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Joyce Silverstone . Leaf . Monoprint.jpg

Joyce Silverstone, Leaf 

Sexuation: the binding together of sexuality and culture


The purpose of this seminar is to lay out the complex and elusive ideas of Jacques Lacan regarding the meaning of the phallus, the sexual difference, feminine sexuality as different from masculine sexuality, and the place of the mother in Lacanian teaching.


In redefining these terms Lacan constructed a new theory of what knowledge is, and an extensive theory of how jouissance forms a separate knowledge system, as powerful as the more familiar system of representation. At stake is a finding that surprises. The limit of rationality and freedom is psychosis.


The challenge for any reader is how to approach this dense thought and unfamiliar use of language to ascertain what Lacan meant. The seminar’s goal is to render Lacan’s theory of sexuation accessible to any study of his work by broadening and deepening the study of gender. One’s sexuation joins culture/language to mind/body by an interweaving of castration and the interpretation of sexual difference. How might this differ in Chinese and Western culture?

Lacan regarded his theories of phallus, castration, femininity, masculinity, and the object as an elaboration of Freud’s impasses on sexuality. Regrettably reading Lacan’s teachings by historical periods—his seminars—does not provide final clarity and insight. The periodization of Lacan’s seminars faces pronouncements that continually double back on themselves and consequently defy chronology. In this seminar we respect chronology in the sense that we will show how Lacan’s theories make sense of Freud’s impasses in his study of sexuality.

Readings: (Reader provided)—-first hour an oral reading (in English) and a second hour for discussion. Discussion groups will be in English and Mandarin.

Faculty: Dwight McCan

Dates and Times: Tuesdays from 5-7 pm Pacific Time and Wednesdays 9-11 am China time. We will start the first week of September, take a break during the holidays (Xmas and Chinese New Year), and continue to the middle of May 2024.

Location: on ZOOM or VooV——to be decided.

Fee: (2000 RMB) $300 USD or LSP Tuition

Contact: Dwight McCan at or WeChat: TdeF2019. 

Dwight McCan is a Board Member of the China American Psychoanalytic Alliance and Research Psychoanalyst at the Lacan School licensed with the Medical Board of California.

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