Recovering the Unconscious – A Conference on the Intersection of Psychoanalysis With Politics, Philosophy, and Religion – CFP

Recovering the Unconscious

Call for Papers and Presentations

A Conference on the Intersection of Psychoanalysis With Politics, Philosophy, and Religion

October 21-23, 2016

Denver, Colorado

Sponsored by the University of Denver and the Colorado Analytic Forum of the Lacanian Field in Co-operation with the Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory


“We are all proletarians”, Jacques Lacan during an interview, referring to the way in which the discourse of capitalism has dominated theoretical discussions in the West for almost two centuries now.

In an era in which capitalism with its subtle and systemic forms of global domination has become an all-consuming issue, yet provoking everywhere a trend toward authoritarianism in both politics and religion, we must ask ourselves the same kinds of questions that critical theory and psychoanalysis raised several generations ago. These questions were what Lacan raised implicitly throughout his career, which Frederic Jameson posed anew in the early 1980s, and which have become a motivating force in the development of new, radical, community-based forms of psychoanalysis.

  • How do we unlock the unconscious as a strategy of emancipation that not only unmasks the encrypted master discourse of global capital and its distorted subjectivities, but also shapes anew an empowered political praxis as well as restored bonds of community solidarity, which capitalism has eroded?
  • What role does psychoanalysis play in these new forms of critical theorizing as well as community-based and polis-building types of praxis?
  • How are to understand the function of religion within the order of symbolization as well as the structures of dominance in such a manner that psychoanalysis, historically excluded from both theoretical and professional discourses, can be accorded a new significance?

Since its very beginning psychoanalysis has been concerned with both the problem of alienation and social solidarity. Freud’s Civilization and its discontents as well as Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego are a testimony of this concern, not to mention Freud’s own efforts made to understand the relationship between love, transference, the death drive, and repetition. Professional analysts and clinicians, for instance, are well-acquainted with the fragile links that bind couples, friends, families and associates in the workplace as a general “disease” of the capitalist order. But at the same time the world of mental health, especially In the United States, thrives on practices that promote behavioral adaptation to the dominant order, that depend on the kind of “un-thinking” which psychoanalysis has historically criticized and sought to overcome. The conference also aims, therefore, to profile exemplary and emancipatory clinical approaches.

Papers can be addressed to either theorists or practitioners and should not exceed 15 pages. Abstracts should be submitted no later than June 30, 2016 to  Carl Raschke, Professor of Religious Studies, University of Denver ( Notification of acceptance will come no later than July 31, 2016.

Registration is $100.

Select papers will be published in a special issue of the Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory.

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