Julia Kristeva’s theory of sublimation is woven through many of her works and relies upon Lacanian theory and cultural studies to create one of the most powerful, persuasive, and embodied depictions of the emergence of creative agency within the analytic couple. Mobilized by drive, desire, and jouissance, the patient in psychoanalysis engages with the body's fierce affective semiotic forces; in the process of sublimation which Kristeva calls "significance", these affective forces animate the patient/subject’s movement from the confinement of his internal world towards the socio/political realm. Kristeva refers to this extra-psychical or third dimension of significance as “trans-subjectivity.”
Whereas Kristeva is reluctant to extend psychoanalytic theory/practice into the political realm, I elaborate a broader vision of what accounts for sublimation within a psychoanalysis that today is assaulted by sustained catastrophe. This critique is centered around four major points of interest:
- I am interested in how this psychical transformation occurs within the individual in relation to the world’s wound that may open the subject to social responsibility within analysis.
- I am interested in how we can enhance our analytic skills by listening more carefully to the evidence our patients are revealing to us, wondering, perhaps, in nine thousand ways, “What can I do to make a difference in my world?”
- I am interested in how care is awakened through trans-subjectivity in the clinic and beyond.
- I am interested in how creative capacity is maimed, silenced and disemboweled by various power structures through which the subject is originally and continually crushed.
Outline: Readings will include a chapter from my book (forthcoming Routledge, 2021) entitled Psychoanalysis and Social Transformation: Catastrophe and Trans-subjectivity that engages these topics in three parts.
Monday, May 3rd: Part One of this series is an introduction to a critique of Kristeva’s political project and to where her work stands in the history of ideas, including her affiliation with Lacanian thought.
Monday, May 10th: Part Two begins to build key aspects of her thought regarding the semiotic, the abject, and the imaginal father. Clinical application and theory go hand and hand.
Monday, May 17th: In Part Three, we will focus on significance and the trans-subjective dimension of sublimatory process, illustrated richly with seminar participants’ clinical material.
Additional relevant readings and other resource materials will be disseminated as the course progresses.
Seminar Instructor: Robin McCoy Brooks, MA, LMHC, TEP, is a Jungian Analyst in private practice in Seattle, WA. She is the Co-Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Jungian Studies, serves on the Board of Directors of the International Association for Jungian Studies, and is the current chair of the IAJS online seminars. She is a founding member of the New School for Analytical Psychology and an active analyst member of the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts. Ms. Brooks is also a nationally certified Trainer, Educator and Practitioner of Group Psychotherapy, Sociometry and Sociometry. She is the author of numerous articles and book chapters; her next book forthcoming from Routledge’s Psychoanalysis and Philosophy Series focuses on the political project of psychoanalysis within the surround of sustained emergency. She is currently in the constant surround of two Siamese cats and her beloved husband, all sheltering in place on a wooden boat on Salmon Bay, Seattle.
1. Participants will understand Julia Kristeva’s notion of the political project for psychoanalysis as it relates to socio/political contexts.
2. Participants will learn the stages of Kristeva’s notion of sublimation within psychoanalytic practice—semiotics, abjection, and trans-subject—as applied to the clinical realm.
3. Participants will understand how a renewed notion of trans-subjectivity is a nodal point for social responsiveness as the subject of psychoanalysis engages collective catastrophe (plague, climate change and xenophobia).
Cost: $125.00 for Alliance members; $160.00 for non-members
Seminar size is limited to 12 participants
Refund Policy: Refunds less a $10/ handling fee will be given up until one week before seminar