Constructing Oedipus IV: 2017

 This course requires an enrolment key

We concluded the 2012-13 Fall/Spring semesters with a historical overview and critique of the Oedipus Complex as it was first put forth by Freud then expanded upon by the post-neo Freudian theories. We were left with the following conundrum: if you put 10 analysts in a room and ask them what the Oedipus complex is would you ever get a group of people referring to the same thing? Beyond a cliché, probably not.

We begin 2013-14, therefore, with a response to this problem: beyond the appeals to authority and the group think of schools, is there a manner to stabilize the discourse of psychoanalysis around its fundamental concepts? There is a positive response on the condition that such problems are constructed. With regard to the Oedipus, our goal is to provide a constructive entry into the Oedipus that does simply repeat the indications made by Freud and the tradition, but constructs the Oedipus he discovered in a topology first brought out by Lacan. The course assumes no previous background in topology or psychoanalysis.

Dates an Seminar Summary

1) Sept. 28:History – Overview of the Oedipus: Timeline of 'whens', What has been said?, Who said it, Why was it introduced?, How does it work? An original manuscript compiling important articles, letters, and citations of the Oedipus will be made available to the student.

2) Oct. 26: Structure: What is a structure? How is the Oedipus a structure? Introduction to the various formulations of the term 'structure' – from sets to categories-allegories – and how the Oedipus complex can be formulated in a precise manner therein. We conclude by showing how a structure is nothing other than a topology. Then give a list of the decisive places in the oeuvre of Lacan where a topological construction of the Oedipus occurs.

3) Nov. 30th: Topological Presentations in Analysis: What is Topology? What is it to present a case in topology? What is the importance of making the difference between a topological presentation and representation? When posed in the field of psychoanalysis the question is habitually respond through illustrations that comment on and imitate what Lacan supposedly had in mind or presented in a seminar. Leaving the illustrations for the artists and commentary for the historians, our introduction aims to construct the object he discovered topologically without continually having to mention the name Lacan, mobius bands, borromean rings, etc.. We will, therefore, present a topological construction of the Oedipus leaving it to each lecture to confirm for her or herself if it resolves the problem at hand – without having to continually defer our argument to a Lacanian icon. Indeed, from this point forward we make the following guidelines of presentation:

1) No mention of the name of Lacan is to be used in a presentation.
2) No illustrative use of Mobius bands or Borromeans are permitted.
3) Terms of psychoanalysis and topology are to be constructed and defined and not left for a 'word of mouth' representation of concepts.
4) A purely silent presentation based only on writing may be – and at some time should be – attempted.

A call for the last seminar will be made to anyone caring to present a problem in analysis with regard to the Oedipus.

4) Dec. 14: Topology – Knots – The Oedipus in graphs, surfaces, and knots. Collective Presentations.

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This course requires an enrolment key