In Read My Desire, Joan Copjec stages a confrontation between the theories of Jacques Lacan and Michel Foucault, protagonists of two powerful modern discourses – psychoanalysis and historicism. Ordinarily, these discourses only cross paths long enough for historicists to charge psychoanalysis with an indifference to history, but here psychoanalysis, via Lacan, goes on the offensive. Refusing to cede historicity to the historicists, Copjec makes a case for the superiority of Lacan’s explanation of historical process, its generative principles, and its complex functionings. Her goal is to inspire a new kind of cultural critique, one that would be “literate in desire,” that would be able to read what is inarticulable in cultural statements.
“After Read My Desire, nothing in the domain of cultural studies will remain quite the same: cinema theory, feminism, philosophy, and psychoanalysis will have to relate to each other in an entirely new way. For the first time, an American author has taken Lacan seriously, relegating to well-deserved irrelevance the prevailing appropriation of the Lacanian theory in the cultural studies. Far beyond political correctness, the book is theoretically correct: If it didn’t exist, one would have to invent it!”—Slavoj Zizek
About the Author:
Joan Copjec is Professor of English and Comparative Literature and Director of the Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis and Culture at the State University of New York, Buffalo. She has written or edited eleven books, including Supposing the Subject and Radical Evil.