Event date and location: 28 September 2023, Online (Zoom)

This Lacan in Scotland seminar “‘A Lesson for the World: Solange Faladé’s Lacanian Theory of Race” took place on Zoom on Thursday 28 September 2023. Dr Sinan Richards considers Franco-African psychoanalyst Solange Faladé’s Lacanian theory of multiracialism. The event is chaired by Director of Lacan in Scotland Professor Calum Neill and is followed by a discussion with the audience.

Video Sections:

0:00 – Intro
01:33 – Presentation
50:17 – Discussion with Calum Neill
1:00:53 – Q&A with the audience

Description of the Seminar

Solange Adelola Faladé (1925-2004), a close friend and disciple of Jacques Lacan, was a French-Beninois doctor, anthropologist and psychoanalyst. The first woman Franco-African psychoanalyst in France, she founded her own psychoanalytical society, l’École freudienne, in 1983. The aim of this talk is twofold, on the one hand, I introduce Faladé’s life and works, and on the other, discuss her distinctly Lacanian theory of multiracialism. I focus on Faladé’s activities with the Institut d’Ethno-Psychopathologie Africaine and her theory of race and racism from the early 1990s to highlight the crossover between Faladé’s orthodox Lacanianism and her radical anti-colonial scholarship. Beginning in May 1994, during a session of her seminar Autour de la Chose [Around the Thing], Faladé interrupted her orthodox Lacanian teachings to discuss the psychoanalytical and racial implications of negotiations between Nelson Mandela and Frederik De Klerk, which inaugurated the beginning of the end of apartheid in South Africa, creating with it a multiracial state and democracy.

As I will show, in Faladé’s theory, there is a demand for radical equality, and the lesson of respecting each other’s ways of enjoying differently. For Lacan and Faladé, the respecter sa façon de jouir, is crucial in any psychoanalytic understanding of racism.

Dr Sinan Richards graduated with an MA in Comparative Literature from University College London before completing a D.Phil. at Wadham College, Oxford. He taught in Oxford, then for four years in Paris at the École normale supérieure de Paris(ENS-PSL) before joining King’s in 2021. In Paris, he was also a member of the Centre International d’Étude de la Philosophie Française Contemporaine (CIEPFC) cluster of the République des Savoirs (ENS/CNRS/Collège de France) [USR 3608].Dr Richards is a specialist in twentieth-century European and Francophone philosophy and anti-colonial theory. His research has primarily centred on the intersection of critical theory, gender, and decoloniality.

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