[UPDATE] Lacan and Philosophy (ACLA 2016, March 17 -20, Harvard University)

full name / name of organization: 
Todd McGowan (University of Vermont)/Gautam Basu Thakur (Boise State U)

2015 marks the 40th anniversary of a controversial talk that Jacques Lacan gave at MIT. Lacan's audience came expecting a discussion of psychoanalytic theory and practice, but what they heard didn't fit within the confines of psychoanalysis. This produced much disappointment among audience members. On this anniversary, we propose to return to the question of where Lacan's thought belongs. Specifically, we want to consider Lacan as a philosopher and in relation to other philosophers. Though Lacan himself constantly emphasized his distance from philosophers like Kant, Hegel, Sartre, and Merleau-Ponty, recent thinkers inspired by Lacan have seen himself, despite his stated intentions, as Kantian, Hegelian, or Sartrean. Thinking about the relationship between Lacan and philosophy opens up questions about the ability of psychoanalysis to address philosophical problems as well as that of philosophy to contribute insights to psychoanalytic theory.
We welcome papers that consider Lacan in relation to various figures in the history of philosophy (such as Spinoza, Nietzsche, or Fanon) and those that reflect on Lacan in the context of contemporary philosophers (such as Badiou, Agamben, Butler, or Spivak) and/or in relation to emergent philosophies of the posthuman, globalization, new media, and ecology. Papers might discuss Lacanian psychoanalysis itself as a philosophy or the philosophical implications of psychoanalytic theory. Others could consider the possibility that psychoanalysis marks an end to philosophy. We would also welcome papers that examined the precursors of Lacanian theory within philosophers such as Plato, Descartes, or Leibniz, as well as those that theorized Lacanian psychoanalysis as a version of feminist philosophy. Alternately, papers could explore Lacan's aesthetic philosophy and how his thought allows us to conceive literature, film, and television.

250-word abstracts (plus title and list of 5 keywords) must be submitted through the ACLA online portal. The portal will open on Sept. 1 and close on Sept. 23. For more information on submitting abstracts see, http://www.acla.org/annual-meeting

Fell free to contact the seminar organizers if you have questions about the submission process or the seminar.