The Object in/of Psychoanalysis

Cornell University Psychoanalysis Reading Group Conference
September  23-24, 2022 (in person)

Keynote Address: Joan Copjec (Brown University) 

Deadline for Paper Submissions: June 1, 2022 (300 words abstract)

The Psychoanalytic Reading Group at Cornell University invites participants for a conference on the question of the object in/of psychoanalysis. We welcome papers examining how psychoanalysis takes as its objects new fields of inquiry such as non-western thought, post-colonial studies, race studies, eco-criticism, neurohumanities. These new encounters also entail the necessity to rethink psychoanalysis through these new approaches and theories. We also would like to encourage submissions that discuss how psychoanalysis can address the current discourses on the end of the world as we know it (pandemic, democratic collapse, climate crisis, among others).

The committee will also welcome papers that address more directly the status of the object in psychoanalysis. How can psychoanalysis challenge the distinction between the subject and the object? How could psychoanalysis answer the challenges brought by Object-Oriented Ontology? How can the conceptualization of the lack of the object by Jacques Lacan challenge how we think of the object relation?

The conference welcomes papers with both theoretical and/or clinical approaches. We are strongly committed to giving a space for psychoanalysis as a practice in this conference, thus papers with a clinical approach will be particularly welcomed. Please send a 300-word abstract, along with a short biography to by June 1st.

Possible themes include, but are not limited to, the following:

The status of the object in psychoanalysis:

  • The subject/object divide in psychoanalysis
  • Lacan and the status of the object
  • Melanie Klein and Object Relation Theory
  • The concept of Das Ding 
  • The object of phantasy, of satisfaction, and of desire

The new objects of psychoanalysis:

  • Psychoanalysis and non-western thought
  • Psychoanalysis and Race
  • Post-colonial studies
  • Eco-Criticism
  • Queer Theory
  • Object-Oriented Ontology
  • Neuroscience and the new challenges to psychoanalysis
  • Catastrophe, disasters, and discourses on the end of the world
  • Psychoanalysis and the new political movements (BLM, Me-too,#NotOneLess)