[Msa-discuss] ACLA 2016 Seminar: "Psy-" Elsewhere

Cate Reilly cireilly at princeton.edu
Tue Sep 1 15:46:44 EDT 2015

“Psy-" Elsewhere

ACLA Seminar, 2016

Harvard: March 17-20

Organizer: Cate I. Reilly, Department of Comparative Literature, Princeton

I am putting together a seminar entitled, “ ‘Psy-’ Elsewhere” for the 2016
American Comparative Literature Association annual meeting. A description
of the seminar can be found below, as well as on the ACLA website at

If interested, please send a 350-word abstracts to cireilly at princeton.edu
no later than September 23.

I look forward to hearing back from you.

Cate I. Reilly

Seminar Description:

Since Freudian psychoanalysis first posited a topographical model of the
mind, the notion of an elsewhere in the “psy disciplines” (psychiatry,
psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, psychology) has often been associated with
either the realm of the unconscious or the totemic objects connected to the
archeological structure of psychic processes. From Freud’s collection of
Persian rugs and Far Eastern, Greek, Egyptian and Mexican artifacts to
Jung’s commentaries on the *Tibetan Book of the Dead *and the *I Ching*,
the “psy disciplines” have long turned to non- Western sources as both
interpretive points of reference and a reservoir of purported wisdom. Yet
as these disciplines expanded transnationally, driven by
professionalization, the need to standardize treatment practices, and reach
new patient populations, they grew increasingly attentive to geo-political
elsewhere(s). As Derrida points out in his assessment of
“geopsychoanalysis,” the transposition to non-European locations was as
much shaped by actual geography as by an institutional imagination of what
did (and did not) constitute global reach.

This seminar asks: What is the nature of the “elsewhere” both created by
these disciplines but also seen in excess of them? How does it reflect back
on these disciplines’ own definition? How is this elsewhere generated,
sustained and responded to? When and how is affirmed or resisted? By whom
or by what?

This interdisciplinary seminar will examine the “psy disciplines” in
contexts beyond Western Europe and the continental U.S., by both looking to
narrative works that thematize these intersections and by bringing literary
tools to bear on clinical scenarios. The seminar invites papers dealing
with authors and theorists whose work reflects on the ambiguous, fraught
and politically resonant configurations that resulted as European “psy
disciplines” negotiated new local sites of practice and vice versa.
Possible topics include, but are not limited to: colonial psychiatry and
racism (e.g. Memmi, Mannoni, Fanon, Girindrasekar Bose, Ashis Nandy)
problems of translation and the clinic (Lacan and beyond); abuses carried
out under the Soviet system; contemporary psy-ops military strategies;
psychoanalysis in/and Latin America; the growth of country specific manuals
of psychiatric disorders; debates surrounding biopolitics (Hardt and Negri,
Agamben, Mbembe, Esposito); global affect management and the relevance of
these disciplines for politics (as in Said’s *Freud and the Non-European*).
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