Lacan Circle Seminar: Discontinuity and the Drive

Presented by Dan Collins



Lacan Circle Seminar

Discontinuity and the Drive

A critical study
Presented by Dan Collins
This seminar is underway – late enrolment is possible


The drive is a central concept in psychoanalysis, so much so that we take it for granted. We assume that we know the Freudian-Lacanian story of the drive: biological needs are represented in unconscious and acted upon, repressed, or submitted to various other vicissitudes. As Lacanians, we say that our biological needs “take a detour” through language, through the signifying system.


Once we start to examine this simple account, though, it falls apart.


Where the naive understanding of the drive suggests a continuity—albeit with a change of register—between body and mind, a careful reading of Freud and Lacan reveals nothing but discontinuity. In this seminar, we read the groundbreaking psychoanalytic texts on the drive, and we discover a range of discontinuities, between body and mind, between need and demand, between demand and desire, between drive and jouissance. We consider why Freud’s text is so susceptible to the naive reading, and why Lacan’s corrections to Freud’s drive theory are only partial. In the end we’ll find an alternate reading of Freud’s texts and another conception of the drive than the one we know so well.


Topics to be covered include:


Continuity and the Drive
Debunking ‘Drives and Their Vicissitudes’
Life and Death
The Dialectic of Demand
Demand and Fantasy
Alienation, Separation, and the Production of the Lost Object
The Drive and Jouissance


Ten sessions over ten weeks:


Commencing Saturday 21 August
12:15pm – 1:45pm AEST UTC+10

Saturday 21 August
Saturday 28 August
Saturday 4 September
Saturday 11 September
Saturday 18 September
Saturday 25 September
Saturday 2 October
Saturday 9 October
Saturday 23 October
Saturday 30 October


Visit our full calendar here



Discontinuity and the Drive is presented entirely by Zoom.
Recording links are sent to enrolled students after each session.


We are reading from:

Drives and Their Vicissitudes, Freud
The Signification of the Phallus, Lacan
Freud’s ‘Trieb’ and the Psychoanalyst’s Desire, Écrits, Lacan
Beyond the Pleasure Principle, Freud
Subversion of the Subject, Lacan, and
Seminar XI: The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, chapters 6-9 (on the gaze) and 13-14 (on the drive), Lacan

The readings are available to enrolled students through the
Lacan Circle Google drive



Dan Collins, PhD, MSW, lives and works in Buffalo, NY, USA.
He has extensively written, lectured, and published on Lacanian psychoanalysis. He has also produced many translations of Lacanian texts, both published and unpublished, including Lacan’s Seminar XXIV.

Dan is a founding member of Affiliated Psychoanalytic Workgroups, a group that promotes clinical Lacanian psychoanalysis through conferences, workshops, and events. Dan is a member of Lacan Toronto, where he serves as Education Director and holds an annual seminar. He is an international member of the Association for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy in Ireland.


Register below to participate!

You may be interested in our concurrent seminars:

Jacques Lacan’s Seminar XIX … or Worse
And you are welcome to participate in our continuing reading group:
Jacques Lacan ‘s Seminar IV The Object Relation

Contact the Lacan Circle here with any queries,
including how to pay by direct debit or international transfer.


Lacan Circle Seminar: Discontinuity and The Drive

  • Price: $ 400.00
  • MasterCard


Privacy policy:

These seminars are audio and video recorded and live broadcast through Zoom.
When registering you agree to the collection and processing of your personal data,
and on the publication of the audio and video recordings and/or web streaming or stills.

Thank you for your interest in Lacan and the LCA

Art by George Condo, Headspace


Visit our Past Seminars here