Lacan Circle of Australia - International Conference


26 – 27 November 2022
Treacy Centre, Melbourne, and by Zoom.

Keynote address by Jorge Assef, and presentations by Lacan Circle members and associates.

“The madman is a dreamer awake” (Freud 1917); “The insane embody what we would be led to if we began to take things seriously” (Lacan 1956); and “Everyone is mad, that is, delusional” (1978). With these statements psychoanalysis announces its commitment to the dignity of the madness in each of us. For Jacques-Alain Miller this is a “a compass, an ultimate Lacanian compass” (2013).

In the context of 21st-century mental-health discourse, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and its love affair with diagnosis and pharmaceuticals, psychoanalysis offers us a way to engage with madness differently, as an integral part of the singular jouissance at the core of each speaking being.

Can we trace a thread of properly psychoanalytic madness? This might take us through President Schreber’s flamboyant delusion, Lewis Carroll’s “nonsense” yet entirely meaningful prose, Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, Lacan’s real unconscious, the sinthome, and Jacques-Alain Miller’s ordinary psychosis. How does this history of dignified and brilliant madness inform contemporary psychoanalytic thinking for both analyst and analysand? If we are all mad, what are the consequences for our clinic and practice?