Psychoanalysis in France has a long and rich history. From the early work of Marie Bonaparte, the interventions of the surrealists, and the dissertation of a young medical student named Jacques Lacan in the 1920s to the heights of the École Freudienne, the expulsion of Luce Irigaray, and Deleuze and Guattari’s Anti-Oedipus in the 1970s, psychoanalysis played a central role in French intellectual life throughout the twentieth century. Indeed, whether in the work of Lacanian and postLacanian intellectuals and analysts (such as Julia Kristeva, Hélène Cixous, and Jacques Derrida), or in that of psychoanalytic skeptics such as Jean-Paul Sartre and Michel Foucault, specifically French debates on and within analysis have shaped the culture of literary, philosophical, cinematic, and historical studies around the globe. At the same time, the postcolonial world of Francophone literature and film have radically called into question the very universality of the Freudian family romance, forcing us to pose the question, in the words of a famous book title: is there an Oedipe Africain? Finally, both inside France and beyond its borders, there is a rich tradition of psychoanalytic interpretation of the classic texts of French literature.
This conference seeks to pose the following questions: is there a specifically French form of psychoanalysis and what are its characteristics; does the psychoanalytic narrative also have purchase on the larger world of Francophonie or are such pretensions to universalism necessarily ahistorical and imperialistic; what is the future of psychoanalysis as method of interpreting French literature and film and will its insights continue to produce new understandings or has its time now passed? Twenty-minute papers addressing these subjects should be sent by e-mail to Allen Miller (firstname.lastname@example.org) by November 1, 2009. All papers accepted for this conference will be published in volume 38 of French Literature Series (FLS).
Paul Allen Miller
Languages, Literatures and Cultures
University of South Carolina
Columbia, SC 29208
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