Negotiating the Social Bond of Poetics: A Reading and Critical Workshop Series

Negotiating the Social Bond of Poetics: A Reading and Critical Workshop Series


Steve McCaffery (reading)
Saturday October 10
W2 Performance Space
112 West Hastings
8:00 pm
Admission – 3 to 5$ sliding scale

Steve McCaffery (critical workshop)
Saturday October 10
W2 Flack Block Gallery
112 West Hastings
2:30 pm
Admission – 10-15$ sliding scale
(no one will be turned away )
to register for the workshop (limited to 18) send an email to :  info [at]


Negotiating the Social Bond of Poetics is a reading and critical workshop series organised around Lacan’s Seminar XVII: The Other Side of Psychoanalysis, and Seminar XX: On Feminine Sexuality, The Limits of Love and Knowledge. The series will run for the equivalent of one academic year, with one writer a month presenting a reading one evening and running a workshop, which will address the controlling themes, the following day.

The critical workshops will address the questions raised in the abstract below. Writers will talk about their own work and other works in relation to these questions. Participants are invited to read the texts listed at the end of the abstract and bring their own work or questions to add to the dialogue.

Series organized by Nancy Gillespie and Nikki Reimer, with Nancy acting as the point person. Nancy completed her PhD on Lacanian subjectivity and poetics at the University of Sussex UK in 2008. She has been a colleague of the London Society of the New Lacanian School of Psychoanalysis for six years, and will soon be pursuing her Lacanian training analysis in Paris. Nikki, a Vancouver-based poet, has been a member of KSW from 2005-2006 and 2009-present. Her first book is forthcoming from Frontenac House.

Steve McCaffery holds the David Gray Chair of Poetry and Letters SUNY Buffalo. He is one of the most widely respected Canadian experimental poets alive, with a career spanning back to the mid 1960s. His 25 or so books include the standard-setting concrete poem Carnival (1975), a two-volume selected works Seven Pages Missing (2000), the recent collection Slightly Left of Thinking (2008) and selections of essays such as Prior to Meaning: The Protosematic and Poetics (2001).

Negotiating the Social Bond of Poetics: Thematic Abstract

The theme of this series returns to and departs from Jacques Lacan’s theory of the Four Discourses in order to discuss the social bond of poetics. Lacan develops this theoretical frame in Seminar XVII: The Other Side of Psychoanalysis, and Seminar XX: On Feminine Sexuality, The Limits of Love and Knowledge, and some of the selected fragments from Television. He proposes that there are four fundamental discourses, or structures of discourse, that produce different social bonds for the subject. These discourses consist of the master’s discourse, the hysteric’s discourse, the university discourse, and the analyst’s discourse. While Lacan is concerned with the limitation of the master’s discourse and the university discourse, he sees the potential of transformation in the analyst’s discourse. Although he asserts that it is necessary to make an hysterization of discourse in the process of analysis—because this is the first step towards questioning the master’s discourse—he asserts that this discourse must then be shifted to the analyst’s discourse for Real change to occur. Seminar XVII, which took place in 1969, follows the student and social revolt of May 68, a historical moment in which Lacan was immersed. He is critical of revolutions that appear to simply question the master and the university, and as a consequence only reproduce a new master, without shifting social bonds, as he cynically suggests that the Parisian students of 68 were in danger of doing. However, we do find moments in Lacan’s seminars in which he suggests that a writer can hold a similar position as an analyst, and thus one would assume, also be able to shift these other discourses to enact some social change. Therefore, I am using this frame to ask questions, develop a  dialogue, about poetics and social change. Can poetics operate like the analyst’s discourse to create a different social bond through language? Do poets intervene in these other discourses or intersect with them in subversive ways that shift discourse and social bonds? Is Lacan’s concept of the structure of the four discourses useful for us today, particularly as we head into financial cuts in the arts and academia that may limit interventions in hegemonic discourses? Or do we need to rethink what poetics and discourse are and reconsider how we engage with and disseminate them?

– Nancy Gillespie

A further description of Lacan’s four discourses will be available for workshop registrants.

for more information click here :

Lacan References and Resources:

Lacan, Jacques. Seminar XVII: The Other Side of Psychoanalysis. Trans. Russell Grigg.
Ed. Jacques-Alain Miller. New York: Norton, 2007.

— Seminar XX: On Feminine Sexuality, The Limits of Love and Knowledge. Trans. Bruce
Fink. Ed. Jacques-Alain Miller. New York: Norton, 1999.

—Television: A Challenge to the Psychoanalytic Establishment. Trans. Denis Hollier,
Rosalind Krauss, Anette Michelson, and Jeffrey Mehlman. Ed. Joan Copjec. New
York: Norton, 1990.

Critical Resources:

Clements, Justin and Russell Grigg Eds. Jacques Lacan and the Other Side of
Psychoanalysis. Durham: Duke University Press, 2006.

la KSW, gente

difficilmente troverete in giro roba più interessante di quella che si fa alla KSW (Kootenay School of Writing).

difficilmente troverete modo di parlarne ai concittadini.

pazienza. il/un cambiamento generale, e sociale (anche), è probabilmente imminente in altri contesti culturali, e altri (e con altri) linguaggi.

see the following post.