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MSA 11: Psychoanalysis and Literature as Modernist Languages of the Negative

Psychoanalysis and literature can be considered mutually informing theories of language, particularly in modernism. Psychoanalysis, with its emphasis on dream structures and on partial memories, offers an account of interpretation that is essentially literary, as Mary Jacobus has argued. In terms of literary scholarship, Lacoue-Labarthe and Nancy argue that “literature” after Kant essentially is theory, characterized by the fragment. In terms of psychoanalysis, André Green argues that the negative, stemming from Freud’s discovery of the unconscious, informs psychoanalysis.

This panel asks: How does our understanding of psychoanalytic theory influence our approach to modern literature, and vice versa? More important, how are both approaches to interpretation grounded in notions of the negative? In what way do both literature and psychoanalysis become modernist models for thought? Papers welcome on (re)conceiving modernist notions of thinking and/or interpretation founded in the negative. Possible topics: trauma, memory, form, representation, the image.

Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words and a brief biographical statement (2-3 sentences) to Celia Carlson (cc@hevanet.com) by May 1, 2009.


Conference Location: Montreal, Canada
Conference Starts: November 05, 2009
Conference Ends: November 08, 2009

CFP Submission Deadline: May 01, 2009

For more information, contact: Celia Carlson

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