GCAS seminar

Fernanda Magallanes GCAS

INFO: https://gcascollege.ie/sexual-seminar

Course description for March 2023:

Description: The concept of symbol was first described in Freud’s work as “mnemic symbol” or symbol of memory {Al. Erirnerungssymbol}. Such a mnemic symbol is a sign that refers to something else by way of metaphor and has only a deictic function. That is, its function is to point out or show a person, a place or a time present only in memory. It is a psychic course, a psychic stimulus but not a representative {Al. Repräsentanz} of a biographical, narrative or mythological content as for example Oedipus. However, Freud’s position on the processes of symbolization is ambivalent, for it is only after The Interpretation of Dreams and his approach to Oedipus that symbols appeared as sometimes universal in character. This would then have consequences on the way the body and its culturalized (normativizing) form are thought of within psychoanalysis, since the process of embodiment is to a large extent a continuous process of memory. In this seminar I propose to go through the concept of mnemic symbol to show how, thanks to the repression of a representative, the process of symbolization is set in motion, generating a certain imaging of the body that in a commemorative process produces the erogenous body with which psychoanalysis works. These mnemic symbols generate a symbolizing and embodiment work if and only if a symbolic aspect sets them in motion. This symbolic aspect was universalized for many psychoanalytic theories by making Oedipus not only a symbolic plot but also the matrix off symbolization. An emplotment that would explain the cultural patriarchal model. I then plan to work on the concept of symbol in order to disentangle it from the trap of thinking that bodies can only pass through a symbolic function by way of such a specific narrative that I have called the androcratic matrix of the symbol. Once I have worked on displacement and condensation and the symbolizing functions of the body untangled from universal plots, I will talk about the relation that mnemic symbols and their mode of being set in motion have with writing towards other possibilities of psychoanalysis and writing.


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