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Feeling a Little Nervous...?: Psychoanalysis in Catastrophic Times (A Late Summer Intensive in Psychoanalytic Theory with Silvia Lippi )

Faculty: Silvia Lippi

October 30-31
12:00 pm-2:30 pm
November 1
11:30 am-4:00 pm Eastern Standard Time through Zoom.

Psychoanalysis keeps coming back to defy reports of its death—and to remind us that they have been greatly exaggerated! In a three-day summer intensive, the Paris-based Italian psychoanalyst Silvia Lippi will discuss the return that psychoanalysis has made without our sensing it amidst the Covid-19 lockdown and the collective anxiety that it has unleashed.

Drawing on the approach to Lacan developed in her recently translated The Decision of Desire (which was awarded the French Prix d’Oedipe, or “Oedipus Prize”), Lippi will show the relevance that certain fundamental psychoanalytic concepts—anxiety, trauma, the unconscious, and desire—hold for understanding a pandemic that is too often discussed in only biological and social terms. After asking what trauma is and also says about our (in-)ability to live together amidst catastrophes, she will turn to the questions of whether the profound anxiety of the last months is only about the pandemic or rather, too, about its exposure of our desires; of what the remote psychoanalysis practiced by video call during quarantine is revealing about psychoanalysis during crises; and of what we have yet to learn from Freud and Lacan about the sufferings and joys of desire. Along the way, participants will read some classic texts by Freud and Lacan, discuss chapters from The Decision of Desire, and engage in a group clinical supervision of the training and practicing analysts in attendance.

Designed as a brief course by which new students as much as practiced readers of psychoanalysis can engage its cutting edge, Feeling a Little Nervous…? is an opportunity to learn from and work with an innovator in the Freudian field in an at once playful and rigorous fashion.

To register, please send an academic or professional c.v. with a message or letter of intent to Sliding scale fees are $205-400 for graduate students, training analysts, adjunct faculty, and others paying out of pocket; and $450-900 for graduate students, postdocs, faculty, and practicing analysts paying with institutional or professional-grade funds (please inquire). There will be an enrollment cap, so please signal your intention to participate soon.

To discuss enrollment, your preferred readings, and other questions, please contact us at  

About the instructor: Silvia Lippi practices psychoanalysis in Paris, where she has emerged as one of the leading psychoanalytic theoreticians of her generation. In addition to The Decision of Desire, she is the author of the books Rythme et Mélancolie, Freud: La Passione dell Ingovernabile, and Transgression: Bataille et Lacan.