Today’s discussion is with Professor Todd McGowan, about his chapter on “The Signification of the Phallus” in Reading Lacan’s Ecrits: From ‘Signification of the Phallus’ to ‘Metaphor of the Subject’ (Routledge, 2019) edited by Stijn Vanheule, Derek Hook and Calum Neil.

Dr. Todd McGowan teaches theory and film at the University of Vermont. He is the author of Only a Joke Can Save Us: A Theory of Comedy (2017), Capitalism and Desire: The Psychic Cost of Free Markets (2016), Contemporary Film Directors: Spike Lee (2014), The Fictional Christopher Nolan (2013), Enjoying What We Don’t Have: The Political Project of Psychoanalysis (2013), The Real Gaze: Film Theory After Lacan (2007), and The Impossible David Lynch (2007). Emancipation after Hegel: Achieving a Contradictory Revolution (2019) is forthcoming from Columbia University Press.

Dr. McGowan also contributed a chapter “The sex in their violence: eroticizing biopower” to the anthology On Psychoanalysis and Violence: Contemporary Lacanian Perspectives (Routledge, 2018) edited by Vanessa Sinclair and Manya Steinkoler.

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To hear Adrian Price’s discussion of “An Artificial Tongue with a Natural Curl” – On Lacan’s Last Major Written Piece ‘Joyce le Symptôme’ visit:

Alenka Zupancic’s book The Odd One In: on Comedy is mentioned in this talk, as is Jennifer Friedlander’s “Feminine Look: Sexuation, Spectatorship, Subversion,” the work of Judith Butler and Joan Copjec.


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Rendering Unconscious Podcast is hosted by psychoanalyst Dr. Vanessa Sinclair, who interviews psychoanalysts, psychologists, scholars, creative arts therapists, writers, poets, philosophers, artists & other intellectuals about their process, world events, the current state of mental health care, politics, culture, the arts & more. Rendering Unconscious is also a book! Rendering Unconscious: Psychoanalytic Perspectives, Politics and Poetry (Trapart, 2019).

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The track at the end of the episode is “The chapel is empty” from the upcoming album of the same name. Words by Vanessa Sinclair. Sounds by Akoustik Timbre Frekuency. From Highbrow Lowlife.

Music for intro and outro of Rendering Unconscious Podcast by Carl Abrahamsson.

Artwork by Vanessa Sinclair & Carl Abrahamsson from the exhibition “Mementeros” currently on view at MOPIA, Zürich, from July 4 – August 28, 2019. Prints and original artwork available via Trapart.

Vanessa Sinclair & Carl Abrahamsson will be performing at Rua Red Gallery, Dublin, Saturday, August 10, as part of Kendell Geers’ exhibition “The Second Coming (Do What Thou Wilt)”