at the University of Essex, Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies
28th October 2009
Lisa Ruddick: Academic Cool and the Shaming of the Inner World
Lisa Ruddick is Associate Professor of English at the University of Chicago. She is the author of Reading Gertrude Stein: Body, Text, Gnosis (Cornell, 1990), and has published articles on the intellectual life of the humanities in the United States. This is the subject of her book in progress, Intuition and Brutality in Academic Life.
Abstract: Since the 1980s, U.S. literary scholarship has been guided by poststructuralist theories that cast doubt on the value of the "self" and the "inner life." As practicing psychoanalysts on both sides of the Atlantic know, these are not the only sophisticated theories available for describing subjectivity. Why, then, have they enjoyed such dominance in the milieu of higher learning? The theories are valued because they serve to enforce group discipline in what has become an insular and paranoid academic subculture. They chip away at member’s faith in their own inner worlds, capturing them for the profession itself and its agendas.
For more details on this and future seminars, see the Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies website.