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Reading Seminar Series 2022

The Hypothesis of the Unconscious

Azeen A. Khan

How can we understand the hypothesis of the unconscious, the unconscious as hypothesis? What are the formations of the unconscious? And, to what can we attribute psychical causality for the unconscious? Pursuing questions such as these, this semester-long seminar will be organized around Jacques Lacan’s Seminar V: Formations of the Unconscious (1957-1958). Over the course of our reading, we will focus on the following: the formalization of the three moments of the Oedipus complex; the construction and interpretation of “The Graph of Desire”; and, the dialectic of demand and desire in the clinical study and treatment of the neuroses, in particular, obsessional neurosis. Alongside our reading of the Seminar, we will also refer to several of Freud’s metapsychological papers, including “The Unconscious” and “Repression.” By the end of the seminar, we will begin to differentiate between the transferential unconscious and the real unconscious, as presented in Lacan’s late teaching, and as developed by Jacques-Alain Miller.  

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Reading Seminar Series 2022

The Object Relation

Azeen A. Khan

This semester-long reading seminar will be organized around Jacques Lacan’s Seminar IV: The Object Relation (1956-1957). Over the course of our reading, we will focus on the following: the notion of the object in psychoanalysis; the differentiation between frustration, castration, and privation as operations leading to psychical structure; the articulation between the phallus and the so-called perversions; the construction of phobia; and, the formalization of the Oedipus complex. In addition, we will begin to consider the extension and revision of the Freudian Oedipus in response to contemporary sexualities and emergent clinical phenomena. Alongside our reading of Lacan’s seminar, we will also refer to several of Freud’s texts—including “Analysis of a Phobia in a Five-Year Old Boy” (1909), “A Child is Being Beaten” (1919), and “The Psychogenesis of a Case of Homosexuality in a Woman” (1920)—and to Jacques-Alain Miller’s comments on Seminar IV.

see poster for details