|11th June 2011 - 12th June 2011|
Cruciform Building, University College London (click here for map)
It is often thought that Jacques Lacan's work is rarely about children. In fact, Lacan's first new contribution to the field of psychoanalysis, the Mirror stage, is centred on the philosophical musing of a toddler confronted with his reflection. Lacan continued to use the paradigm of the thinking child to revisit the Oedipus Complex and the development of the concept of the Name of the Father involves a very young child wondering what his mother has on her mind…
In addition, some of the most important theoretical and clinical developments in the field of Lacanian psychoanalysis have been the product of child psychoanalysts. Amongst them Françoise Dolto had an impact that reached far beyond the psychoanalytical circles. She was convinced that the child should be recognised from a very early age as a subject in itself and communicated her views through radio programmes and later television to the French public who acknowledge to this day that, in Dolto's terms, “the baby is a person”. More recently the work of modern Lacanians such as Jean Berges has spearheaded a theoretical reflection on the how the mother/baby interactions could be understood.
This conference will aim to demonstrate that Lacan's work is surprisingly child focused and, more importantly, it will explore ways to help clinicians engaged in the arduous task of treating children and also help them to see the child in their adult patients. The conference should provide food for thought to academics outside the field of psychoanalysis and also even to artists concerned with the issue of childhood and what is left of it in adults. For the first time, this conference will discuss in English the work of Henri Wallon which strongly influenced the thinking of the young Dr Lacan, and from whom he borrowed the experimental setting of the mirror stage.
The conference will be divided into three sections during which presenters will be given time to discuss complex issues and the audience will be given the opportunity to get involved in a proper debate. The first session will examine how the Lacanian child differs from other theoretical understandings of child's development. It will also consider the place and status of the mother in Lacan’s work and the effect of changing representations of fatherhood in Western society on parenting strategies and socialisation practices. The second session will explore the contributions of lacanian child psychoanalysts while the third session will deal with clinical issues such as Autism and Oppositional Defiant Disorder from a Lacanian perspective.
Speakers will include: Lionel Bailly (University College London), Bernard Burgoyne (Middlesex University), Olivier Ginoux (Etablissement Psychothérapique Épi, Paris), Françoise Hivernel (Cambridge analysis), Amber Jacobs (Birkbeck, University of London), Marie Christine Laznik (Centre Alfred Binet, Paris), Claire Meljac (Ste Anne Hospital, Paris) and Dany Nobus (Brunel University).