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March 3, 2017 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Please join us to celebrate the recent publication of Patricia Gherovici and Manya Steinkoler’s second collaboration, Lacan, Psychoanalysis, and Comedy (Cambridge University Press, 2016). The evening will feature buffoonery by the editors, one-liners and witticisms by contributors, Simon Critchley, Dany Nobus, and Jamieson Webster, and a surprise appearance by Dr. Jacques Lacan.


How to fight a situation which seems farcical? When reality reaches absurdity, the subversive power of laughter steps in. Laughter is never innocent, it happens to us, at times inappropriately and inauspiciously.


Psychoanalysis is well known for having shed some light on the perennial mysteries of what we do not control – dreams, parapraxes, symptoms, and sexual problems. While the Freudian slip and the bungled act have become part of Western culture’s lingua franca, it is less commonly known that psychoanalysis provides revelatory insights about the mechanisms of jokes, comedy, humor and their effects. Many people today would happily admit to their Oedipus Complex, but few would feel comfortable reflecting on why they laugh at the humiliation of their co-worker, titter at an ethnic or sexist remark, or realize that like jokes, their dreams are made out of puns, witticisms and one-liners. Few note, as Freud did, that dreams were “insufferably witty,” revealing an annoying predilection for bad puns. And fewer have noted, as Lacan did, that comedy allows privileged access to the unconscious.


We propose a paradigm swerve, a Freudian slip on a banana peel. If psychoanalysis has long been associated with tragedy, there is a strong warrant to take up comedy as a more prescient productive model. Jokes and the comic have not received as much consideration as they deserve, given the fundamental role they play in our psychic lives and how they unite productively the fields of aesthetics, literature, and psychoanalysis.


This collection features essays by Geoff Boucher, Simon Critchley, Marcel Drach, Patricia Gherovici, Sigi Jöttkandt, Dany Nobus, Carol Owens, Jean Michel Rabaté, Molly A. Rothenberg, Matthew Sharpe, Manya Steinkoler, Jamieson Webster, and Alenka Zupančič, exploring laughter, humor, and the comic from a psychoanalytic perspective.



Light refreshments and drinks will be served.

More information on the book is available here.





Patricia Gherovici is a psychoanalyst and author of The Puerto Rican Syndrome (Other Press: 2003; Gradiva Award and Boyer Prize), Please Select Your Gender: From the Invention of Hysteria to the Democratizing of Transgenderism (Routledge: 2010), Lacan On Madness: Madness, Yes You Can’t (with Manya Steinkoler, Routledge: 2015), and Lacan, Psychoanalysis, and Comedy (with Manya Steinkoler Cambridge University Press: 2016). Her new book Transgender Psychoanalysis: A Lacanian Perspective on Sexual Difference is forthcoming (Routledge: 2017).


Dany Nobus  is a Lacanian psychoanalyst in London and Professor of Psychoanalysis at Brunel University London, where he also directs the MA Program in Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Society. In addition, he is the Chair of the Freud Museum London. He is the author of Jacques Lacan and the Freudian Practice of Psychoanalysis (Routledge 2000), Knowing Nothing, Staying Stupid: Elements for a Psychoanalytic Epistemology (Routledge 2005) and The Law of Desire: On Lacan’s ‘Kant with Sade’ (Palgrave 2017), alongside numerous papers on the history, theory, and practice of psychoanalysis.


Manya Steinkoler is a professor of English at BMCC, CUNY and a practicing psychoanalyst in New York City. She is a member of Espace Analytique, Paris. She has co-authored Teaching Literature in Community College Classrooms: Traversing Practices (with Margaret Barrow, McGraw-Hill: 2013), Lacan on Madness: Madness, Yes You Can’t (with Patricia Gherovici, Routledge: 2015) and  Lacan, Psychoanalysis, and Comedy (with Patricia Gherovici, Cambridge University Press). She is currently working on a new book (with Jessica Datema) Uncoming Communities: Re-visioning Holocaust and Post-War Cinema.



Jamieson Webster is a psychoanalyst in New York. A graduate of IPTAR, she teaches at Eugene Lang College at The New School. She is author of The Life and Death of Psychoanalysis (Karnac: 2011), Stay, Illusion!-The Hamlet Doctrine (with Simon Critchley, Pantheon Books : 2013). She is currently working on The Cambridge Introduction to Jacques Lacan, and a new book, Conversion Disorder (Columbia University Press: 2017)


March 3, 2017
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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