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Created: March 18, 2002
Latest Update: March 18, 2002

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A New Topology of the Signifer as Determining the Subject

Copyright: Jeanne Curran and Susan R. Takata and Individaul Authors, March 2002.
"Fair use" encouraged.

  • Philadelphia Lacan Group 2002 Reading Seminars
    SEMINAR V: The Formations of the Unconscious (1957-1959)

    Wednesday, February 13th, 2002, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. (Room 209)
    Wednesday, March 20th, 2002, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. (Room 209)

    In this 2001 reading seminar we will conduct a close reading of Lacan's unpublished SEMINAR V: The Formations of the Unconscious, available from an English translation of unedited French typescripts. This 1957-59 seminar starts analyzing the Freudian Witz as the verbal production which most uncannily reveals the structure of the unconscious--your unconscious is structured like a joke. We will study this groundbreaking seminar which covers extensive ground: Lacan here founds a new topology of the signifer as determining the subject. He then systematizes the difference between need, desire, and demand, elaborating a new conception of the Other that will later become his graph of desire.

    Is race inherently structured in the unconscious? Following the "circuits of desire," we will use racism as a guiding theme for our reading. Is the "narcissism of minor differences" so deeply ingrained so as to justify our hostility and even hatred for our neighbor? Mapping the coordinates of this seminar we will address issues discussed in Lacan's seminar itself (i.e. hysteria, the Oedipal complex revisited, death drive). We seek to connect these concepts with questions related to identity, prejudice, racism, and hatred.

    The reading material for meetings can be photocopied at the Comparative Literature Office, 720 Williams Hall (37th and Spruce). Open Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 1:00pm and 2:00pm to 5:00pm.

  • The Lacan Reading Group is supported by the Slought Network, on which you will find Aaron Levy's work: Link to Preview his work. Link to publications at Publications and link to small receptacles. Link added March 18, 2002.

  • small receptacles Aaron D.Levy. Another path to Aaron Levy's work. Link added March 18, 2002.

  • Oswaldo. Romberg: On Painting Speaks of painting and art as language, and recognizes the cognitive element of both. See especially the last interview quote. Although our own attempts as amateurs help us to gain some understanding of the artist's world, many of today's artists wrestle as much with the questions of "How should I live my life?" as do sociologists, historians, and social theorists. Link added March 18, 2002.