CFP: Invisible Culture: The Symptom (2/1/06; journal issue)

full name / name of organization: 
Aviva Dove-Viebahn

Call for Papers

The online journal Invisible Culture
is seeking papers for an upcoming issue on the theme of *The Symptom*.

Jacques Lacan famously described the ego as the symptom of man. In
psychoanalytical theory, the subject is the symptomatic psychical effect
of the tension between binary oppositions, such as desire and
jouissance, lack and plenitude, soma and psyche, self and other, man and
woman, gay and straight, black and white, actual and virtual, animal and
human. In a general way, the symptom is a formation whereby the
repressed seeks to return in the present; as Freud observes, "... a
thing which has not been understood inevitably reappears; like an unlaid
ghost, it cannot rest until the mystery has been solved and the spell

This CFP enlists papers that engage with, question and interrogate the
full range of definitions and cultural/social manifestations of the
symptom (and its subject), and also those that identify or posit new
ones, from historicist and psychoanalytic perspectives. For both
psychoanalysts and historicists, the symptom demands interpretation,
which entails an interrogation of the disparity between a symptom's
manifest (visible) content and its latent (invisible) content. How does
the symptom speak and what does it want to communicate? What motivates
its production, and what is its function? How does the symptom
articulate the impasse - or the difficulties - that inhere in binary
relationships? Given that a symptom cannot be erased, but only replaced
by another symptom, can we speak of bad or negative symptoms, and good
or positive symptoms, or posit that some symptoms are more ethical and
life-enhancing than others? Indeed, is it possible to choose our own

We welcome papers that address via theoretical elaboration or case study
(cultural or visual analysis), the manifestation of the symptom in terms
of its formation, repetition, interpretation, elaboration,
wish-fulfillment, compromise or transformation. Possible avenues for the
exploration of the symptom include, but are not limited to: gender,
racial, ethnic and sexual difference; bodily, linguistic, psychical,
literary symptoms; symptom and experience; Sinthome and Lacan; symptom
and identity; intersubjectivity and the symptom; medical discourse and
the symptom; symptom and the economy of recognition; symptom and

The deadline for receipt of submissions of 2,500 to 6,000 words in
length is February 1, 2006. Please email inquiries to Michael Williams
( or Linda Edwards (
Submissions can be made electronically in Microsoft Word as an
attachment to either address, or as hard copies to:

Invisible Culture
Attn: Michael Williams and Linda Edwards
424 Morey Hall
University of Rochester
Rochester NY, 14627

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Received on Wed Nov 16 2005 - 10:37:18 EST