Seroquel me Softly to Sleep: the June Newsletter

June 30, 2016


The SPI Sabbath is active! All regular SPI activities will now take place mondays, 7-9pm Eastern.  If it is a monday, between 7-9 eastern, chances are that something SPI is happening somewhere.  Keep us in your nerve-networks and Nichtsdenkungsgedanken

NOTE from the directors

According to the New York Times, “almost 20,000 prescriptions for risperidone (commonly known as Risperdal), quetiapine (Seroquel) and other antipsychotic medications were written in 2014 for children 2 and younger.” Jonathan Lear gets partially to the root of a rigorous psychoanalytic response when he argues that psychopharmacology is part of a larger “cultural image of what treatment can accomplish.” Its ideal is a person not so much “freed to become an individual” but rather “‘freed’ from that possibility.” Yet Lear is talking about adults who have already, with varying degrees of success, weathered the trials of childhood to have emerged as linguistic subjects; who have, with varying degrees of self-consciousness, come to understand the perils and promises therein; and who have, with varying degrees of compulsion, chosen self-flight or self-comprehension.  What is on display here, by contrast, is an assault not on subjectivity but on the very possibility of subjectivity, a movement not toward its elimination but toward what Jacques Lacan would call its foreclosure. Perhaps Catherine Malabou’s claim that Freud is of little help in understanding “the new wounded” should be understood as prophecy rather than assertion.

What has been happening

The Analytic Social Psychology Workgroup discussed Eli Zaretsky’s Political Freud: A History. The discussion ranged over feminism, ego-strength, the Bildverbot, Fanon’s radicalism, and interiority. Critics say: “The group’s capacity to handle differences of opinion, careful reading, and fundamental questions about the history of psychoanalysis and social theory and movements were evident.”

The Office for Rrealiste Research worked over Marcel Mauss’ text The Gift to think about a non-utilitarian economic life, in line with the theme of “Surreal Economies.”  Turns in the discussion led the group to take up André Breton’s “Ode to Charles Fourier.” “The method of doubt must be applied to civilization; we must doubt its necessity, its excellence, and its permanence.”  Future sessions will turn to Pierre Klossowski’s obscure thoughts on “Living Currency.”

What will be happening

ASP discusses Adorno’s analysis of Martin Luther Thomas’ radio addresses in preparation for TRUMPANALYSIS. See some initial thoughts here: Notes on a Contemporary Demagogue: A Social-Psychological Account of Right Wing Populism

A panel of responses to Zaretsky’s Political Freud, to be presented at this year’s Association for the Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society annual conference, Dreams and Nightmares: Psychoanalysis and Social Justice in the 21st Century.  Presentations will be pointed and expansive and will include—radical feminist responses, a cut through the Gordian knot of the history of the concept of “Ego Strength,” and theses on the libidinal politics of Norman O. Brown.

A set of “Unfortunate Papers on the Anus” are in the works for this year’s conference of the International Society of Psychoanalysis and Philosophy (SIPP/ ISPP) on “Any-Body

Preparing to overhaul our website…Keep your eyes out for what is coming…

New on the blog

Preliminary Notes on a Contemporary Demagogue

Freud gegen Moralität/ Joy against Morality

In Husserl’s Bedroom

From our friends

SIPP conference

Acephalic Discontents IV w/ Wendy’s Subway in the fall

Philadelphia Communist School discusses Debt and Subjectivity

New from New Books in Psychoanalysis

APCS Conference Proposals, due June 30, 2016

Bern the Convention! (Occupy the Democratic National Convention), July 25-28, Philadelphia.

SPI Winter Summit, December 2016, NYC.

And if you are interested in collaborating or getting involved, please contact Ben Fong, at BENF@FREUDIANS.ORG or anyone else you find here.