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Friday, September 20th 2013 - Sunday, September 22nd 2013

CNPC inaugural conference: The Freudian Legacy Today

Deborah Britzman, Clint Burnham, Eric Cazdyn, Judith Hamilton, James Penney, Alan Pero, Jeanne Randolph, Mari Ruti, Clive Thomson and more
presented by Canadian Network for Psychoanalysis and Culture (CNPC)/ Réseau Canadien Pour la Psychanalyse et la Culture (RCPC)

The Canadian Network for Psychoanalysis and Culture (CNPC) is holding its inaugural conference themed The Freudian Legacy Today at the University of Toronto from September 20-22, 2013.

Support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Connection Program has made this endeavour possible.

Featuring plenary addresses from Canadian-based psychoanalytic scholars: Deborah Britzman, Clint Burnham, Eric Cazdyn, Judith Hamilton, James Penney, Alan Pero, Jeanne Randolph, Mari Ruti, and Clive Thomson.

One of the most influential discourses of our late modernity, psychoanalysis has transformed, and continues to transform, the way we think about mental and social life, going so far as to question the premise that the two spheres are distinct from one another. Scholars from across the humanities and social sciences, and from the so-called hard and applied sciences as well, have responded to the provocations of Freud, his followers, and critics. Especially provocative has been the concept of the unconscious — the idea, to be precise, that certain fundamental workings of thought proceed in their own logic in the absence of our knowledge.

It is our view that psychoanalysis continues to be central to the study of contemporary social life, offering the humanities and social sciences the radical gifts of its investigative methods, insistent questions, and clinical insights.

About the CNPC/RCPC:

Far from confining itself to the clinical sphere, psychoanalysis has, since Freud’s early explorations, set itself the task of challenging the assumptions of human knowledge. One of the most influential discourses of our late modernity, psychoanalysis has transformed, and continues to transform, the way we think about mental and social life, going so far as to question the premise that the two spheres are separable from one another. Scholars from across the humanities and social sciences, and from the so-called hard and applied sciences as well, have responded to the provocations of Freud, his followers, and critics. Especially provocative has been the concept of the unconscious – the idea, to be precise, that certain fundamental workings of thought proceed in their own logic in the absence of our knowledge.

In his Introductory Lectures to PsychoAnalysis (1916), Freud famously compared the humbling significance of his discovery to those of Copernican astronomical and Darwinian evolutionary sciences. Before psychoanalysis, humanity suffered from the “megalomanic” conviction of occupying a privileged place in the universe. In the psychoanalytic perspective, however, humanity is decentred, unmoored from the certainties of both rationality and objectivity. Psychoanalysis offers a revolutionary and unsettling point of view that challenges our basic notions concerning how it is that we come to know ourselves in relation to the world.

Yet even more radically, psychoanalysis insists that the human subject is not in command of its own cognitive processes. Evidence for this failure is provided in what Freud called parapraxes – dreams, slips of the tongue, bungled actions, for instance. Our conscious cognitive activity, according to Freud, functions significantly as a mechanism of defence, protecting us from illicit unconscious thoughts about which we do not wish to know. In consequence, social and cultural histories are written in between what can be understood and what is unavailable to knowledge. It is our view that psychoanalysis continues to be central to the study of contemporary cultural and social life, offering the humanities and social sciences the radical gifts of its investigative methods, insistent questions, and clinical insights.

website: http://www.cnpc-rcpc.ca/conference/

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