CFP: The Incurable (12/31/05; journal issue)

full name / name of organization:
contact email: 

UMBR(a) 2006:


Freud exhausted his faculties, in the end, over the dilemma of the
"negative therapeutic reaction." After ceaseless encounters with his
patients? "resistance against the uncovering of resistances," he
effectively discovered the structural impasse of castration, and ultimately
exposed the limitations psychoanalysis encumbers when approached as the
means for a final cure. Following Freud?s deadlock, an extimate point was
isolated by Lacan as the "incurable truth" of the subject, forcing analysis
to even further divulge the secret of its project: rather than seek the
surgical removal of analysands? symptoms, knowledge of the incurable
revealed that the only end analysis could pursue was the establishment of
conditions that insured its own failure. Insisting on the impossibility of
offering rehabilitation, undoubtedly, provokes greater hostility and
resistance toward analysis, insofar as our political and economic devices
seem to be constrained by a passion for recklessly employing new "cures"
for social ills. The question remains, however, whether the continual
affirmation of the incurable can provide psychoanalytic knowledge with a
specificity that separates it from other critical and political discourses.

To what extent does the incurable mark the point at which the clinical and
the political intersect? Can we speak of a politics of the incurable? Can
the affectivity of the incurable, evident in both the experience and logic
underpinning psychoanalysis, provide a universal dimension capable of
imagining political and social acts that resist the metonymic play of
differences that repeatedly keep us transfixed to particular cultural
symptoms? Does impossibility and impotence ? as they are conceptualized in
Lacan?s later work ? allow us to conceptualize a subject that breaks with,
or at least establishes a distance from, the repetition of the death drive
that is left unimpeded when social fantasies are built around autonomy? Can
the fundamental need for fantasy ever be truly surmounted, when what is at
stake is the construction of a discourse that seeks to preserve a space for
encountering the incurable? What are the necessary conditions for
confronting the real status of the incurable, today, when faced with such
widespread attempts to forget it?

UMBR(a): A Journal of the Unconscious is currently seeking articles that
address such issues. Submissions should be 1,500-6,000 words in length,
must be submitted on disk (MSWord) and in hard copy, and must be received
no later than December 31, 2005. Please send all submissions to:

c/o Andrew Skomra and Sorin Cucu
Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis and Culture
408 Clemens Hall
Buffalo, New York 14260-4610

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Received on Wed Oct 05 2005 - 11:02:25 EDT