Psychoanalysis and the New Rhetoric: Freud, Burke, Lacan, and Philosophy's Other Scenes is an innovative work that posits the fields of psychoanalysis and rhetoric into reciprocal dialogue. It explores the rhetoric of psychoanalysis and the psychoanalytic aspects of rhetoric, and discusses what could be termed as the "missed encounter".
This thoroughly researched text takes a closer look at the concept of "missed encounter", thereby filling a gap in the literature of psychoanalytic theories of speech and discourse. The authors examine rhetorical practice in psychoanalytic terms whilst also examining the rhetorical implications of psychoanalytic clinical practice. The chapters revisit classical analytic concepts through the framework of their rhetorical dimensions, including notions of transference, defence, parapraxis, negation, resistance, dreamwork, and the signifier. It further offers a more comprehensive discussion of Lacan in relation to the philosopher Kenneth Burke, exemplifying the strong interdisciplinary links between psychoanalytic and rhetorical concepts. This book serves as an invaluable text for gaining more cognisance of the fields of psychoanalysis and rhetoric.
Psychoanalysis and the New Rhetoric will be of great interest to psychoanalysts in practice and in training, and scholars of psychoanalytic studies, Lacan, rhetoric, English and communication studies.
"Daniel Adleman and Chris Vanderwees have performed a miracle. In Psychoanalysis and the New Rhetoric they lay out the manifold connections between psychoanalytic theory and rhetorical analysis that now seem clear and self-evident, but only because they have written this pathbreaking work. Picking up some clues left by Kenneth Burke, Adleman and Vanderwees take both psychoanalytic thinking and rhetoric where neither has gone before, uncovering how their shared territory is replete with new theoretical insights. For anyone who wants to consider either psychoanalysis or rhetoric, this book is impossible to miss."
– Todd McGowan, Professor of Film Studies at the University of Vermont; author of Emancipation after Hegel and Capitalism and Desire.
"In one of his last seminars, Lacan declared that the psychoanalyst is above all a "rhetor," both an orator intent upon convincing an audience and a specialist of rhetoric. Psychoanalysis and the New Rhetoric argues cogently that Lacan’s return to Freud entailed the elaboration of a "new rhetoric" identical to what Kenneth Burke was teaching at the same time. Burke, like Lacan, a close reader of Freud, is shown to provide an innovative way of understanding the language of psychoanalysis. By detailing the multiple aspects of such a rhetoric, Adleman and Vanderwees offer an original thesis that radically modifies our conception of psychoanalysis."
– Jean-Michel Rabaté, Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania, member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
"Particularly for those engaging with Freudianism from Lacanian angles, it has long been appreciated that the unconscious of the ‘talking cure’ is ‘structured like a language.’ However, in Psychoanalysis and the New Rhetoric, Daniel Adleman and Chris Vanderwees, instead of relying solely on Saussurian linguistics and its offshoots, deftly utilize Burke’s rhetorical theory to renew and enrich our appreciation of the language-related dimensions of the theory, practice, and teaching of psychoanalysis. In so doing, Adleman and Vanderwees admirably demonstrate that only a multi-dimensional approach to language can do justice to psychoanalysis as an inherently interdisciplinary field."
– Adrian Johnston, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of New Mexico
"This is a brave and brilliant book by Daniel Adelman and Chris Vanderwees which reads Burke’s revival of rhetoric as similar to many principles taken from Freud such as identification and free association. Rhetoric is a function of language for Burke and Lacan, offering psychoanalytic vitality. Lacan’s Seminars are portrayed as modes of listening to speech action and take rhetoric as their model. While Burke’s speaking symbol is not Lacan’s Symbolic, Lacan’s rhetoric displays thoughts in action. Lacan performed rhetoric in his Seminars with an attitude intended for an audience’s unconscious. Like Burke, Lacan aimed to persuade. The Other for both was fragmented and disunified. Lacan, like Burke, listened for metonymy, periphrastic, gaps, and so on. The Seminars were spontaneous speech, body and voice, an act of persuasion. Rhetoric and psychoanalysis are kindred disciplines that probe the unknowable limits of connection and eloquence."
– Ellie Ragland, Professor Emerita of English at the University of Missouri; author of Jacques Lacan and the Logic of Structure
"This volume stages an eloquent encounter between psychoanalysis and the rhetorical arts of persuasion, where the psychoanalytic relation is both an ethical and socio-symbolic address that takes place in and as language. Grounded in accessible and compelling contemporary examples, psychoanalysis and rhetoric emerge here as parallel histories, the symbolic/symptomatic action of each as the unconscious of the other. Psychoanalysis and the New Rhetoric brings to light an interdependence that was always there but is seldom theorised. In addressing this oversight, it makes a substantive interdisciplinary contribution to rhetorical studies, to psychoanalysis, and to the understanding of an increasingly anxious and polarizing political scene."
– Stuart J. Murray, Professor of Rhetoric and Ethics at Carleton University; author of The Living from the Dead: Disaffirming Biopolitics.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Missed Encounters. 1. The Rhetorical Unconscious: Reconciling Rival Topographies. 2. Burke’s Little Affect A. 3. Identification, Disidentification, Scapegoating, and War. 4. Beyond the Pressure Principle: Disorientation, Debunking, and Conspiracy. 5. Charcot and Freud: From Clinical Gaze to Free Association. 6. All Ears: Psychoanalysis and the Rhetoric of Listening. 7. Lacan’s Symbolic Action: Rhetoric and Non-Understanding.
About the Authors:
Daniel Adleman, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Writing and Rhetoric at the University of Toronto. He teaches and writes primarily about the intricate interrelationships between rhetoric, psychoanalysis, media, and social change. He has recently published articles in Cultural Politics, Cultural Studies, Canadian Review of American Studies, communication +1, English Studies in Canada, and Canadian Literature. He has also published book chapters in Crossing Borders (ARP, 2020), Utopia and Dystopia in the Age of Trump (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019), and Performing Utopias in the Contemporary Americas (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017). In 2012, he co-founded the Vancouver Institute for Social Research, an ongoing critical theory free school held at downtown Vancouver’s Or Gallery.
Chris Vanderwees, PhD, RP is a psychoanalyst and registered psychotherapist at St. John the Compassionate in Toronto, Canada. He is the co-editor of the essay collection (with Kristen Hennessy), Psychoanalysis, Politics, Oppression and Resistance: Lacanian Perspectives (Routledge, 2022), and his writing can be found in various journals including American Imago, the Canadian Journal of Communication, the European Journal of Psychoanalysis, Psychoanalytic Discourse, and Psychoanalytische Perspectieven. He is an affiliate and research guest of the Toronto Psychoanalytic Society and a member of the Lacanian School of Psychoanalysis.