Summary: In the ‘Proposition of 9 October 1967 on the psychoanalyst of the School’, Lacan first laid out the procedure of the Pass; to be practiced in the School he founded, L’École Française de Psychanalyse. The founding text of Lacan’s School states that the analyst only authorizes themselves, but “this does not rule out the School guaranteeing that an analyst has been formed by it.” (1967) The Pass itself sought to answer a question Lacan himself was preoccupied with in the training and formation of psychoanalysts: has an analysis produced an analyst? An analyst within Lacan’s School(s) may undertake the Pass to answer this question as the analyst of their own case. The passant delivers their testimony of the end or ends of their analysis to two passeurs; who then relate what they heard to what has been called at different times a jury or cartel of the Pass. If their testimony has been heard to have produced an analyst, the passant is nominated an Analyst of the School for a period of two to three years, in which they speak about their testimony and are put to work on the crucial problems of psychoanalysis and the School. A second question could then be asked based on a reading of testimonies of the Pass: what of the object a in the Pass, at the end of analysis? Through a close reading of testimonies of the Pass of the Schools of Lacan which today practice the Pass, this paper will attempt to examine the object a in the procedure of the Pass, and what may remain of it at the end of analysis, of an analyst that is nominated to an Analyst of the School.
Summary: In contemporary research of low-skilled immigrant workers, scholars have highlighted concepts like precarity, exploitation, and racism as key locus of problematisation. Furthermore, the way they influence and relate with workers’ subjectivity, affect and perspectives of otherness, is also a topic that draws researchers’ attention. Additionally, how subjectivity relates with resistance and what forms of resistance are available from an organisational studies point of view is admittedly a very important factor to examine. My focus lies in the intersection of these three lines of thought and in particular how resistance at work can be theorised and articulated. Lacanian psychoanalysis offers a methodological tool which can assist in shedding light on the interrelation of workers’ resistance and subjectivity in a unique and in-depth fashion. In this direction, my argumentation follows Lacan’s steps in Seminar XVII, illustrating the transition from Hegel’s master to the modern capitalist master. What modifications have occurred in Marx’s sense of production and surplus-value’s relation to the spoliation of workers’ enjoyment, that enable these new forms of social bonds that Lacan represents with his mathemes of the four discourses? The answer, according to Lacan, lies in knowledge itself and its dialectic relationship with truth; the truth is blocking something that results from work, production has rendered truth impotent. The truth of knowledge is detained by the capitalist master and his unassailable command that puts everyone to work, constituting the modern market where ‘everything works’. This leads the class problematic of worker’s exploitation into a cultural phenomenon, where intolerance of otherness has received excessive investment in socio-political discourses, drawing its energy form the repressed class dimension. In this era of increasing segregation, Lacanian psychoanalysis helps us unveil the frustrating impotence of resistance and elaborate the current impasses in ways that perhaps offer the potential to overcome them.
Summary: This paper centers on representations of madness, and specifically, the authorial role of those representations, asking the question: are authors limited to representing their own mental health in their literary projects? Critics of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (2003), have accused its author, Mark Haddon, of stealing the trope of autism for his commercial gain. Moreover, his representation of autism asserts the very order that the autistic subject has supposedly foreclosed.1 Applying the logic of the cultural economy of representation, wherein Haddon’s exploitation of a subject who is mad is a literary crime because Haddon, the author, is neurotypical, what do we make of a psychotic’s representation of neurotics in their literary oeuvre? I am thinking of James Joyce and his oeuvre, because his psychosis has been an issue since Carl Jung first identified that he had a form of schizophrenia, and Lacan followed up on that question of Joyce’s psychosis in Seminar XXIII. How could Joyce be a psychotic if he could write an apparently neurotypical story such as Ulysses? And yet, he did write the chaotic punning universe of Finnegan’s Wake, a project that one would think would affirm his psychosis. Lacan resists diagnosing Joyce and instead explores Joyce’s role of author in his sinthome. This paper does not resolve the debate around Joyce’s possible psychosis but uses the debate to highlight the problem arising from policing creative authority.
Summary: This paper aims to discuss substance use and abuse as falling beyond the pleasure principal and the deficiencies of CBT in the treatment of substance use disorders. As we continue to ponder the beginning and ending of a pandemic, lurking close behind, is the epidemic of overdoses and substance abuse. This epidemic occurred prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, only to be exacerbated by it. Rather than viewing substance use as mere mechanical activity of our bodies in functions, what we can aim to understand better is how our repetitions and behavior express some sort of desire, wish, or fantasy. In the movie Another Round (2020), it is presented that according to Norwegian psychiatrist, Finn Skårderud, human beings are born with a blood alcohol content that is 0.05% too low. This concept would add further nuance to the terms ‘substance use,’ ‘misuse,’ and ‘abuse.’ In the Critique of Practical Reason, Kant explains the thought experiment of the Gallows Man (1998, 5:30), to convey his understanding of people’s prioritization of life over lust. He also explains that a cost-benefit analysis is not enough to prioritize life. Yet, other therapeutic modalities for substance treatment encourage the use of decisional balance worksheets and cost/benefit analyses. A psychoanalytic understanding of substance use and abuse would help unveil the desire and meaning of this activity. It is not just about controlling our brain’s biochemistry or ‘self-medicating,’ but rather, an exploration of what the substance and its use really provides for the individual. In other words, substance use, misuse, or abuse, and the language used to describe the patterns and rituals of the individual are not simply cognitive and behavioral, but more so, fantastical, emotional, and dream-like.
Summary: A letter to Tacitus from Pliny the Younger discusses length and brevity in forensic oratory. Pliny appears to argue in favor of length, but the letter’s deliberate ambiguities illuminate his larger theme as the responsibility of judicial rhetoric to shape the senatorial audience’s ethical response to tyranny. Pliny’s rhetorical theory shares with Lacanian psychoanalysis a therapeutic goal: subjects’ recognition of their relationship to the law as one of desire, free by virtue of their own (paradoxical) choice of subjectivity. This paper offers a theory of Pliny’s dialogic rhetoric as a kind of ‘talking cure’ rooted in the Socratic elenchus, and a historical example of the negotiation of the ‘forced choice’ proposed by Lacan in Seminar XI. It proposes the value of Lacan’s further conceptualization of the subject-Other relationship in terms of ‘traversing the fantasy’ for interpreting subjectivity in the particular circumstance of political tyranny.
Summary: Jacques Lacan’s psychoanalytic theory prominently features metaphor and metonymy as analytic concepts, especially in its theory of psychosis. This essay suggests that propriety, or decorum, might broaden the Lacanian engagement with the field of rhetoric and helpfully supplement its theory of psychosis.