Publication des séminaires de Jacques Lacan

Dans une lettre lettre au Champ freudien datée du 9 janvier 2011, Jacques-Alain Miller fait savoir qu’il est en train d’achever la rédaction des séminaires de Jacques Lacan :

Paris, le 9 janvier 2011

Chers collègues et amis,

En ce début de l’année 2011, je vois venir le terme d’un travail qui m’aura depuis longtemps requis. J’achève de rédiger, en effet, ce qui s’appelle, à proprement parler, Le Séminaire de Jacques Lacan – soit les 25 Livres qui vont des Ecrits techniques de Freud au Moment de conclure. Reste encore, pour l’essentiel, à donner le coup de fion à un seul manuscrit, celui du Livre VI, Le Désir et son interprétation, dont j’avais déjà fait paraître jadis six leçons.
En sus de ces 25 Livres, j’ai également établi le texte de quatre autres Séminaires – par ordre chronologique : le Séminaire initial de 1951-52, sur l’Homme-aux-loups, dont subsistent quelques notes d’auditeur ; les Séminaires topologiques, dont ne subsiste que peu, qui furent encore donnés après Le Moment de conclure ; et le Séminaire ultime de 1980, contemporain de la dissolution de son Ecole par Lacan.
Amené depuis un an à consacrer au Séminaire tous les moments dont je pouvais disposer en dehors de ma pratique, j’ai sans doute été moins présent auprès de mes amis, de mes collègues, de vous tous. C’est aussi pourquoi j’avais dû ajourner la reprise de mon cours.
Je donne rendez-vous à ses fidèles auditeurs au même endroit, le mercredi 19 janvier à 14 heures. J’y ferai le point sur la rédaction et la publication du Séminaire, et annoncerai sur quel thème et dans quelles conditions je poursuivrai mon cours en 2011.

Avec mes vœux de bonne année,
Jacques-Alain Miller

On trouvera cette lettre à l’adresse suivante :

High Society is high impact and high interest

by Katy Barrett

I am writing this review while drinking a cup of coffee in the café of the Wellcome Collection. I would never think of myself as a ‘drug user,’ but the current exhibition High Society reminds us that caffeine is just one of the mind-altering substances which are prevalent in all human societies.

From an opening case of evocative objects – including a Starbucks cup and a Coke can – that draws on the wealth of the Wellcome’s own collections, the exhibition marshals items from ancient Assyrian cuneiform tablets to modern art installations by Richard Hamilton and Keith Coventry to investigate the wide range of ways in which we get ‘high.’ It draws on ceramics, natural specimens, books, prints, paintings, photographs; political advertising, scientific experiments, art installations, interviews to show just how ancient and varied human drug use is. It considers the boundaries between public and private, social and anti-social, legal and illegal. I, in fact, use the term ‘drug’ with trepidation, in case it lead my readers to a culturally-induced ‘pejorative’ understanding of the term which this exhibition by no means endorses.

The opening section ‘A Universal Impulse’ highlights this problem and shows the varying types and functions of drugs in different cultures, considering religious or medical use, and the modern clash between these and international law. Next, ‘From Apothecary to Laboratory’ considers the development from ancient medical plants to modern laboratory drugs and the local and international paths of these. Connected is ‘The Drugs Trade’ section, which reminds us of the ever-present role of British imperial trade and expansion in so much world history, and the importance of the opium trade from India to China in the nineteenth century.

The section on ‘Self-Experimentation’ investigates how scientists and artists have sought to understand what drugs do to the human consciousness and why this varies between individuals; how essentially the results evade complete scientific explanation. The installation by Brion Gysin invites visitors to give themselves a hallucinatory experience. ‘Collective Intoxication’ then considers how drug use is part of social interaction, using and contrasting Western attitudes to more ‘ritualistic’ drug use in other cultures. The final section considers whether drug use is ‘A sin, a crime, a vice, or a disease?’ highlighting how such boundaries change across communities, and have shifted over time along with attitudes to the human mind and body and the relationship between the two.

This exhibition is the Wellcome Collection’s usual high quality and high impact. On a grey Saturday afternoon it was heaving with enthusiastic visitors, showing that the subject is as ‘high’ interest today as the exhibition shows that it has been in the past.

‘High Society’ continues until 27th February 2011 with special events on ‘Drugs in Victorian Britain’ on Friday 11th and Saturday 12th February.

Katy Barrett is a PhD Student on the AHRC-funded research project ‘The Board of Longitude 1714-1828: Science, Innovation and Empire in the Georgian World‘ supervised jointly by the University of Cambridge and the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London. She is currently interested in the relationships that were drawn between lunacy and the search for longitude in the early eighteenth century.

New Issue of Medizinhistorisches Journal

A new issue of Medizinhistorisches Journal has been published. It presents, among other things, a piece by Stefan Wulf und Heinz-Peter Schmiedebach entitled Dis/arranged medical histories à la Friedrichsberg. Explorations of foreign patients by multilingual fellow patients in a German asylum about 1900. The abstract reads:

This paper deals with two examples of a particular patient’s activity at the Friedrichsberg Asylum in Hamburg in the beginning of the 20th century. Two multilingual patients assumed the function of interpreters in each case for a foreign fellow patient. They were involved to a great extent in the documentation of the medical histories. Conversations and interrogations carried out by them and recorded by their own hand are passed down in the medical files of their foreign-language fellow patients. After some preliminary remarks about the Friedrichsberg Asylum and its patients, the various activities of patients in the psychiatric institution and the importance of the patients’ manner of speaking for the psychiatric diagnosis, the two cases are described in detail. The patient-interpreters were perceived as border-crossers, as “Figures of the Third”.

