The Politics of Diagnosis Workshop

This week, in collaboration with Study Groups on Psychoanalysis and Politics, we start a three-day workshop on the historical, political and social dynamics involved in diagnosis. The workshop will take place every Thursday 8pm Berlin time for the next three weeks via Zoom. Here is a short blurb about the workshop with a list of topics:

It is not uncommon today to meet a person in a psychoanalytic context who desires a diagnosis. And indeed, some people spend a lot of time and earn large sums of money by providing subjects with the signifiers of diagnoses. One can say that “Diagnosis” is a name of an industry and, wherever there is an industry, there are desiring subjects willing to pay. In this workshop we will explore notions pertaining to diagnosis in the social and political context. We will begin by discussing the beginning of the discourse on diagnosis and its economic and political roots. We will continue to investigate its subversion in the psychoanalytic discourse; a discourse that offered an ethics rather than a medical moralism in terms of the diagnosis of the subject. We will end by expanding on the impact psychoanalytic ethics might have on our understanding of political processes today. The workshop will engage with texts and ideas developed by contemporary thinkers such as Foucault, Derrida, Freud, Lacan, Badiou and more.

Session 1 – 9th June – Foucault’s History of Madness

A brief examination of Foucault’s argument in his History of Madness. What is the structuralist view on the birth of the discourse on mental illness?

Session 2 – 16th June – Freud’s Dialogue with Madness

The symptom as structure—psychoanalytic ethics. What is the cause of the subject?

Session 3 – 23rd June – Badiou’s Diagnosis of the Political

What is an ethical subject in political action? A brief introduction to Badiou’s ‘diagnostic manual’ for the event.

If you are interested in joining the workshop, or would like to have access to the session recordings, please register here.

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