Being human/being queer: a Lacanian perspective on queer praxis
Abstract: The engagement between queer theory and psychoanalysis offers a certain promise. Albeit from radically different standpoints, both disciplines foreground questions of subjectivity, sexuality and desire. The paper suggests the potentiality of a more rigorous engagement between queer theory and a psychoanalysis that is informed by Lacan’s “re-reading” of Freud by which queer praxis can be read as solutions to the problem of being human and by which prevalent notions of sex and sexuality can be challenged and undermined. Through a brief exploration of some of the history of that engagement and a reading of some published psychoanalytic clinical case histories, the paper seeks to demonstrate that Lacan’s nosological framework subverts the pathologization of non-normative sexual practices and identities. It also suggests that the certain promise of the engagement between psychoanalysis and queer theory is one that seeks to deconstruct the ideals and imperatives of heteronormativity and their lethal effects.
Anne Worthington (PhD) is a psychoanalyst, practicing in South London. She is a senior lecturer at the Centre for Psychoanalysis, Middlesex University. She is a member of the Centre for Freudian Analysis and Research and the Guild of Psychotherapists, and contributes to their training programmes, and is a member of the College of Psychoanalysts – UK. She recently published “Beyond Queer” in Hysteria Today, ed. Anouchka Grose, London: Karnac, 2016