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655, Theoretical Detours: Freud and Lacan

ART 655, Theoretical Detours: Freud and Lacan Leslie Dick

Engaging certain fundamental ideas in psychoanalytic theory, we will delve deeply into a group of writings, in order to examine closely the relations between meaning, identity, memory, and desire. We will read a small number of texts closely, and these texts will be determined in part by the demands of the students. To begin, we will explore Freud’s writings on sexuality and identity, while later in the semester we will turn to The Mirror Stage and The Seminar on the Purloined Letter by Jacques Lacan. I am happy to consider related readings that students wish to investigate, and one might think of this class as a weekly opportunity to dive into a field of ideas, in the context of collective reading and discussion.

The intention of the course is to introduce students to the fundamentals of psychoanalytic theory. As a result of our readings, students will be in a better position to understand and engage other theoretical ideas that derive from, or refer to, psychoanalysis, which may pertain to their different philosophical and aesthetic projects.

Students will be required to attend the seminar, complete the readings, actively participate in discussion, and make one short presentation in class. Regarding the class presentation, it can engage any topic that has been discussed in the previous weeks, or the text we are reading that week. You can use still or moving images or any other media to make this presentation; however it should be short and succinct. Ideally you should present a set of questions or concerns that will generate a discussion in the class.

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