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Psychoanalysis, illustration and the art of hysteria: Transcript from a talk, Worcester 2019

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‘Psychoanalysis, illustration and the art of hysteria’ is a transcript of a talk. It explores the possibility of the disruption of meaning in both the analytic encounter and the encounter between image and text. In order to do this, it focuses on the photographs of hysterics taken at the Salpêtrière Hospital in the nineteenth century and asks, ‘what were the doctors doing to these women, and what were these women doing to the doctors?’ From here it goes on to explore Lacan’s four discourses (the discourse of the master, the hysteric, the analyst and the university) that provide a radically non-illustrative means of illuminating the logic of hysteria. The overall drive of the article is to articulate something around the transformative potential of unruly communications, arguing for the possibility that linear arguments and an insistence on sense-making are far from the only means of addressing the Other in order to bring about change.

Keywords: Lacan; Salpêtrière; four discourses; hysteria; illustration; psychoanalysis; relational aesthetics

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Centre for Freudian Analysis and Research

Publication date: August 1, 2020

More about this publication?
  • Illustration is a rapidly evolving field with an excitingly broad scope. Despite its cultural significance and rich history, illustration has rarely been subject to deep academic scrutiny. The Journal of Illustration provides an international forum for scholarly research and investigation of a range of cultural, political, philosophical, historical, and contemporary issues, in relation to illustration. The journal encourages new critical writing on illustration, associated visual communication, and the role of the illustrator as visualizer, thinker, and facilitator, within a wide variety of disciplines and professional contexts.

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