Event date and location: 25 November 2021, Online (Zoom)

This Lacan in Scotland seminar ‘Life Drive and the Feminine’ took place on Zoom on Thursday 25 November 2021. Professor Bracha L. Ettinger speaks about novel concept of the ‘life-drive’. It is chaired by Dr Calum Neill, Director of Lacan in Scotland, and the presentation is followed by a discussion with the audience.

The video is edited by Bracha L. Ettinger herself and her team.

Video timestamps:

0:00 – Intro
05:19 – Presentation
1:03:51 – Discussion
1:50:32 – Closing Remarks

Description of the event:

Through an interpretation of Lacan’s lamella, arguing that in Freudian and Lacanian theory Life-drive is another name for Death-drive, Prof. Bracha L. Ettinger will take us from the feminine in the late Lacan to the feminine-Matrixial in her own work to suggest a supplementary Life drive and Eros. Accordingly, she will return to and extend her earlier argument (2015, and further developed in 2019) which works from a consideration of the subject qua being-towards-death (Heidegger) and the emphasis on Death-drive in psychoanalysis to the idea of subjectivity qua being-towards-birth with being-toward-birthing, where humanized life is inseparable from com-passion and a non-sexuated Love appears.

Professor Bracha L. Ettinger is an artist, senior clinical psychologist, practicing psychoanalyst, and theoretician working at the intersection of female sexuality, psychoanalysis, ethics and aesthetics. She coined the ‘matrixial space’ in 1985 and has extensively developed this originary feminine-maternal, prematernal-presubjective field in academic publications since 1992. Her approach significantly extends the work of contemporary philosophers and psychoanalysts such as Emmanuel Levinas, Jean-Francois Lyotard, Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari, and Jacques Lacan, and challenges the works of Julia Kristeva and Luce Irigaray.

List of Reading for Bracha L. Ettinger’s Seminar

Bracha L. Ettinger, “Matrix and Metramorphosis”. In:  Differences. Vol. 4, nº 3, 1992. Reprinted as ch.1 in: Bracha L. Ettinger, Matrixial Subjectivity, Aesthetics, Ethics. Vol I, Pelgrave Macmillan, 2020.

Bracha L. Ettinger, The Matrixial Gaze. Feminist Arts & Histories Network – Dept. of Fine Art, Leeds University, 1995.Reprinted in: Drawing Papers, nº 24, 2001. Reprintd as ch.1 in Bracha L. Ettinger, The Matrixial Borderspace, University of Minnesota Press, 2006.

Bracha L. Ettinger, “The Feminine/Prenatal Weaving in the Matrixial Subjectivity-as-Encounter”Psychoanalytic Dialogues. Vol. VII (3): 363–405, 1997.

Bracha L. Ettinger, “Perpetual Exile and Enigmatic Afterlife.” Keynote Lecture at Writing Aesthetics. IAPL 27th Annual Conference. University of Leeds. 31 May 2003. A Limited Publication document, AHRB Centre CATH, University of Leeds, 2003.

Bracha L. Ettinger, “Demeter-Persephone Complex, Entangled Aerials of the Psyche and Sylvia Plath”. ESC Journal,40.1: Hysteria Manifest2014.

Bracha L. Ettinger, “Laius Complex and Shocks of Maternality. Reading Franz Kafka and Sylvia Plath“. Interdisciplinary Handbook of Trauma and Culture, Yochai Ataria, David Gurevitz, Haviva Pedaya, Yuval Neria, eds., New York and Heidelberg: Springer, 2016: 279-301.

Beyond the Death-drive, Beyond the Life-drive—Being-toward-Birthing with Being-toward-Birth. Copoiesis and the Matrixial Eros—Metafeminist Notes“. Image-Text. Aberrant Nuptials: Deleuze and Artistic Research 2. Edited by Paulo de Assis and Paolo Giudici. Leuven: Leuven University Press, 2019.

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