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Mark Tobey, Sharp Field

Cartel on Topology in the Lacanian Clinic Part II


This Cartel will continue into the second year, with an emphasis on graph theory. We seek to study together Lacan’s metapsychological turn to topology as a way to reframe and further clarify the logic of the signifier, the speaking subject and the concept of the object a. While our aim is to elucidate the theoretical basis upon which this link between psychoanalysis and mathematics (topology and graph theory) is fashioned, our specific concern is practical and clinical one: what does such a mathematical framing of clinical material actually add or bring to analytic technique, and what does it actually enable or not enable us to do or conceptualize? Our exploration of the topology Lacan weaves into his theory promises to yield conceptual clarity, clinical insight, and—who knows—mathematical delight?


Provisional Reading List

A. Seminar 9: Identification 1961-1962. J. Lacan. Gallagher translation.

a. Topology

B. “Seminar on ‘The Purloined Letter’,” especially the postscript. J. Lacan. (Écrits)

a. Graph theory

b. Combinatorics

C. “In You More Than You.” J. Lacan. (Seminar 11)

D. Seminar 19: … or Worse. J. Lacan.

a. Gender, Lacan’s theory of “sexuation”

E. Seminar 20: On Feminine Sexuality. J. Lacan.

a. Gender, Lacan’s theory of “sexuation”

F. Psychoanalysis: Topological Perspectives. Friedman, Tomsic (eds).

a. Topology

b. Psychoanalysis

G. The Shape of Space. J.R. Weeks

a. Topology

H. A First Course in Graph Theory. G. Chartrand and P. Zhang.

a. Graph theory

I. Topology Illustrated. P. Saveliev

a. Topology

b. Graph theory


Topics list

Each topic has the associated readings listed as sub-items.

1. The role of math in Lacanian theory

a. Psychoanalysis: Topological Perspectives

2. Topology

a. The Shape of Space

3. Graph theory

a. A First Course in Graph Theory

b. Topology Illustrated

4. Schema L

a. “Seminar on ‘The Purloined Letter’” (Écrits)

b. “On a Question to Any Possible Treatment of Psychosis” (Écrits)

5. Schema R

a. “On a Question to Any Possible Treatment of Psychosis” (Écrits)

6. Schema I

a. “On a Question to Any Possible Treatment of Psychosis” (Écrits)

7. Graph of Desire

a. “The Subversion of the Subject and the Dialectic of Desire in the Freudian

Unconscious” (Écrits)

8. Inner-eight

a. “In You More Than You” (Seminar 11)

9. The rim and the drive

10. Mobius strip

11. Toroid

12. Cross-cap

a. Seminar 9: Identification

13. Gender, Lacan’s theory of “sexuation”

a. Seminar 19: … or Worse

b. Seminar 20: On Feminine Sexuality


Faculty: Rico Picone & Jeremy Soh

Dates and Times: Monthly, TBD

Location: Online via Zoom

Fee: Free, donation to the school encouraged.


Note: Limited to four participants, faculty included

Rico Picone, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor at Saint Martin's University. His research in artificial intelligence has been informed by Lacanian psychoanalytic theory and is now turning to explicit engagement therewith. Lacanian topics of particular interest to him include the unconscious as cybernetic, models of human subjectivity, negation, logics, topologies, and ethics. 

Jeremy Soh, Ph.D. is a personal and supervising psychoanalyst of the school and faculty at LSP. He earned his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley, where he was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow studying trauma, political violence, collective memory, climate change and alternative concepts of mind, technology and environment in indigenous worlds. Alongside his clinical practice in Berkeley, he is a writer, researcher, and lecturer in psychoanalysis, anthropology and philosophy, specializing in contemporary technological experience, digital and symbolic networks, and comparative concepts of the psyche. Currently, he is working on a theoretical and ethnographic project entitled Psychic and Technological Apparatuses, exploring the relations between digital and symbolic life in the present context of computerized society, with particular attention to its effects on psychic life and free association. He also serves as a peer reviewer for the European Journal of Psychoanalysis and is involved in various working groups focusing on technology, topology, and German Idealism.

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