Lunch and Lecture: Julie Gaillard
"Jean-François Lyotard's Libidinal Aesthetics – the Case of Cinema"
Tuesday, February 3 2015, 11:45 AM to 1:00 PM Callaway C202

Jean-François Lyotard develops his notion of libidinal set-up within a framework that is highly indebted to his reading of Freud's model of the death drive, and relies on the productive confrontation of unbound and bound energies – primary and secondary processes. This reading of the Freudian drive is clearly opposed to Lacan's understanding, which folds the entirety of desire back onto the freudian Wunsch – a model that, according to Lyotard, still obeys representation and its negativity, as it is grounded in the idea of an originary lack. But in “Acinema”, Lacan's mirror-stage plays a central role. Cinema, more than other arts, is bound to “reality”. Not only does it “redouble” reality – it also acts like Lacan's “orthopedic mirror” as formative of a unitary body – be it organic or social. The cinematographic medium backfires, as it were, on reality itself, which thereby appears as a secondary construct, a “mise en scène/hors scène”. I argue that in “Acinema”, Lyotard attempts to lay the ground for a kind of cinema that would bypass this subjective model, but most importantly, for a kind of cinema that would have a transformative power over reality itself. His claims are expressed with great caution, in the guise of questions, but hint at a possible revolutionary power of the arts. In “The Idea of a Sovereign Film” he calls some of these claims “naive”. But ultimately, even if they partly fail, they seem to lay the ground where some of his later concerns about cinema will come to be rooted : the pragmatic effects of the cinematographic medium on the organic and the social body; their possible dangers in terms of seduction; the apparition of “sovereign moments” in a film.

Julie Gaillard is a fifth year graduate student in the Department of French and Italian. She is preparing a dissertation on proper names and referentiality throughout various media (including literature, theater, photography and street art), entitled “Derailments of reality. The hinge of the proper name in the works of Samuel Beckett, Édouard Levé, Renaud Cojo and Invader.

Lunch and Lecture: Andrew Kingston
"A General Economic Model: Materialism in Freud and Bataille"
Thursday, February 26 2015

This presentation will tentatively explore a relationship between the materialist theories of Georges Bataille and the speculative neurological work of Sigmund Freud. More specifically, by rereading Freud’s apocryphal Project for a Scientific Psychology through Bataille’s concept of general economy, this talk will gesture toward an interpretation of the psychoanalytical unconscious that locates its social and psychological force in the material dynamics of the body and—more importantly—its environment. Finally, this talk will attempt to outline an intersection between Bataille and psychoanalysis through the former’s 1927 essay “The Solar Anus.

Andrew Kingston is currently a 2nd year Ph.D. student in the department of Comparative Literature, where he studies the work of Georges Bataille alongside psychoanalysis, while also pursuing interests in queerness, philosophical pessimism, and noise music. He has completed a Masters degree in “Theory and Criticism” from the University of Western Ontario, as well as a BA in philosophy from Florida Gulf Coast University.

Elizabeth Wilson
“Chemical Transference: Antidepressant Drugs and the Analytic Third” 
Wednesday, March 25 2015, 4:30 PM White Hall 110

Dr. Elizabeth Wilson is a professor in and chair of the Department of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Emory University. She was an Australian Research Council Fellow at the University of New South Wales prior to coming to Emory, and she has also held appointments in Women's Studies and Psychology at the University of Western Sydney, the Australian National University, and the University of Sydney. She has held fellowships at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard.  She has a new book (Gut Feminism) forthcoming with Duke University Press in 2015.  This book explores how biological theories of depression can be used to aid conceptual and political innovation in feminist theory. Currently she is co-authoring an introduction to the affect theory of Silvan Tomkins with Adam Frank (University of British Columbia).  She has co-edited a special issue of the journal Differences (26.1, forthcoming 2015) on "Queer Theory Without Antinormativity" with Robyn Wiegman (Duke University).  Her last book examined the role of affect in the early years of artificial intelligence (Affect and Artificial Intelligence, In Vivo series, University of Washington Press), and her recent publications include articles in Critical Inquiry, History of the Present, and differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies.

