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Volume 1, Issue 2: Contents


Science, Seduction, and the Lure of Reality in Third Republic France

  On June 8, 1905, a group of researchers representing the elite of the French scientific community gathered in the offices of the Institut général psychologique (IGP) on the rue Condé in Paris with the celebrated Italian spiritualist medium, Eusapia Palladino, and the goal of ascertaining the reality of mediumistic phenomena. In the course of forty-three séances stretched over three years, the members of the group witnessed Eusapia producing a variety of unexplainable phenomena. With her hands and feet carefully controlled by the attending scientists, Eusapia shattered drinking glasses without touching them, caused curtains and strips of fabric to billow and bulge, produced luminescent wisps of light, materialized "spirit" hands and arms,



The Metapharmacology of the "Addicted Brain"


Campbell Figure 1Addiction is a prime exemplar of a once-moral disorder now understood as a neurochemical “brain disorder” or “brain disease.” Since arising in the late nineteenth-century United States, the concept of “addiction” has been pressured by scientists and clinicians seeking to wrest addiction from its miscategorization as a moral weakness in order to recategorize it as an illness or disease.1 For the cadre of North American neuropsychopharmacologists discussed in this article, the addict’s stigmatized moral status was an obstacle to their science and a product of a psychoanalytic psychiatry, the dominant cultural configuration to which they opposed themselves early in their research and clinical careers. Through their shared project to biologize psychiatry, they gradually recoded mental illness, alcoholism, and the addictions as brain disorders. Their successful recoding entails significant rethinking of the role of self, brain, and society, and the displacement of psychiatry



Another Neurological Scene

  The blossoming interest in how to bring neuroscience and psychoanalysis together has produced a large number of texts since the 1990s, some primarily clinical, some populist, some principally academic. This essay is not a comprehensive review of the literature: the diversity of interests, audiences, and political and philosophical affiliations makes any attempt to summarize the field impossible. Instead the essay concerns itself with methodological questions: what kinds of interdisciplinarity are being practiced in the new neuroscience-psychoanalysis literatures? Which is to say: what methodological difficulties lie in the path of an alliance between the neurosciences and psychoanalysis? I will argue that one of the key difficulties these new projects have is how to work with knowledges that emerge out of contradictory needs and antagonistic histories. Too concerned with producing a strong, polished alloy out of various elements of neuroscience and psychoanalysis, these literatures tend to overlook the lines of fissure, the inconsistencies, flaws, and fractures that such alchemy must inevitably generate.



The Brain in Abeyance: Freud and the Claim of Neuropsychoanalysis

  Born of the epistemological auto-da-fé of physiology and neurology in the 1890s, psychoanalysis began to reach old age when new neuroscientific and physiological models for consciousness began to appear, in the long 1970s, to outperform it. For some seventy years, it spread its wings under the shadow of life sciences, belied by their determinist commitments, offering clinical as well as theoretical innovation well beyond the borders of its practice. And if at that fin de siècle Freud managed to bring disparate psychological elements together in a therapeutics of the talking cure, a metapsychology, and a theory of unconscious processes, then the richness of psychoanalysis, based on its intentionally indeterminist treatment of the body and on the exclusivity of its practice, came to appear unfruitful, speculative, and self-destructive with the coalescence of new neuroscientific and biological paradigms.



"I suffer in an unknown manner that is hieroglyphical": Jung and Babette en route to Freud and Schreber

  Woods Figure 1To begin: two fragments.
The first is an embroidered jacket. It belonged to a woman called Agnes Richter who lived in an Austrian asylum in the late 1890s. In the words of artist Renée Turner, the jacket is "embroidered so intensively that reading is impossible in certain areas. . . . Words appear and disappear into seams and under layers of thread. There is no beginning or end, just spirals of intersecting fragmentary narratives. She is declarative: 'I,' 'mine,' 'my jacket,' 'my white stockings. . . .', 'I am in the Hubert-us-burg / ground floor,' 'children,' 'sister' and 'cook.' In the inside she has written '1894 I am / I today woman.'" Re-embroidering the laundry number printed on her jacket, "something institutional and distant" is transformed "into something intimate, obsessive and possessive." She transcribes herself. This is "hypertext"; this is "untamed writing."



Interventions: Homosexuality, Race, and the Rhetoric of Nationalism

  It is a pleasure and honor to be invited to say a few words at the opening of this conference. I would like to begin by thanking the organizers of the conference for staging such a terrific opportunity to develop languages to understand and critique the sexual nationalisms that have emerged in Europe over the last two decades. I am particularly grateful for this opportunity since the Dutch variety of sexual nationalism, in which homosexuality has been accorded such a pivotal role, has left me speechless for some time. Now, this may sound terribly naïve, coming as it does from someone who routinely tells his students that categories such as homosexuality are, in Joan Wallach Scott's words, "simultaneously empty and overflowing" with meaning—that they have no determinate meanings and can be made to mean almost anything.



Interventions: From Criticism to Critique

  We did not see it coming. Or at least, I didn't. Who would have guessed that the brave new world of sexual nationalisms would require me/us to one day make a choice between women or sexual minorities, on the one hand, and racial or racialized ones, on the other? (In these remarks, the usage of the first person will more often than not, whether explicitly or implicitly, hesitate between the singular ["I"] and the plural ["we"]. Neither is premised on identity. What is at stake in this hesitation is the political definition of a conversation among critics of sexual nationalisms.)





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