Emory University Symposium for Psychoanalysis and Politics

October 20, 2022 - October 22, 2022
Department of Philosophy, Emory University

United States

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  • Hightower Fund
  • Department of French and Italian
  • Department of Comparative Literature
  • Psychoanalytic Studies Program


University of New Mexico


Emory University

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Emory University Symposium for Psychoanalysis and Politics

Dates: October 20-22, 2022 Deadline for Submissions: August 1

Keynote Speakers: Adrian Johnston, Patricia Gherovici, Jamieson Webster, Joan Copjec.

For Marx, “the history of all hitherto existing societies is the history of class struggles.” Echoing thisemphasis on history, Lacan in an interview with Figaro littéraire stated the following: “you will be able toestimate the importance I ascribe to history, to the point that it appears coextensive with the register ofthe unconscious. The unconscious is history.” How are we to read these two claims together? The unconscious, it seems, cannot be disarticulated from the political, from class struggle. Understanding the former necessitates a dive into the latter.

The Emory University Symposium for Psychoanalysis and Politics (SPAP) invites abstract submissions exploring critical approaches to psychoanalysis and what is broadly construed as politics. This symposium views psychoanalysis as a practice for understanding people, history, politics, and sociality, as well as a subversive method to imagine and create new visions for society. We view psychoanalysis as a transdisciplinary tool for putting different fields of research in communication with one another. For this reason, we welcome abstracts for presentations on a broad range of topics drawing on psychoanalysis and the complex linkages of race, the histories and presents of violence against indigenous and black populations, the legacies of transatlantic slavery and settler colonialism, theories of sexuality, feminist and womanist theory, queer theory, Marxism, decolonial, revolutionary and emancipatory theories and practices, democratic theory, eco-criticism, etc. The overall goal is to bring together a diverse group of thinkers, graduate students, academics, and clinicians from a wide range of institutions to generate debate and collectively develop their research.

Location and Modality

The workshop is currently scheduled for in-person at the Emory University campus, should conditions permit. If your abstract is accepted, please do plan on presenting in-person. The event will take place on October 20-22, 2022. There will be a reception on October 22.

Details and Structure

Numerous keynote and guest speakers from Emory University, the Emory University Psychoanalytic Institute, and other universities/institutions will deliver talks in the late afternoon and evening sessions. Admitted symposium participants will present in the morning and early afternoon sessions. We will follow each lecture and panel with a short Q&A session. Admitted symposium participants should bring papers, articles, excerpts and sections from dissertations or current book projects, etc., to the symposium for 15-20-minute oral presentations.

Submission Guidelines

To apply to present at the symposium, we ask for abstract submissions of maximum 500 words for single paper presentations and maximum 1,000 words for panel presentations. If you are planning on applyingas part of a panel, please make sure your panel’s abstract contains, in addition to a brief discussion of each presenters’ paper, an overall description of the thematic concerns of the panel. Please note that panel submissions should consist of three presenters. The first page of the submission should include your name(s), submission title(s), institutional affiliation(s), and an email address. The second page should include the abstract. Please email your submission to [email protected] as a .docx or .pdf file.

Please send any questions to [email protected].

This event is sponsored by the Hightower Fund, the Emory University Philosophy Department, Comparative Literature Department, French and Italian Department, and Psychoanalytic Studies Program.

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