Ken Corbett – The Transforming Nexus: Psychoanalysis, Social Theory and Queer Childhood

Event Date 17 – 18 May 2012

Day 1: Bolivar Hall,
54 Grafton Way, London WC1.
Day 2: Large Common Room,
Goodenough College,
Mecklenburgh Square, London WC1N

Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy


Transdisciplinarity and the Humanities: Problems, Methods, Histories, Concepts

2011–2013 (AHRC 914469)

Workshop 3

Case Studies 2. Transdisciplinary Problematics: Anti-humanism and Gender Study

This two-day workshop will examine the notion of a transdisciplinarity problematic, via the cases of anti-humanism and gender studies. The first day will approach theoretical anti-humanism from the standpoint of its destructive effect upon disciplinary fields in the humanities and as a radical problematisation of the discipline of philosophy in particular. The second day will focus on gender studies as a transdisciplinary problematic and on the transdisciplinary nature of the concept of gender itself. Topics will include the historical reconstruction of ‘gender’ as a boundary-crossing concept; the relation of its conceptual content to its functioning as a general concept across disciplines; the transformation of the disciplines in the humanities by ‘gender’ and gender studies; and the current productivity of ‘gender’.

Day 2: Gender Studies

Ken CorbettThe Transforming Nexus:  Psychoanalysis, Social Theory and Queer Childhood

The social critique of the normal is now developing developmental theories.  Questioning the rigid necessity of a normative symbolic order has led not only to rethinking human development, but also to the re-conception of psychotherapeutic care. The frame of psychotherapeutic action has been rethought as a potential field open to both the patient and analyst, one that necessitates a broader-based analysis, one that includes the relational exchange between patient and analyst, not just what has come to be called the “one person” psychology of the patient.
I have come to think of one technical feature of this practice as seeking what I refer to as ‘a transforming nexus’.  I move forward to illustrate this process because I could not think about it outside of my doubled education in psychoanalysis and queer theory. The congress and accomplishment of this union, this potential space, if you will, seems important to catalogue and consider.  What is more, it is suspension, the knitting nexus, and the transfers that unfurl to shape this space that clinical psychoanalysis has to offer, as it may be similar to and/or distinguished from queer literary, theoretical or textual analytic instruments, aims and spaces

Ken Corbett, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor at the New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy. He is the author of Boyhoods: Rethinking Masculinities (Yale University Press, 2009).

Lynne Segal is Anniversary Professor of Psychology and Gender Studies, Birkbeck, University of London. Her books include: Is the Future Female? (1987), Slow Motion: Changing Masculinities, Changing Men (1990), Straight Sex: The Politics of Pleasure (1994), Why Feminism? (1999) and Making Trouble: Politics and Life (2007).





Response to Corbett
Lynne Segal (Psychosocial Studies, Birkbeck, London)



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