2nd CFP: Psychoanalysis in Our Time 2016

2nd CFP: Psychoanalysis in Our Time 2016

2nd CFP: Psychoanalysis in Our Time 2016 – Psychoanalysis and Femininity in collaboration with the Gdansk University and The Maritime Museum, Gdansk, Poland – 8th-10th April 2016 incl.

Dear Friends and Colleagues

Now in its third year – and following the great success of sessions in Copenhagen, Sauðárkrókur, Tallinn and Druskininkai – the Psychoanalysis in Our Time research network is delighted to announce the call for papers for our next event, which will take place in Gdansk, Poland from 8th to 10th April 2016, right in the centre of the Old City. The topic for this symposium will be “Psychoanalysis and Femininity”. We are very excited to have the eminent psychoanalyst, artist and writer Bracha Ettinger to be our keynote speaker at the symposium.

This research initiative funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers aims to initiate and develop trans-disciplinary conversations. We believe in deep and ardent discussions over meals and in sessions. We have just submitted to Routledge our first edited collection stemming from the meeting in Copenhagen and entitled Psychoanalysis and The Unrepresentable: from Culture to the Clinic. It is our intention to publish another collection out of the forthcoming session.

The registration fee is £140 and £70 for students. There will be a possibility of a reduced fee for local participants.  We have a small amount of bursaries available. We will be working in a relatively small group and lunches and coffees will be provided, as well as two dinners with wine as part of the registration fee. There will be no parallel sessions.

Please send an abstract (max 300 words) and a short biographical statement to Dr Agnieszka Piotrowska (agnieszka.piotrowska@beds.ac.uk) or Dr Ben Tyrer (ben.tyrer@kcl.ac.uk).

The deadline for submission is 11th January 2016.

Suggested (but not limited) topics are as follows:

  • Psychoanalytically-informed feminisms and feminist critiques of psychoanalysis (e.g. Irigaray, Kristeva, Cixous; ​Bracha L. Ettinger; Shulamith Firestone)Shulamith Firestone)
  •  The place of Antigone, Jocasta, Persephone and other mythical women in psychoanalysis
  • Female sexuality and psychoanalysis
  • Feminine masquerade (from Joan Riviere to Mary Ann Doane)
  • Femininity and maternity in psychoanalysis
  • Lacan’s logic of sexuation; his formula “Woman doesn’t exist”
  • Feminine jouissance and the figure of the mystic
  • Film spectatorship, “to-be-looked-at-ness” (Mulvey); the female viewer
  •     Female directors, writers and artists and performative gender
  • Female psychoanalysts and their role in the history of the discipline (from Spielrein and Andreas-Salomé, to Anna Freud and Klein, and beyond)
  • Binary categories of sexual difference, essentialism, and queer theory in (or against) psychoanalysis
  • The Feminine, Psychoanlysis and the Postcolonial
  • The Feminine and the act of artistic endevour vis a vis sublimation and Difference

We look forward to receiving your proposals.  As always we aim to be outrageous but scholarly and rigorous. We welcome psychoanalytically inspired perfomance pieces too .

Best wishes

Agnieszka and Ben

Dr. Agnieszka Piotrowska

Reader in Film Practice and Theory

Course Leader MA/MSc Digital Film

University of Bedfordshire

Luton, LU1 3JU, UK


Monograph: Psychoanalysis and Ethics in Documentary Film


Edited Collection:

Embodied Encounters: New Approaches to Cinema and Psychoanalysis 


Further details:

For Freud, the feminine constituted a dark continent, and represented a riddle without precise answers. This understanding concerns men’s relationship to this continent, which seems to exclude the symbolic law. Jung, on the other hand, saw the feminine aspect of the collective unconscious, which he designated the “anima”, and described the Electra Complex as a girl’s equivalent to the boy’s Oedipus Complex. The question of femininity, however, is also a question of identities.

Lacan discussed the issue of sexual difference throughout his work, culminating in his claim in Seminar XX: Encore that Woman doesn’t exist (meaning that it is impossible to theorise woman in the same way that he theorised man.) He also made a claim for a particular, feminine jouissance as well as, perhaps most controversially, describing women as “not all”: complex propositions both, which require very careful consideration. And in post-Lacanian psychoanalysis, it is the work of Colette Soler that gives clearest expression to What Lacan Said about Women. It was also Lacan who reclaimed Antigone as the figure of pathos – and the example of  “not giving up on one’s desire” – in his Seminar VII, in effect replacing Oedipus with this tragic heroine as a paradigm for psychoanalysis.

Judith Butler, taking up the psychoanalytic distinction between sex and gender, has theorised the latter as performative, rather than biological. Queer theory has thus often tried to make the (female) sex question one of social construction. But can such social constructions change; how might psychoanalysis illuminate these processes?

The position of women in a social context has of course radically changed since Freud, and continues to do so – but the struggle against the patriarchal structures that psychoanalysis could be said to describe continues. What, then, defines women’s social positions, sexual identities and enjoyment today? What can we learn from a discussion between clinicians, practitioners, film and cultural scholars and historians?

We welcome submissions for 20 minute papers from artists, academics and clinicians, and would invite different approaches to this subject from, for example, historians, film and literature scholars or natural scientists with an interest in psychoanalysis.

Possible topics could include (but are not limited to):

Psychoanalysis in Our Time (http://psychoanalysisinourtime.wordpress.com) is an international research initiative with the Nordic Summer University and the Nordic Council of Ministers, with the aim of providing psychoanalytic interrogation of social, cultural and scientific issues. It is a trans-disciplinary network that aims to create a space for a dialogue between clinicians, academics and practitioners of psychoanalysis as well as scholars in other fields, including film, post-colonial, and literary studies in order to investigate and elaborate ways in which psychoanalytic thinking can assist in understanding the events and developments of our times.

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