The Freud Museum

Events Archive

26 October 1990


Conference Report

The Speculations conference was a major international event reflecting on psychoanalytic practices and cultural discourses. It brought together some of the leading figures in postmodern philosophy. The contributions came under three headings:


explores the life of the flesh and how the erotic fares in speculative analysis.

Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen (Seattle)
Alibis of the Subject

Sarah Kofman (Paris)
"It's only the first step that costs"

Alphonso Lingis (Pennsylvania)
These Alien Bodies that are our Own


fields the rules, tactics, and institutionalisation of psychoanalysis and asks what are the stakes within larger political arenas.

Cornelius Castoriadis (Paris)
Psychoanalysis and Autonomy

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (Pittsburgh)
Psychoanalysis in Leftfield and Field-Working

James Hillman (Connecticut)
'Anthropos phusei politikon zoon' ('Man is by nature a political animal '- Aristotle), or Patient as Citizen


speaks of our passions and sufferings and their enactment through the passage of analysis and other cultural rites.

David Farrell Krell (Chicago)
Immanent Death, Imminent Death - Freud's Beyond the Pleasure Principle and Heidegger's Being and Time

Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe (Strasbourg)
Que veut dire "Katharsis"? / What is "Katharsis"?

Nicholas Rand (Wisconsin) and Maria Torok (Paris)
Freud's "Uncanny" and the Return of the Secret - The Sandman looks at Sigmund Freud

William Richardson (Boston)
The Word of Silence

Charles Scott (Tennessee)
In Freud's Wake - Care and Nurture without Repression?


A book based on the conference has now been published: Speculations After Freud: Psychoanalysis, Philosophy and Culture edited by Sonu Shamdasani and Michael Münchow (Routledge 1994).

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