Autotheory and Psychoanalysis at ACLA

deadline for submissions: 
October 31, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Emma Lieber/The New School
contact email: 

Seeking papers for a seminar for this year's virtual ACLA--to be held on April 8-11 2021--entitled "Theorize Yourself: Autotheory and Psychoanalysis."  Submissions can be made on the ACLA portal through October 31.  Description below.

Conversations about autotheory circle around psychoanalysis as a conceptual touchstone, with the understanding that analytic theory, more than serving as one of the fields that autotheoretical writers engage, is itself a parallel discourse. “Freud’s dream” of the theory of the Oedipus complex appears, in one moment, to be an autotheory avant la lettre; in the next, it seems that the birth of psychoanalysis takes place in the sublation of Freud’s self-analysis.

This seminar will query the connection between autotheory and psychoanalysis in order to articulate their respective desires, resistances and limits. Indeed, psychoanalysis since Freud has tended to forget its own autotheoretical origins, with analytic theorists rarely interpolating themselves into their own writing. By the same token, “canonical” autotheoretical writers such as Maggie Nelson, Chris Kraus, Paul Preciado, and others, at once rely on, interrogate and resist psychoanalytic theory, as though the genre can’t do without both psychoanalysis and a resistance to it. What would it do to return both psychoanalysis and autotheory to their repressed or ambivalent origins in each other? What can psychoanalysis and autotheory do for each other?

Possible topics:

The role of the Other in self-writing
Autotheory in the Lacanian “pass”
“Structure” and the “self” in autotheory and psychoanalysis
Transference in autotheory and clinical experience
Frantz Fanon’s “autotheory”
Autotheory in afropessimist psychoanalysis