Lacan and Kafka: Knowledge, Enjoyment, and the Big Other

One day intensive course. Tutor: Lorenzo Chiesa.

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19 May, 2019, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

£48 – £65

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Lacan and Kafka

There are only three passing references to Kafka in the entirety of Lacan’s vast oeuvre.

In this one-day intensive course, we will scrutinise these passages in their context and show how they can nonetheless throw light on key aspects of Lacanian psychoanalysis.

More generally, through a comparative reading of Lacan’s Seminars and Kafka’s The Castle and The Burrow, we will introduce a number of pivotal psychoanalytic notions such as the object a, the big Other, the fantasy of absolute knowledge, and surplus-enjoyment.

The course will close with an outline of Lacan’s epistemological, ethical, and political stance in his visceral opposition to the so-called university discourse, the contemporary late-capitalist Castle.


Essential readings:

  1. Kafka, “The Burrow” [any edition]
  2. Kafka, The Castle [any edition]

Optional readings:

  1. Lacan, Seminar IX, “Identification”, lesson of 21 March 1962, available at 
  2. Lacan, Seminar XVI, “From an Other to the other”, lessons of 13 November 1968, 26 March 1969, 30 April 1969, 25 June 1969, available at
  3. Chiesa, “Le ressort de l’amour: Lacan’s Theory of Love in his Reading of Plato’s Symposium”, in Angelaki, 11, no 3, 2006, pp. 61-81
  4. Dolar, “Kafka’s Voices”, in S. Žižek, Lacan: The Silent Partners (London: Verso, 2006)

10.00am – first session
12.00pm – lunch break
12.45pm – second session
2.45pm – tea break
3.00pm – third session
5.00pm – finish

Lorenzo Chiesa is a philosopher who has published extensively on psychoanalysis. His works in this field include Subjectivity and Otherness: A Philosophical Reading of Lacan (MIT Press, 2007); Lacan and Philosophy: The New Generation (, 2014); The Not-Two: Logic and God in Lacan (MIT Press, 2016); and The Virtual Point of Freedom (Northwestern University Press, 2016). He is Director of the GSH – Genoa School of Humanities. Since 2014, he has been Visiting Professor at the European University at Saint Petersburg and at the Freud’s Dream Museum of the same city. Previously, he was Professor of Modern European Thought at the University of Kent, where he founded and directed the Centre for Critical Thought.


19 May, 2019
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
£48 – £65
Event Category:


Freud Museum London
20 Maresfield Gardens
London, NW3 5SX United Kingdom
020 7435 2002

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