Joseph Dodds
"Feeling the Heat... What is Ecopsychoanalysis? Psychoanalysis and Climate Change in the Three Ecologies"

Monday, April 13 2015, 5:30 PM White Hall 112

What role can psychoanalysis play in understanding the ecological crisis and climate change? In our era of anxiety, denial, paranoia, apathy, guilt, rage, terror and despair in the face of climate change, there is an urgent need for a psychoanalytic approach to ecology, and an ecological approach to psychoanalysis. Drawing on the presenter’s book Psychoanalysis and Ecology at the Edge of Chaos (Dodds 2011) an ecopsychoanalytic approach suggests the need to move our psychoanalytic perspective beyond the confines of the family and even wider social system, to include relations with the other than human world, a move begun by Searles (1960, 1972). In contrast to the schizoid fragmented space of the university, divided into every narrower sub-fields, climate change forces us to think transversally, about a world of unpredictable, multiple-level, highly complex, nonlinear interlocking systems. How does a phantasy impact on an ecosystem, and vice versa? There is a need for a way of thinking able to integrate the disparate strands of analysis, related to what the psychoanalyst Bion (1984) calls the work of "linking," connected with the alpha-function and the dreamwork. The philosophy of Deleuze and Guattari (2003) combined with the sciences of complexity and chaos can build on psychoanalytic perspectives to offer a new framework, or rather a "meshwork" (DeLanda 2006), able to integrate Guattari's (2000) "three ecologies" of mind, nature and society.

Ecopsychoanalysis is a new transdisciplinary approach to thinking about the relationship between psychoanalysis, ecology, the "natural," and the problem of climate change. It draws on a range of fields including psychoanalysis, psychology, ecology, philosophy, science, complexity theory, aesthetics and the humanities. This paper seeks to introduce the main coordinates of this perspective, with the aim of helping to open up a psychoanalysis of ecology, and an ecological approach to mind, phantasy and the dynamics of the therapeutic process. How can we, as individuals, societies and as a species, bear the anxiety involved with attempting to ask the question, how are we to survive?

Dr. Joseph Dodds is a senior lecturer in psychoanalysis at the Anglo-American University, and a lecturer in psychology and psychoanalysis at Charles University, and the University of New York in Prague. He is also a therapist in private practice, and an advanced candidate in the Czech Psychoanalytical Society (IPA). Dr. Dodds is a Chartered Psychologist (CPsychol) and Associate Fellow (AFBPsS) of the British Psychological Society, and on the Management Committee of the Climate Psychology Alliance. Originating from London, he has lived and worked primarily in Prague since 1999, and is the author of the book Psychoanalysis and Ecology at the Edge of Chaos: Complexity theory, Deleuze|Guattari and psychoanalysis for a climate in crisis (Dodds 2011, Routledge), and numerous other articles and book chapters on psychoanalytic applications to neuroscience, culture, society, art, and ecology. Currently, the centre of his research is on the affective, unconscious, aesthetic, and psycho-social dynamics of climate change. 

This event is cosponsored by the Department of French & Italian, Sustainability Initiatives, the Center for Mind, Brain & Culture, the Department of English, and the Department of Anthropology.

Joan Copjec
“The Imaginal World & Kiarostami's Zig Zag”
Tuesday, April 21 2015, 4:30 PM White Hall 112

Dr. Joan Copjec is a Professor of Modern Media and Culture at Brown University. Her primary fields of research are psychoanalysis, film and film theory, feminism, and art and architecture. She is the author of: Read My Desire: Lacan Against the Historicists (MIT Press, 1994) and Imagine There's No Woman: Ethics and Sublimation (MIT, 2002). She has edited numerous books, including: October: The First Decade (MIT, 1987; with A. Michelson, R. Krauss, and D. Crimp); Jacques Lacan: Television (Norton, 1990), Shades of Noir (Verso, 1993); Supposing the Subject (Verso, 1994); Radical Evil (Verso, 1995) and Giving Ground: The Politics of Propinquity (Verso, 1999, with Michael Sorkin). She was a long-time editor of the influential art journal October and of a book series at Verso Press. She also served as director of the Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis and Culture at the University at Buffalo and published the journal Umbr(a). Her most recent work focuses on the cinema of Abbas Kiarostami, the Iranian filmmaker.

Co-sponsored by the Hightower Fund and the Departments of Film & Media Studies, Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies, and English.