2022 Lacan: Clinic & Culture

October 14-16, 2022


Sheldon George
Patricia Gherovici
Kristen Hennessy
Adrian Johnston
Azeen Khan
Annie Rogers
Stijn VanHeule
Jamieson Webster

& Special Guest
Bruce Fink

Organized by the Duquesne University Department of Psychology

The Lacan: Clinic & Culture Conference will focus on the relevance of Lacanian psychoanalysis to contemporary clinical work and culture. Questions of psychosis, trauma, the body, and clinical technique are critical sites of dialogue in clinical work. Today, race, politics, sexuality, and institutionalized mental health treatment are at the forefront of cultural issues. Such topics influence each other in the intersection of the cultural field and clinical practice.

Hosting some of the world's foremost experts on Lacanian psychoanalysis, the conference will explore the applicability of Lacanian thought and practice in today's clinic, culture, and their intersection. To highlight the field's accessibility and relevance, a series of educational seminars and workshops re-visiting, critiquing, and applying key concepts will also be offered.

Keynote and special topics presentations

Pre-conference online presentations

Note: The pre-conference online presentations are open to all - although each such session must be paid for separately, you do not need to be registered for the conference to attend an online pre-conference presentation.


If registering LATE for a pre-conference online presentation (less than 2 days before the presentation), please email lacan.conference@duq.edu, we will send you a zoom link.  

'What is sex?' presented by Darian Leader
September 17, 2022, 10:00am EST (US) or 3:00PM (UK)

This talk will explore questions of sexual practice, and how these are shaped by childhood interests and anxieties. After the early work of second wave feminist thought challenged many popular psychoanalytic dogmas, have we made much progress today in thinking about sexuality, apart from endlessly repeating a few cliches and fetishising some loopy mathemes?

Resistance and Ambivalence: On Reading, Feminisms, Sex, and Race presented by Linette Park
September 24, 2022, Time: 11:00am EST or 4:00pm (UK)

This presentation explores two terms, resistance and ambvialence, and how they might be positioned in different feminist articulations. Namely, it examines the thought of Judith Butler's and Hortense Spillers' to reflect how they respectively engage with questions on sexuality, race, and un-gendering. In doing so, we will reflect how these concerns--whether wittingly or unwittingly--also beg questions regarding the ethics and negativity of the real. The paper concludes by turning to recent meditations by thinkers of Afro-pessimism who have drawn from the work of Frantz Fanon to further ruminate on the incommensurability between race, sex, and sexuality.

Feeling the Misrepresentation of Feeling: Lacan and Unconscious Affect' by Adrian Johnston
October 1, 2022, Time: 1:00pm EST (11am MST) (6:00pm UK)

From the earliest years of psychoanalysis onward, the issue of whether affects can be unconscious repeatedly has provoked divergences and disagreements amongst psychoanalytic theoreticians and clinicians. Freud's myriad reflections on the (non-)relation between the affective and the unconscious reveal him to be much more torn and indecisive about this issue than is usually acknowledged, including by Lacan and most Lacanians. Indeed, Lacan repeatedly alleges that Freud categorically excludes affective phenomena from the properly analytic unconscious (on the basis of a reading of Freud's 1915 metapsychological paper on "The Unconscious"). In this intervention, I argue that this allegation of Lacan's both fails to do exegetical justice to Freud as well as eclipses from view implications in Lacan's own thinking that point to an account of affects allowing them to evade straightforward conscious apprehension. In arguing thusly, I also seek to develop a conception of unconscious affects compatible with Lacan's metapsychological framework."

I would recommend that participants, if possible, read Chapters 11-13 of Self and Emotional Life.


Note: Conference registration DOES NOT include the costs of the pre-conference online presentations. Importantly also, you DO NOT need to have registered for the conference to attend those online sessions. The pre-conference online presentations are open to all - although each such session must be paid for separately.