Affect, Politics, Psychoanalysis / International Conference / June 21-23, 2013 / National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan

full name / name of organization: 
Li-Chun Hsiao / National Taiwan University
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Keynote speakers: Joan Copjec, University at Buffalo (SUNY), USA & Kazushige Shingu, Kyoto University, Japan
This conference addresses the conceptual challenges that arise when psychoanalysis is deployed in contexts – both geopolitical and conceptual – that extend or reconfigure its current intellectual framework. A great deal of fruitful work has recently explored the relation of psychoanalysis to contemporary French philosophy, its increasingly important and fruitful intersection with post-colonial theory, and its contribution to other areas of cultural theory that are not directly or exclusively psychoanalytic, such as political theory, esthetics, literature, film, gender studies, etc. Psychoanalytic theory has had a significant impact on emerging areas such as biopolitics, affect theory, new media, questions of transnational identity, race and ethnicity; productive engagements have also developed between psychoanalysis and the work of thinkers such as Agamben, Deleuze, Derrida, Foucault, Nancy and others. The conference seeks to explore the intersection of psychoanalysis with these broader debates, focusing on the topics of affect and politics.
In conjunction with these “conceptual” intersections, the conference also addresses the question of the encounter of psychoanalysis with the varied cultural systems of East Asia, which developed institutional, social and intellectual practices that are very different from what one finds in Freud’s Vienna. East Asia itself includes a variety of distinct national and intellectual traditions, all of which differ from the framework of Freud’s thought – including a radically different account of the body, a very different tradition of medical knowledge, a Buddhist and Taoist religious horizon that is irreducible to the three Western forms of monotheism, an ethical framework that does not correspond to the (largely Kantian) horizon of Freud’s thought, a linguistic context that is not only distinct from the West’s, but also non-alphabetic, and – with all this – a conception of subjectivity that does not correspond to the framework of 19th and 20th – century European thought. While the countries of East Asia may be said to exhibit some distinct national traditions, these countries have also profoundly influenced each other, through a unique and complex history of trade, linguistic influence, colonization, migration, and so on, which – together with long-standing and complex relations with the West – makes the question of “cultural identity” and “subjectivity” in East Asia especially challenging. How is the conceptual framework of psychoanalysis altered or extended by its encounter with the conceptual traditions and geopolitical experience of East Asia? How does psychoanalytic theory contribute to the conceptual intersection of “affect and politics” in the context of East Asia?
This will be the second conference in a series, the first of which took place in Taiwan in 2008 under the title “Lacan in Context: Psychoanalysis in East Asia.” Information on this inaugural conference is available at: One of the purposes of both conferences is to develop international collaboration among scholars in the United States, Australia, and East Asia who work on psychoanalysis and contemporary cultural theory. Participants will be asked to present papers approximately 30 minutes long based on their current research, as it relates to the conference topic. The conference will take place at National Taiwan University, one of the premier universities in Asia, and will be structured sequentially as a series of presentations (no simultaneous papers), in order to maximize interaction among participants and support future collaboration.

500-word abstracts in English, along with a list of keywords and a brief curriculum vitae, should be submitted to before November 30, 2012.

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