Psychoanalysis Expert to Speak in Sanford Room – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Psychoanalysis Expert to Speak in Sanford Room

“Mladen Dolar acts as if he is not an idiot and looks as if he is not an idiot, but this should not deceive you-he is NOT an idiot!”  –Slavoj Žižek

Said to have “a splendid and luminous philosophical mind,” Slovenian philosopher Mladen Dolar will deliver a lecture titled “Freud and the Political” in the Sanford Room of the Warren Hunting Smith Library on Thursday, Sept. 24 at 7:30 p.m.

Also a cultural theorist, film critic and professor of philosophy at University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, Dolar is one of the world’s leading philosophers of psychoanalysis and one of the founders of the Slovenian school of philosophy, which grounds its theories in the work of 20th Century philosopher, linguist and psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan.

“Professor Dolar is an extremely influential European philosopher whose rereading of Lacan combines the insights of Freud with the insights of Hegel and Marx,” says Professor of Political Science Jodi Dean.  “He uses Lacan, Marx and Hegel to rework the idea of ideology and ideology critiques by emphasizing the work of the unconscious on our deepest fantasies.”

Together with Slavoj Žižek, Rastko Mocnik and Alenka Zupancic, Dolar is considered the co-founder of the Ljubljana school of psychoanalysis, the main goal of which is to achieve a synthesis between Lacanian psychoanalysis and the philosophy of German idealism.  Dolar’s work in English includes the book “A Voice and Nothing More” (MIT Press) and, with Slavoj Zizek, “Opera’s Second Death.”  

His lecture, Dean says, will focus on the rejection of the “too simple” interpretations of Freud, which often reduce his theories to little more than the Oedipal Complex.  Instead, Dolar’s lecture will “explore three other of areas of Freud’s work in the context of political antagonism,” says Dean.  “It’s a great opportunity to have someone this prominent in his field come speak on campus.”

Dolar’s visit is sponsored by the Comparative Literature Program and the Departments of English and Political Science.  All are invited to attend the lecture.