“Theorize Yourself: Autotheory and Psychoanalysis" (2021 ACLA Annual Meeting)

Christopher Chamberlin's picture
Call for Papers
October 31, 2020
Subject Fields: 
American History / Studies, Black History / Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Literature, Women's & Gender History / Studies
Call for seminar papers:
“Theorize Yourself: Autotheory and Psychoanalysis"
Annual Meeting of the American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA)
Online/Zoom, April 8-11, 2021
Deadline for seminar paper proposals: October 31st, 2020
Conversations about autotheory circle around psychoanalysis as a conceptual touchstone, with the understanding that analytic theory, more than serving as one of the fields that autotheoretical writers engage, is itself a parallel discourse. “Freud’s dream” of the theory of the Oedipus complex appears, in one moment, to be an autotheory avant la lettre; in the next, it seems that the birth of psychoanalysis takes place in the sublation of Freud’s self-analysis.

This seminar will query the connection between autotheory and psychoanalysis in order to articulate their respective desires, resistances and limits. Indeed, psychoanalysis since Freud has tended to forget its own autotheoretical origins, with analytic theorists rarely interpolating themselves into their own writing. By the same token, “canonical” autotheoretical writers such as Maggie Nelson, Chris Kraus, Paul Preciado, and others, at once rely on, interrogate and resist psychoanalytic theory, as though the genre can’t do without both psychoanalysis and a resistance to it. What would it do to return both psychoanalysis and autotheory to their repressed or ambivalent origins in each other? What can psychoanalysis and autotheory do for each other?

Possible topics:
  • The role of the Other in self-writing
  • Autotheory in the Lacanian “pass”
  • “Structure” and the “self” in autotheory and psychoanalysis
  • Transference in autotheory and clinical experience
  • Frantz Fanon’s “autotheory”
  • Autotheory in afropessimist psychoanalysis
For further instructions, click HERE
To apply to this seminar, click HERE
Contact Info: 
Christopher Chamberlin, PhD
Fellow, ICI Berlin
Christinenstr. 18/19, Haus 8
D-10119 Berlin