Lacan contra Foucault: Subjectivity, Universalism, Politics

2nd, 3rd, 4th December 2015, Auditorium A, West Hall, American University of Beirut

While Jacques Lacan and Michel Foucault are both enormously influential theorists within the humanities, their work has inspired divergent and often explicitly antagonistic theoretical agendas. What is at stake in each thinker’s work pertains to the core questions and critiques of Enlightenment and Modernity. Both Lacan and Foucault challenge the Kantian compact between reason, autonomy, and freedom, but they do so in very different ways and with very different consequences for our understanding of universalism, law, reason, habits, and the passions. The aim of this conference is to try to clarify the nature of this divergence as well as the stakes of this antagonism. It will do so by focusing on three fundamental topics of disagreement that divide Lacan from Foucault: the nature of the subject; the status of the universal; and the function of politics

Joan Copjec (Brown)
Jodi Dean (Hobart and William Smith College)
Mladen Dolar (Ljubljana)
Rohit Goel (Chicago)
Robert Meister (Santa Cruz)
Nicolae Morar (Oregon)
Johanna Oksala (Helsinki)
Aaron Schuster (Sandberg Institute Amsterdam)
Alenka Zupancic (Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts)

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