Wild Thoughts: For a feminist psychoanalysis-to-come

02034 884 231 02034 884 231 / 07740 179 714 07740 179 714
21st - 22nd June 2024, 12.00pm - 8.00pm
Counsellors and trainees
From £33.22
University of London, Birkbeck College, Malet Street, London, Greater London, WC1E 7HX

The Site for Contemporary Psychoanalysis presents Wild Thoughts: for a feminist psychoanalysis-to-come.

21st & 22nd June 2024 at Birkbeck University of London (Clore building) and online.

Join us for a two-day conference examining the past and rethinking the present and future of psychoanalysis and feminism.  

This will be a hybrid event - online attendance via Zoom - and will be recorded.

Details of speakers and a draft programme are on the Site website: www.the-site.org.uk/the-site-events/

“Every desire has a relation to madness” (Irigaray).

“Women suffer from drives without any possible representatives or representations”. (Irigaray).

We are not done with patriarchy. Psychoanalysts with a political consciousness and an attentive, non-patriarchal ear know this better than anyone else. It creeps into our analytic space, the so-called ‘safe space’. We become witnesses to the suffering of life, to oppression and violence, to the colonisation of the psychic life by a neoliberal ‘progressive’ regime that wishes to prolong patriarchy through a phallic over-signification that reproduces a culture of sameness. Gender trouble does not seem to trouble enough, and the phallocentric gender pluralism gets along very well with a neo-liberal discourse. The numerical multiplication of gender options does not seem to take us away from the political economy of sexual dialectics. The binary machine is as present as ever, bigger and stronger, since the array of dichotomies has expanded and has become capable of signifying even the in-between, grey zone. It has also implanted deadly antagonisms within the current landscape of identity politics. Divide and conquer - patriarchy renders itself invisible, internalised, accepted, even celebrated. Successful displacement.

A feminist revolution will not take place in the repetition of language, in the cracks of regulative discourses, but in ‘the liberation of forces’: in the wild thoughts of psychoanalysis. 

This conference does not contain itself in the fossilised position of the minority that produces resentment, negative critique and reactive resistance wrapped in claims for recognition. The political imperative is no longer to resist through negation, but to resist through affirmation, creation, playfulness, and imagination, where the unconscious is perceived as a generative creative power, rather than reduced solely to the neurotic sick unconscious. Desire is not lack and to desire is not to long for something. Desire is the desire to produce new ways of feeling, of perceiving and conceiving, new ways of relating that are not reduced to phallologocentric articulations of a monosexual culture, but wishes instead to promote an assemblée of dissident feminist subjectivities. 

Wild analysis, wild desires. Resistance always lies on the side of the analyst: can we re-invent a ‘minoritarian psychoanalysis of the unconscious’ that centres on the excluded other (to name a few: the feminine, the animal, nature, the racialised other, the sexual dissident, the Indigenous) within a posthuman/post-anthropocentric framework?

The conference for a feminist psychoanalysis-to-come wishes to give back to psychoanalysis the response-ability as the ability to respond (differently). Psychoanalysis is a deeply political and ethical project since it centres around our ability to listen to, and to intervene over, psycho-social reproductions (of the power and the norm). A failing to inscribe the plural and powerful contributions of feminist praxes into the psychoanalytic vocabulary means losing sight of the unconscious itself.  

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Hosted by Shireen Noor

The talk is organised by The Site for Contemporary Psychoanalysis for the public, counsellors, therapists qualified and in training. The SITE for Contemporary Psychoanalysis is a training organisation and a member of the Council for Psychoanalysis and Jungian Analysis College (CPJA) of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP).