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Austen Riggs Center: Race and Psychic Pleasure: Freud, Lacan, and the Politics of Race

  • October 06, 2020 12:51 PM
    Message # 9287744
    Anonymous

    November 20, 2020 at 6:30 PM

    Virtual Friday Night Guest Lecture with Sheldon George, PhD

    NOTE: This is s a VIRTUAL event and requires advance registration.

    Friday Night Guest Lectures are designed for mental health professionals, offered free of charge, and provide 1.0 continuing education credit.

    Description: Our political and social moment seems destabilized by an increased emphasis on racial difference. But psychoanalysis has long ignored the stabilizing role aggression toward racial others has played in structuring society. Decades after American slavery ended, Freud, upon witnessing the horrors of World War I, first recognized within human subjects a drive toward aggression that he argued must be repressed for the sustainability of civilization. This talk reads slavery as a full manifestation of this psychic drive toward aggression. Through recourse to Lacanian theory, it argues that race functions as a source of psychic pleasure, or what Lacan calls jouissance. This jouissance is a mode of enjoyment that lures the subject to perilous transgressions that stabilize American society into its consistently oppressive racial configuration. Moving through an analysis of American slave masters’ efforts to establish slavery as a mask for what we can describe after Lacan as the psychic lack of the subject—a mask that refuted lack with racial superiority—the talk will turn to the writings of Zora Neale Hurston to describe religion and race as mechanisms through which African Americans themselves contend against social unveilings of psychic lack. Ending with a discussion of the role played by pleasure in contemporary incidents of police violence, the talk presents race as an apparatus that mediates subjective lack. Race, it argues, binds contemporary American civilization to sustained modes of psychic pleasure and discontent that grew out of the atrocity of slavery.

    Click here for more information or to register.


    Last modified: October 06, 2020 12:51 PM | Anonymous

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