Because four sessions is not enough to do a close, sequential reading of Lacan’s 10th seminar, I’ve decided to organize “An Object That Is Not Oriented” thematically. Here’s my tentative schedule (I’ll be thinking on this more over the next week):
Session 1: The Lacanian Subject versus Ego– Two Types of Politics
Session 2: The Lacanian Object or the Cause of Desire and What Cannot Be Digested
Session 3: The Mathematics of Fantasy– Four Fantasmatic Operations and the Janus Faced Structure of the Fantasm (This will include reflections on Elliot Rodgers and the dual structure of fantasy; reading of his manifesto (warning .pdf) is not a bad idea, but is also harrowing).
Session 4: Anxiety and Capitalism. This last session is the most difficult. The question I’m trying to pose– and I don’t have an answer –is that of why anxiety disorders have exploded in the last five or six decades.
I’m wearing a lot of hats in this class, both trying to introduce Lacan to an introductory audience and discussing an extremely complicated (and in many places obscure) so we’ll have a lot to work through. Hopefully there will be a lot of participation as my experience, having co-led the Dallas Society for Structuralist and Post-Structuralist Philosophy and Theory (largely devoted to Lacan) with Tim Richardson for nearly the last decade, is that work on Lacan goes best when there’s lots of talk and people aren’t afraid to pose very elementary questions. I also strongly recommend those wanting a detailed commentary to read Duane Rousselle’s outstanding series on the seminars at the blog DingPolitik (oddly the link for his blog isn’t currently coming up, so I hope he didn’t delete it!).. He’s truly a bright and rising light within the field of Lacanian theory.
If at all possible, please have the entire seminar read before the class begins. Again, do not despair if you don’t understand it all. I certainly don’t and I also believe that part of his pedagogy consisted in attempting to make the void present and in enacting the non-existence of the big Other for his audience.
Further information for signing up for the course can be found here.