By Jan Campbell
What can psychoanalysis provide modern arguments within the fields of Feminism, Queer concept and Post-Colonialism? Jan Campbell introduces and analyses the way in which that psychoanalysis has built and made tricky types of subjectivity associated with problems with sexuality, ethnicity, gender, and background. through discussions of such influential and various figures as Lacan, Irigaray, Kristeva, Dollimore, Bhabha, Toni Morrison, and Alice Walker, Campbell makes use of psychoanalysis as a mediatory device in a number of debates around the human sciences, whereas additionally arguing for a metamorphosis of psychoanalytic concept itself.
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Additional info for Arguing With the Phallus: Feminist, Queer and Postcolonial Theory: A Psychoanalytic Contribution
Elsewhere in the text I use the term 'fantasy' as this denotes a more fluid relationship between the conscious and the unconscious. PSYCHOANALYSIS AND POLITICS 29 were the result of the baby's early and ambivalent struggle with its first external object - the mother. Klein developed Freud's concept of the life and death drives to posit biological instincts of love and hate which organised the baby's first, fragile identity in relation to the mother. If Freud focused on an Oedipal conflict which was dominated by the phallus, Klein's priority was the baby's struggle with the maternal breast; and in place of Freudian desire, Klein posited anxiety as the driving force in establishing the self.
Irigaray's focus on the need to represent the mother's body culturally, can be seen as distinct from Reich's privileging of the life drives. Whereas Reich takes his allegiance to the body to its limit, ultimately collapsing culture and the unconscious into natural biology, Irigaray carefully argues for a cultural representation of the body, entailing (as I will show) a psychic fluidity between the categories of the imaginary, the symbolic and the real. What is more, Irigaray's cultural representation of the body is centrally relational, because connecting the bodily real with the symbolic not only brings the excluded abject maternal within culture, but also establishes an ethical relationship between people, where sameness and difference can be realised.
But within the dialogic relation, the disgust and abjection associated with the hysteric's body can be liberated as the carnivalesque. Freud's initial cathartic method of treating hysterics, encouraging them to transform fear into cathartic laughter and comedy, becomes translated into the notion of hysteria as a kind of comic pantomime, where phobic fears and fantasies are acted out and mimed: When one psychoanalyses a patient subject to hysterical attacks one soon gains the conviction that these attacks are nothing but phantasies projected and translated into motor activity and represented in pantomime.
Arguing With the Phallus: Feminist, Queer and Postcolonial Theory: A Psychoanalytic Contribution by Jan Campbell