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Curtin University
Humanities: Research and Graduate Studies
L'arc title
Related: Psychology Biographies

(zhäk läkäÑ) , 1901-81, French psychoanalyst. After receiving a medical degree, he became a psychoanalyst in Paris. Lacan was infamous for his unorthodox methods of treatment, such as the truncated therapy session, which often lasted only several minutes. A staunch critic of modern (particularly American) revisions of psychoanalytic theory, Lacan supported the traditional model of psychoanalysis espoused by Sigmund Freud . He argued that contemporary psychoanalytic theories had strayed too far from their roots in Freudian psychoanalysis, which held that there was constant conflict between the ego and the unconscious mind. Lacan argued that this conflict could not be resolved the ego could not be "healed" and pointed out that the true intention of psychoanalysis was analysis and not cure. His collection of papers, Ecrits (1966, tr. 1977), though notoriously difficult reading, has been influential in linguistics, film theory, and literary criticism.

L'arc title

LARC is an inter-disciplinary study group dedicated to research on Lacanian Theory, Psychoanalysis, Cultural Studies and related disciplines. It consists of postgraduate students, researchers and academics from a variety of disciplines - from Cultural Studies and English Literature to Political Science - whose research interests are related to Lacanian or Freudian Psychoanalytic theory. We are based largely at Curtin University in Western Australia, but also have members from the University of Western Australia, Murdoch University and other institutions (Members).

We meet fortnightly to discuss key concepts and themes in psychoanalytic theory and usually engage in a close reading of selected Lacanian texts (Meeting and Readings). We find that, due to the general indecipherability of Lacan's writing, this Talmudic approach to the text, while often resulting in more confusion, at least yields some interesting and divergent interpretations. However, while our orientation is Lacanian, our discussions are not restricted to Lacan's texts and we do not have as our aim the digestion of the entire corpus of Lacan's work (God help us!). Rather, we are open to different perspectives and approaches to psychoanalytic thought and its application to fields of social, political and cultural theory, and even film studies. In future meetings we may be doing anything from discussing Slavoj Zizek's work, to screening one of his beloved Hitchcock movies, or indeed any film or work of literature that we feel is worthy of a psychoanalytic interpretation. Members of the group usually recommend a reading that is either related to their own research work or is just something they are interested in and are grappling with.

The aim of L'ARC is to foster an environment of intellectual discussion, research and creative endeavour within the broad scope of psychoanalytic theory. To this end we have a Work in Progress page on which we post articles, conference papers, chapters of theses with the aim of stimulating intellectual exchanges and generating feedback for members and students. There is also an interactive message board that you can respond to and on which you can debate issues, as well as remain up to date on the latest events, new publications, etc. We also hope to be organising conferences and seminars in the future. While we are not part of any larger institution or organisation, we nevertheless have formal affiliations with Curtin University, and informal ideological links with the Lacan Circle of Melbourne. In the interests of fostering fruitful exchanges between disciplines and organisations, between the clinical and the theoretical, the Lacan ARC, on the West coast of Australia, aims to complete the nationwide 'circle' of Lacanians established on the East coast.