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Lacan and the Environment

Lacan and the Environment


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In this exciting new collection, leading and emerging Lacanian scholars seek to understand what psychoanalysis brings to debates about the environment and the climate crisis. They argue that we cannot understand climate change and all of its multifarious ramifications without first understanding how our terrifying proximity to the real undergirds our relation to the environment, how we mistake lack for loss and mourning for melancholy, and how we seek to destroy the same world we seek to protect. The book traces Lacan’s contribution through a consideration of topics including doomsday preppers, forest suicides, Indigenous resistance, post-apocalyptic films, the mathematics of climate science, and the relevance of Kant. They ask: What can you do if your neighbour is a climate change denier? What would Bartleby do? Does the animal desire? Who is cleaning up all the garbage on the internet? Why is the sudden greening of the planet under COVID-19 no help whatsoever?

It offers a timely intervention into Lacanian theory, environmental studies, geography, philosophy, and literary studies that illustrates the relevance of psychoanalysis to current social and environmental concerns.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783030672065
Publisher: Springer Nature B.V.
Publication date: 07/20/2021
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 5.83(w) x 8.27(h) x 0.75(d)

About the Author

Clint Burnham is Chair of the Graduate Program and Professor of English at Simon Fraser University, and President of the Lacan Salon, Vancouver, Canada.

Paul Kingsbury is Professor of Geography and Associate Dean of the Faculty of Environment at Simon Fraser University, and Vice President of the Lacan Salon Vancouver, Canada.

Table of Contents

1 Introduction; Clint Burnham, Paul Kingsbury.- Part I Lacanian Theory.- 2 Love Thy Enemy: Environment(al) Politics; Cindy Zeiher.- 3 “Staying with” the Anxiety: The Ecological Object a of Inuit Throat Singing; Alois Sieben.- 4 Confinement and Jouissance in Herman Melville’s “Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street”; Alma Krilic.- 5 Lacan’s Trash Talk: Three Objects for the Internet; Clint Burnham.- Part II Our Knowledge on Climate Change.- 6 The Psychotopology of Climate.- Sasha J. Langford.- 7 In Defence of the Subject; Juan Luis de la Mora.- 8 Enjoying the Heat: Anxiety, Fantasy, and Doomsday Prepping; Calum Matheson.- Part III Lack of Knowledge.- 9 Does the Animal Desire?; Alessandra Capperdoni.- 10 Aokigahara Forest: An Aesthetic Space of Residual Surplus; Hilda Fernández-Alvarez.- 11 “Some people like…”: Misapprehension and Effacement of Jouissance in Climate Hostile Advertising; Miguel Rivera.- Part IV End of the World.- 12 Psychoanalysis at the End of the World; Nathan Gorelick.- 13 From the Sublime to the Hysterical Sublime: Reading the End of the World Against the Singularity; Matthew Flisfeder.- 14 From Capitalocene to Anthropocene: The Feminine Counter-Ecology of Snowpocalypse Films; Tamas Nagypal.- 15 Self-Destruction and the Natural World; Todd McGowan.- 16 Afterword; Clint Burnham, Paul Kingsbury.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Lacan and the Environment is today's version of what Hegel called "infinite judgment," the assertion of the link between two dimensions which appear totally different. This outstanding volume throws a new light not only on Lacan but also on environmental issues: we cannot really understand ecology without taking into account all the fantasies that overdetermine our approach to this topic.”

(Slavoj Žižek, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, and International Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, UK)

“The defining crisis of our time is ecocide. Upending conventional distinctions between exterior and interior, psychoanalysis proves an unexpectedly rich resource for thinking and acting against destruction, displacement, and extinction. These smart, urgent essays consider a broad range of cultural contexts, illustrate the centrality of fantasy, desire, and symbolization to ecological transformation, and should inspire and terrify readers of many stripes.”

(Anna Kornbluh, Department of English, University of Illinois, Chicago, USA)

“This brilliant edited volume not only reveals the environment to be an enduring theme in Lacan’s oeuvre, but also rethinks and reworks Lacan environmentally, showing “nature” to be a site of both play and anxiety, interiority and radical externality, pleasure and pollution. Our study of the environment will never be the same.”

(Ilan Kapoor, Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change, York University, Canada)

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