhist philosophy, culture, and practice. The book emerged from the three co-authors’ engagement with Lacan’s 1962-1963 Seminar on Anxiety, and in particular, Lacan’s interpretation of the Buddhist principle that desire is the cause of suffering. It examines key Lacanian concepts, such as the object a, jouissance, the real, Nirvana, and the mirror, through ancient Buddhist teachings and koans. The authors offer a cross-cultural approach to the theory and practice of psychoanalysis in Asian countries so this study will be valuable for those interested in Lacan, religion, the relationship between Asian and Western thought, and Mahayana Buddhism.
For French speakers, Francis Marten’s Lacan pris au mot: Les fureurs de Bonneval ou Laplanche maudit par son maître asks whether psychoanalysis is too serious a business to be left to psychoanalysts. Written as a result of an “insistent request” made to Marten by Lacan in June 1973, this essay attempts to distinguish hypnotic phenomena from the progress of a psychoanalysis, in the context of the debate between Lacan and his one-time pupil Jean Laplanche – the “true craftsman” of the ‘Return to Freud’, as Martens claims.
Among journals, a Call for Papers has been issued for a special issue of Psychoanalytische Perspectieven on religion and Freudian/Lacanian psychoanalysis, following a successful panel on religion and Freudian/Lacanian psychoanalysis at the Lacan: Clinic & Culture conference in Pittsburgh in 2022. The deadline for submission is 31 March 2023. Psychoanalytische Perspectieven (PP) is an international and blind peer-reviewed journal, quarterly published in Dutch, French, German, and English by the Department of Psychoanalysis and Clinical Consulting at Ghent University. The main objective of PP is to provide an intellectual platform for scholars to promote original contributions to the theory, practice, and application of Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalysis. The journal is published in a print version.
Turning to events, Prof. Dr. Calum Neill (Edinburgh Napier University) will join Dr. Leon S. Brenner (IPU Berlin) for two events in Germany this month, both of which are available online and in person, and registration is free. First is an open workshop on Wednesday 18th January 4-8pm (CET) on Lacan’s four discourses – Stuck in a Revolving Door: Understanding Lacan’s Four Discourses and their Limitations. This will be followed on Thursday 19th January 6pm (CET) with a lecture by Calum Neill titled ‘Raw Sex?’: An Exploration of the Political Potential of Lacan’s Non-conclusive Binary. Full details of both talks and how to register are here.
Dr Bret Fimiani will be discussing ‘Psychosis and Extreme States: An Ethic for Treatment’ at the Freud Museum London on 1st February, alongside the aforementioned Palgrave Lacan series editor Calum Neill. Fimiani’s book offers a new framework for practitioners and scholars to understand psychosis and to develop treatments that are effective for the experience of psychosis. The discussion will cover themes such as: listening to delusion as itself a form of knowledge; the treatment of delusion and voices through the work of the dream; the reversal of transference in the field of psychosis; and the possibilities (hope) for the subject of psychosis. Book now on the Freud Museum’s site.
Prof Dr Samuel McCormick will be starting a live lecture series on Lacan’s pivotal 1968-1969 seminar From an Other to the other (Seminar XVI). From February to May, registered participants will receive weekly recorded lectures on Seminar XVI. Then, every other Friday from 10am-12pm PST / 1pm-3pm EST / 19:00-21:00 CET, Prof McCormick will host a live Zoom discussion of these materials, paying special attention to their implications for psychoanalytic theory and technique. Find all the key details on the event page here.
A one-day international conference, Sexual Identities in Transit: A Contemporary Question will be held in the London on Saturday 4th February, organised by the New Lacanian School to explore questions of sex and gender and their relationship to the clinical practice of psychoanalysis. An excellent roster of participants – from Lacanian and non-Lacanian orientations – are featured on the poster, including Eric Laurent, Alexandre Stevens, and Francois Ansermet from the WAP, and other speakers who have worked at the Tavistock’s recently-closed GIDS clinic. The event is in-person, in central London.
Finally, on YouTube Dany Nobus talks with Daniel Tutt about his upcoming new biography of Lacan in the first part of a wide-ranging interview. Part I covers Lacan’s early life and formative years, including the influence of the formative relationships he maintained with Kojève and Heidegger. Several never before seen photographs also feature in the interview.
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