Saturday, March 14, 2009

Ian Parker's Papers

Following are the four work-in-progress papers of Ian Parker which he delivered as talks in Bangalore in February and March this year.

Parker, Ian. ‘Marxism, Psychoanalysis and the State: Lessons from Slovenia

Parker, Ian. ‘Micro-Nations of the Self in Times of War: Against Discourse Analysis in Psychology’

Parker, Ian. ‘Psychosocial Studies: Lacanian Discourse Analysis Negotiating Interview Text’

Parker, Ian. ‘Transference at Work in Research’

To read more papers of Ian, please visit

To read about Ian, please visit his profile at Manchester Metropolitan University site or Wikipedia

The Psychology after Lacan course-blog is grateful to Ian for sharing his papers with us.
(Ian photo is reproduced from MMU website)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

OBJECTIVITY AND THE CLINICAL SETTING: A REVISED MODEL OF DETACHMENT - Talk by Asha Achuthan in PG Department of Psychology, Christ University

This talk will try to raise questions about methodologies at work in the mental health disciplines. Therapy may generally be said to have stayed within identitarian modes, whether treatment options be individualised or community-based, whether they be reliant on the testimony of the ‘client’ or the ‘signs’ exhibited by the ‘patient’. This might be seen as a way to retain the best of both worlds – the need for objective assessments as well as the need to let the client speak for herself and of her experience; in other words, retain both objectivity and subjective value. This reflects on the models of knowledge at work in mental health disciplines in particular and the world of science at large. Is there, however, a way to access the subject without falling into the boundedness of identity and its classifications? Is there a way to mobilise experience without a wholesale rejection of the objective? Is it possible to mobilise experience as a category in order to arrive at a truth of the subject that is not exact or final? This talk will be an exercise in trying to chart a revised model for objectivity, drawing on the promise of dialogues between psychoanalysis, ethnography, and science – all of which have commitments to truth, knowledge, as well as origin, in different ways. The exercise will rely somewhat heavily on three impulses drawn from Lacan - his separation of experience from the experimental, his reclaiming of the ‘conjectural’, subjective sciences as the desired approach, and his separation of truth from exactitude.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Friday, February 6, 2009

Matriliny and Psychosis

In the last class (31/01) we considered one of Lacan's case studies on psychosis - Roger Bronzehelmet. A problem with fastening a button( /a system of buttons) - the Name of the Father - has been implicated by Lacan in psychosis. Of course this would assume a patriarchal, patrilinial context. However, what is psychosis in a matriarchal society (hypothetically), or, more importantly, a matrilineal one?

In a matrilineal system, the 'name' is traced along the maternal line. The Nayars of the 18th and 19th centuries in Kerala, from what I understand, had such a system. Additionally, members of the family lived in the mother's house - a 'taravad' - with neither the ceremonial nor biological fathers living with them. Even if this society could not be seen as being completely free of patriarchal elements, the general social context and power works must have been quite different.

What, then, happens to the nature of psychosis in such a system? Or, in the Lacanian sense, would there even be psychotic instances, in the first place?

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Today 18/01/09 we talked about psychosis and neurosis. And one point keeps coming back to me a person who is labeled as having psychosis is said to be a ship that is free floating on a sea of signifier and signified with no knots to bring it together and with no taboos/ morality or rules attached.
According to Lacan we are not supposed to tell a "psychotic" he/she is delusional because it will rock their boat and bringing them out of it could lead them to suicide.
My question is then are we as psychologist supposed to just sit back and nod approvingly when our "client" says that an umbrella is a boat? After all its just shared reality... or am i supposed to ethically try to "help" him/her to come back to "reality"?
Then again ethics is a huge issue but morality is much lighter. Because according to my morals i can help a man or woman by giving her shelter or food. But when ethics is involved i need to look into the issue of whether im doing the person more harm than help.
Truth be said this is a very complex issue and i don't know whether i'm getting anywhere with my thoughts.