"Lacan, Insecurity, Survival: Psychoanalysis and Political Anxiety"

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Matthew Lovett / Julia Bruehne / NeMLA
contact email: 


Whether it is some sort of histrionic hyperbole or an actual description of our current state of affairs, it’s not a novel assertion to say that the West seems to be on the verge of collapse. If this is the case, the time and esotericism that psychoanalysis requires seems, yet again, to position it entirely on the axis of outdated luxury rather than sophisticated, trenchant, or even useful political analysis.

This panel seeks papers that might speak to the strength of psychoanalysis, either on the couch or in academic analysis, for understanding and intervening in our current political dissolution. What kinds of psychic defenses are operative both collectively and individually? How might (or might not) Lacan’s clinical designations of neurotic, perverse, and psychotic describe political responses that have inaugurated Brexit, Trump, BLM, Antifa, and so on? Would schizoanalysis (or some other methodology) be a better mode of analysis than psychoanalysis? How do literature and film convey what Fredric Jameson would have called a “political unconscious”? How does popular culture respond to the political anxiety of the West?

In the end, this panel welcomes papers that seek to show the use of psychoanalysis (especially Lacanian psychoanalysis) in analyzing (pop) art in the age of insecurity and survival and in suggesting interpretations that may speak to us in times of crisis.

Please submit abstracts EXCLUSIVELY via the NeMLA website:


Contact (Chairs):

Julia Bruehne (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz): bruehne@uni-mainz.de

Matthew Lovett (Duquesne University)