This workshop is offered as a Techne Conflux, an extended training, development, exhibition or performance programme which aims to enhance research or intellectual skills, or facilitate the sharing of expertise amongst doctoral students in the arts and humanities.
This workshop explores the contradictory moment many researchers in the Humanities may find themselves: working both after Theory and dependent upon Theory. Two provocations provide its starting-point: Jean-Michel Rabaté's argument in The Future of Theory that the moment of Theory (capital 'T') has ended (and his Lacanian-infused alternative - the conviction that Theory is to be understood through Lacan's 'discourse of the hysteric'), and Rita Felski's influential contention that we are now in a 'post-critical' moment in literary studies. Psychoanalysis is perhaps the most powerful and representative of the theoretical frameworks understood as 'critique' in Felski's terms. What is its value to the Humanities now?
Workshop discussion may consider any area of psychoanalysis participants wish to explore, and any example of 'applied' - or what Jean Laplanche preferred to call 'extra-mural' - psychoanalysis. Only a basic familiarity with psychoanalysis is required. However, an in-depth example will be provided in the form of the psychoanalytic approach to the neighbour, ranging from Freud to Lacan to Žižek, and especially in relation to Hitchcock's Rear Window.
Jean-Michel Rabaté and Gregg Lambert, 'Conversation on The Future of Theory' (2002): https://jcrt.org/archives/04.2/rabate-lambert.shtml
Slavoj Žižek on Lacan's 'four discourses':
Film: Rear Window (dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1954)
Jean-Michel Rabaté, The Future of Theory (Oxford: Blackwell, 2002)
Slavoj Žižek, Eric L. Santner, Kenneth Reinhard, ed., The Neighbor: Three Inquiries in Political Theology (University of Chicago Press, 2005)
Rita Felski, The Limits of Critique (University of Chicago Press, 2015)
Jean Laplanche, New Foundations for Psychoanalysis (Blackwell, 1989)
Sigmund Freud, Civilisations and its Discontents  (Penguin, 2002)
Bran Nicol is Professor of English Literature and Head of the School of Literature and Languages. He joined the University of Surrey in 2012, having previously been Director of the Centre for Studies in Literature at the University of Portsmouth. His books include The Private Eye (Reaktion, 2013), Postmodern Fiction: An Introduction (Cambridge University Press, 2009), and Stalking (Reaktion, 2006), which was translated into Italian, Japanese and Korean, Iris Murdoch: The Retrospective Fiction (Palgrave, second edition, 2004), and two edited collections: Postmodernism and the Contemporary Novel (Edinburgh University Press, 2002) and Crime Culture (Bloomsbury, 2010). His main interests are in modern and contemporary British, European and American fiction, literary theory, and 'crime culture', and he has presented his research in these areas at universities around the world. He welcomes applications from postgraduate students in any of these areas. He is currently working on the 'Novel Transmissions: The Global Novel' project which brings together specialists in nineteenth-century, twentieth- and twenty-first century fiction at both the University of Surrey and the University of São Paulo, Brazil, funded by The University Global Partnership Network (UGPN).