Event date and location: 27 January 2021, Online (Zoom)

This Lacan in Scotland seminar ‘Autism in the Lacanian Clinic – the Dermic Drive’ took place on Zoom on Thursday 27 January 2022. Dr Leon S. Brenner speaks about autism in the contemporary Lacanian clinic and in relation to the potential of a dermic drive. It is chaired by Dr Calum Neill, Director of Lacan in Scotland, and the presentation is followed by a discussion with the audience.

Video timestamps:

0:00 – Intro
02:58 – Presentation
52:12 – Discussion
1:36:39 – Closing Remarks

Description of the event:

Counter to the ways it is conceived through both cognitive and identitarian approaches, autism might be productively thought of as a unique subjective structure that sits alongside the classical Freudian structures of psychosis, neurosis, and perversion. Earlier psychoanalytic thinkers have linked autism and the onset of autism to the supposed experience of early disturbances in ‘skin function’. In this talk, Dr Leon Brenner will expand this notion of ‘skin function’, exploring its relation to and confection in language. Conceiving the skin as a potential modality of the Freudian drive (Trieb) – the dermic drive – Dr Leon Brenner will seek to unpack how the different relations to and with the Other such a drive would instantiate allow fresh insights into our understandings of autism.

Dr Leon S. Brenner is a psychoanalytic theorist and psychological counsellor from Berlin. Brenner’s work draws from the Freudian and Lacanian traditions of psychoanalysis, and his interest lies in the understanding of the relationship between culture and psychopathology. He is a founder of Lacanian Affinities Berlin and Unconscious Berlin and is currently a research fellow at the International Psychoanalytic University Berlin and the Hans Kilian und Lotte Köhler Centrum (KKC). .

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