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Lacan and Race: Racial Fantasy and Making of the Other is a Course

Lacan and Race: Racial Fantasy and Making of the Other

Started Jan 30, 2021

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Full course description

Saturday, January 30th from 12-3 pm (EST)-- Fully Online Workshop

Eligible for 3 CEs for LMHC and Psychologists 

Discounts available for current Boston College students, faculty, and staff, email for more information. 

One of the unique conceptual tools that psychoanalysis brings to the analysis of racism is the notion of fantasy. Fantasy is what arranges and makes sense of the intensities of racist passions; it narrativizes the libidinal enjoyment of racism. For Lacanian approaches in particular, fantasy provides an answer to the enigmatic question of what the Other desires (a fantasmatic answer thus to Fanon's query: 'What does the black man want?'). Such fantasmatic answers typically take a twofold form, highlighting both a nightmarish dimension (who is to blame, the catastrophic scenario ahead) and that idealized imaginary quality (Lacan's object a) that the subject possesses and that underscores their own imagined sense of cultural superiority (their libidinal treasure). 

Moreover,  fantasy can be understood as the framework that arranges reality and how we engage it - a fact understood by Lacan and Fanon alike - and it is in this sense more real than reality. The notion of fantasy helps us understand how race is much more than socially constructed. Race as fantasy represents, by contrast, a series of profound - and often pathological - fantasmatic commitments to racial otherness as essential difference qualified by a series of stereotypical associations that seem virtually impossible to dislodge (Blackness as criminality, Black lives as not mattering, Whiteness as paradigmatic model of humanity, etc.)   

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Describe how racism invariably entails narrative elements – which is to say, psychoanalytically, the role of fantasy – and how, as such, we need to engage with the topic of anxiety (and white anxiety, more particularly) in challenging the persistence of racism today.
  2. Describe how Lacan rethinks the oedipal complex through neurosis and death and how death becomes overlapped with myth to shape psychic fears and obsessions.
  3. Analyze how the static four-part oedipal structure acts as a frame into which racial others are actively inserted, particularly in relation to fantasies of enjoyment, or jouissance.

Timeline and Requirements:

The course will take place on January 30th, 2021.  This workshop is instructor-led and is a fully online experience. This will be conducted synchronously online via (Zoom) from 12:00 pm-3:00 pm (EST).

CE Sponsorship: 

University Counseling Services of Boston College is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. As a co-sponsor of this program, University Counseling Services of Boston College maintains responsibility for this program and its content." Participants will be eligible to receive 3 CE units from University Counseling Services of Boston College. 

The Lynch School of Education and Human Development is providing sponsorship for CEUs for Licensed Mental Health Counselors (LMHC). Participants will be eligible to receive 3 CE units. These credits are accepted by the Massachusetts Board of Registration for Licensed Mental Health Counselors (Category I contact hours in Content Area I).

Participants must attend the workshop in full and complete the post event survey to be eligible to receive CEs.

This lecture does not offer CEs for other clinicians not listed above. 

Fees & Policies:

Tuition includes all instructional materials. Participants receive a certificate of participation.

Payment is due by credit card at registration. Registration closes on January 25th. Refunds will be granted only up to the first day of class/program.