CfP: History of Psychology and Psychiatry Postgraduate Conference

Below is a message from Sarah Marks, graduate student at the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at University College London:

Call for Papers
History of Psychology and Psychiatry Postgraduate Conference, 19th March 2011

The Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at UCL will host a one day conference for postgraduate students working on the history of psychology and psychiatry. The conference is intended to develop a network of postgraduates across different universities, and to provide a forum for current research in the field.

The conference is open to students from both the UK and abroad. There will be funding available to cover travel costs and refreshments will be provided. We welcome papers on any historical period, and on any geographical region. To see what some of our students are working on, please follow this link:

A title and a brief abstract of 150-200 words should be sent to Sarah Marks by the 10th of February ( Please do not hesitate to contact us with any queries.


Cornell University Richardson History of Psychiatry Seminar Spring 2011

The Richardson History of Psychiatry Research Seminar

Convenes on the 1st & 3rd Wednesdays from September through May
2:00 PM Baker Tower Conference Room F-1200


January 5
Susan Lamb, Ph.D., Post-Doctoral Fellow, Social Studies of Medicine, McGill University “Social Science: The Schizophrenic Reaction Type in Meyerian Psychiatry”
February 2
Joshua Wolf Shenk, Independent Author “Lincoln’s Melancholy”
February 16
Siovahn Walker, Ph.D., Director, Council for European Studies, Columbia University “Positive Psychology as a Translational Frame for Understanding Medieval Psychology”
March 2
Sam Gandy, M.D., Ph.D., Mount Sinai Professor in Alzheimer’s Disease Research; Associate Director, Mount Sinai Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center “Alzheimer’s Disease from Auguste Deter to the Amyloid Hypothesis and Beyond”
March 16
Hilary J. Beattie, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Medical Psychology, Columbia University “Autobiography and Psychoanalysis Revisited: How have psychoanalysts told their own lives?”
April 6
Mary Karr, Peck Professor of Literature, Syracuse University “Truth and Lies in Memoir: How Socrates ‘Know Thyself’ Makes Literature, Not Jerry Springer TV”
April 20
Eslee Samberg, M.D., & Elizabeth Auchincloss, M.D., Weill Medical College of Cornell University “Psychoanalytic Lexicography: Notes from two ‘harmless drudges'”
May 4
Richard Wolin, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of History and Political Science, The Graduate Center, City University of New York “The Peregrinations of French Anti-Psychiatry”
May 18
Harry Trosman, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neuroscience, University of Chicago “William Hazlitt and Obsessive Love” Esman Lecture

* PLEASE NOTE: Space is limited. Attendance by permission only.


New issue of the Bulletin of the History of Medicine

The Winter issue of the Bulletin of the History of Medicine is accessible online. In this issue, you’ll find an article by Erika Dyck entitled Spaced-Out in Saskatchewan: Modernism, Anti-Psychiatry, and Deinstitutionalization, 1950-1968. The abstrac reads:

On the eve of deinstitutionalization, a group of professionals, including an architect, a psychiatrist, and a psychologist, joined together in pursuit of a middle ground between outright closure of long-stay hospitals and the introduction of out-patient services in general hospitals. Augmented by the use of the hallucinogenic drug LSD, these men produced a trenchant critique of modern psychiatry and the changing mental health system without subscribing to antipsychiatry. Caught among shifting psychiatric paradigms, fiscal constraints, and political pressure to situate mental health within an encroaching system of publicly funded health care reforms, their proposed mental hospital designs failed to stem the tidal wave of post-World War II changes in mental health care.

Psychiatry and Prison – The question of mental health care for prisoners

L’ouverture à Lyon en 2010 de la première unité d’hospitalisation spécialement aménagée (UHSA) de France s’accompagne d’une couverture médiatique importante. Le dispositif national semble nouveau et pose question : ce lieu de soins psychiatriques pour personnes détenues relève-t-il de l’hôpital ou de la prison ? Comment rester médecin et soignant au service de l’individu au sein d’un dispositif contraignant qui va dans le sens d’une régulation de l’ordre social ? Pour le moins se dessine un conflit des normes, produisant un sujet hybride, mi-patient mi-détenu, et un reste probable : sa souffrance et la parole de sa souffrance.

Pour répondre à ces questions, il faudra certainement interroger le projet UHSA lui-même, dans son actualité mais aussi par des mises en perspective historiques et philosophiques. Les réponses que l’on peut apporter à ces questions relayées par les médias sont si complexes qu’il y a tout intérêt à les donner à travers une rencontre interdisciplinaire et un croisement de regards, dans une approche qui convoque à la fois les acteurs directement impliqués, des équipes de recherche universitaire, des créateurs artistiques et des interprètes, pour un dialogue à multiples facettes.

Il s’agit moins au terme de ce dialogue de juger un fait de société ou de lui proposer une réponse unique que de juxtaposer et de confronter des points de vue pour mieux faire percevoir l’implicite des enjeux et des discours relatifs à la création de l’UHSA.

Journées d’étude organisées par la Bibliothèque interuniversitaire de recherche en lettres et sciences humaines de Lyon (BIU Lsh)

  • en partenariat avec le laboratoire Triangle, CNRS, UMR 5206, rattaché à l’École normale supérieure de Lyon
  • avec la collaboration du pôle de Santé mentale des détenus et de psychiatrie légaledu Centre Hospitalier Le Vinatier (Lyon-Bron)
  • et du Barreau de Lyon
  • et avec la participation de l’ANR Sciencepeine

To get more information and the detailed program, click here.

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