When they poured across the border
I was cautioned to surrender
This I could not do

(Leonard Cohen, The Partisan)

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30th September 2021


30th EOL Annual Congress: "The Feminine Out-of-Gender"

3-4 December, 2021 / Virtual

The Lacanian Feminine

The feminine is a notion forged by Jacques Lacan, resulting from a path that began with Sigmund Freud but did not stop with him. Freud named the “rock” against which the analysis of every speaking being crashed, “rejection of the feminine”. Lacan elucidated this Freudian impasse, driving psychoanalysis to the field of jouissance: beyond the Oedipus, the phallus, the father.


The Name-of-the-father, on which the male-female binary was supported, has “vanished”, the multiplicity of genders has entered the field of sexuality. Gender is not a psychoanalytical concept; it is not accountable as one of its shibboleths. The analytical discourse clarifies the logic of the signifier multiplication at stake, which is the print of its march. Culture inspires techniques of life that emanate from its discontent, one of them, always valid, is to classify. How does the notion of gender take part in this?

Out of is a broken bridge between the feminine and gender. A Lacanian expression that introduces a new space, neither interior nor exterior, that refers to another topology.

From the Other of Classifications to the One-of-the-Body

From a Lacanian perspective, both the classical binary male-female and the never-ending list of genders offered by the Other of language, are signifiers, semblants, failed attempts to symbolize the real of sex. Lacan proposes to elucidate this failure of language putting it in relation with the jouissance of the body. In the ‘70s, he approaches the issue of sexual difference in a distinct way, as compared to other disciplines, but also different from psychoanalysis itself, when he displaces sex: from the field of the Other of language and his classifications to the Lacanian field of jouissance.

With his “formulaes of sexuation”, Lacan distinguishes two sides marked by two logics: the universal of All-phallic and that of the not-all; with two regimes of jouissance, the phallic and the feminine. The feminine jouissance, ‘supplementary’ to the phallic (but not complementary), cannot be symbolized, it cannot be measured, and doesn’t respect boundaries. The bodies of the speaking beings are distributed on these two sides, regardless of their anatomy and gender.

The Real of Motherhood

Lacan is the first psychoanalyst who highlighted the gap between the signifiers mother and woman. His position is clear: “being a mother” is not all of the phallic order. His formalization of the “Desire-of-the-Mother”, as well as his illuminating reading of Hamlet, make it possible to locate the actual crime of this tragedy, that a woman may desire something beyond her husband and child, or even more, that motherhood may not be a wish. The analytic practice discovers the effects of the Lacanian feminine on maternal love. What maternities could be invented in each analysis?

Gender-Based Violence

The Lacanian feminine evades the signifying logic and makes it possible to locate the hatred of otherness. Lacan did not cease to reveal that the supposed “feminine masochism” is a masculine fantasy. At one extreme, we can verify this thesis in the expansion of feminicides, a trait of our time. What is the impact of the analytic operation on the multiple forms that they the rejection of the feminine takes?

The Feminine, the Language and Lalangue

To elaborate the feminine, out of the symbolic and the imaginary, Lacan makes a passage from the signifier to the letter. Such passage values “the function of writing” and the analytic operation of reading. At the same time, it introduces a radical disjunction between language and his notion of lalangue. From this perspective, we are interested in elucidating the operations introduced by the “inclusive language”.

For Lacan, at the end of his teaching, it is about going against language in favor of lalangue, aiming to the particular poetics of the unconscious. What are the transformations that language and the relationship with writing undergo throughout an analysis, for each analysand?

The Anti-Segregative Sinthome

The feminine produces major consequences for psychoanalysis. It constitutes a direct antecedent to the Lacanian concept of the sinthome. In an analysis, the perspective of the sinthome allows each speaking being to leave the dream of the universal, to access their sinthomal identity, incomparable and singular, different from the so-called “gender identity”.

Going through the second century of existence of psychoanalysis, and with thirty years of annual Congresses at the Escuela de la Orientación Lacaniana, on the way to the Great International Conversation of the WAP, we set out to investigate the Lacanian conception of the feminine and its consequences in analytic practice, in the reading of the impossible of the analytic group, and also, in the possible contribution of psychoanalysis to the discourse of civilization.

Organizing Cartel

Adela Fryd, Miguel Furman, Marta Goldenberg, Raquel Vargas, Daniela Fernandez (Plus One)

Read the original untranslated argument at http://jornadaseol.ar/argumento-a/

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