LCA Seminars

Two seminars per semester

2020 Semester 2

Seminar I: The Lacanian Orientation of Jacques-Alain Miller

Lecturer Russell Grigg

“The Lacanian orientation” is the title Miller gave his course at the University of Paris that ran from 1981 to 2011. It is in equal part modest and ambitious. Modest, because Miller set himself the task of transmitting Lacan’s teaching through a tireless reading and rereading of his work. Ambitious, because in the process of returning again and again to Lacan’s teaching he relentlessly pursues something unprecedented in the movement of Lacan’s constantly changing teaching.

Seminar II: The Analytic Act in Lacanian Psychoanalysis

Lecturers Kate Briggs, David Ferraro, Jonathan Redmond and Russell Grigg

Something new is always created in an analysis. Freud gave it a name: transference neurosis. And when Lacan spoke of an “analytic act”, he had in mind an act that specifically engages with this very thing that analysis creates. This seminar addressed key concepts of analysis: interpretation, construction, desire, transference and the end of analysis, in the light of Lacan’s notion of the analytic act.


2020 Winter Reading Seminar

Moses and Monotheism

Lecturer Russell Grigg

The series of essays that eventually coalesced into Moses and Monotheism are amongst the final writings of Sigmund Freud. The full text comprises three essays of unequal length that are somewhat disordered and have repetitions and inconsistencies. They were written over many years, completed in March 1939, published in August 1939, WWII was declared in September 1939, and Freud died later that month. Moses and Monotheism is Freud’s most enigmatic work, little read and not often studied.


2020 Semester 1

Seminar I: The Names of the Father

Lecturer Russell Grigg

Beginning with the single session of his seminar on The Names of the Father, we track the developments in Lacan’s changing views about the symbolic, the imaginary and the real in his later work. We examine Lacan’s commentary on the Oedipus complex in Seminar 5, then move beyond the Oedipus complex in Seminar 17 and the emergence of the theory of the père-version, the perverse father-version, and then in the final Lacan the link with the function of naming.


Seminar II: Clinical Issues in Psychoanalysis

Lecturers Russell Grigg, David Ferraro, Jonathan Redmond and Kate Briggs

Psychoanalysts of the Lacan Circle lead seminars on topics of current interest to psychoanalysis and of particular interest to them: Jonathan Redmond on ordinary psychosis in the clinical setting; David Ferraro on guilt and shame, addiction, and perversion and anxiety; Russell Grigg on melancholia; and Kate Briggs on interpretation and what is a body.


2019 Semester 2

Seminar I: The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis

Lecturer Russell Grigg

Arguably the most read and most influential of Lacan’s seminars, Seminar XI, The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, is a turning point in Lacan’s teaching. The concepts of repetition, transference, the unconscious and the drive are the basic concepts of the Freudian discovery of psychoanalysis. In Seminar XI Lacan tethers each of these concepts tightly to Freud’s work, even as he uncovers another logic within them – which is the logic of the signifier in its intersection with the object of the drive. Along the way, the encounter with Merleau-Ponty, Descartes, Holbein and others makes this one of Lacan’s richest seminars.


Seminar II: Anxiety

Lecturer Kate Briggs

Lacan famously spoke of anxiety as an affect that points towards the real and as such does not deceive. He first formalises the objects a in this seminar on Anxiety. As non-specularisable elements constructed from the symbolic without being signifiers, the objects a are a pivotal point in his reading of Freud and the development of his later focus on jouissance. In this seminar we will read Freud’s, “Inhibition, Symptoms and Anxiety” with Seminar X to explore the question of anxiety and the object in the work of Freud and Lacan.


2019 Semester 1

Seminar I: The Direction of the Treatment

Lecturer Russell Grigg

Lacan’s celebrated article, “The Direction of the Treatment”, is the key text for this discussion of the Lacanian approach to analysis and the theory behind the Lacanian orientation. Issues covered included subtleties of technique, the aims of the treatment and the nature and place of interpretation. The seminar incorporated discussions of transference, the analyst’s desire, the analyst as object a, and the end of analysis.


Seminar II: Freud and the Technique of Psychoanalysis

Lecturer Kate Briggs

This seminar focused on Freud’s Papers on Technique, considering those in Standard Edition vol. XII, along with some of his earlier and later contributions including ‘A Difficulty on the Path of Psychoanalysis’ (1917), ‘Constructions in Analysis’ (1937), and ‘Analysis Terminable and Interminable’ (1937). In Book I of Lacan’s Seminars,  Lacan says of these papers, “The simplicity and frankness of tone are in and of themselves a kind of education” (Sem I, p. 9).


2018 Semester 2

Seminar I: The Neuroses: Structure and Symptom

Lecturer Russell Grigg

Freud noticed that the more psychoanalytic his case histories became, the more they read like novels. This seminar is a headlong plunge into two of these “novels” – arguably the most famous cases in all of the psychoanalytic literature: Dora and the Rat Man. These canonical case studies are so significant because they open out onto the field of the two grand, even classical, forms of neurosis: hysteria and obsessional neurosis. It is essential for any Lacanian to study these cases closely, as we do, just as we read them alongside other cases, old and new, from the literature – and read them in the light of Lacan’s teaching. The focus, then, will be on cases – but always discussed with an eye to the underlying psychopathology – hence, the subtitle of this seminar: structure and symptom.


Seminar II: Sexuation

Lecturer Kate Briggs

Exploring Lacan’s account of how people align themselves as masculine or feminine in relation to a mode of jouissance rather than anatomy or identification. In the course of Lacan’s teaching, an initial and broadly Freudian account gave way to a second theory of ‘sexuation’ that relies on the supposition of an Other, or ‘feminine’, jouissance that is supplementary to phallic or masculine sexuation. We consider the concepts of castration, privation, the phallic signifier and the differences between phallic and feminine jouissance, on the assumption that there is no signifier for gender in the unconscious.


2018 Semester 1

Seminar I: The psychoses: reading Lacan’s Seminar III

Lecturer Russell Grigg

This seminar followed the development of Lacan’s teaching on psychosis, led by the Russell Grigg, the English translator of Lacan’s ground-breaking early seminar on the topic. Beginning with Seminar III, The Psychoses and continuing through Lacan’s later work; some of which has been previously unavailable in translation.


Seminar II: The unconscious from Freud to Lacan

Lecturer Kate Briggs

Exploring Lacan’s reading of Freud’s work, and examining Freud’s fundamental distinction between representations and drives, drawing on his early work and his later papers on metapsychology and papers on technique. Lacan’s important distinction between the symbolic, imaginary and real in relation to both Freud’s work and Lacan’s later innovations. In the background is the crucial question of the distinction between psychoanalysis and psychotherapy.


For enquiries, information and enrolments, contact the convenor of the program, Russell Grigg