Stasis announces a new call for papers for a thematic issue to be published in the winter of 2021: “Psychoanalysis and feminism today”. 

We invite you to submit your papers. The deadline for submissions is 01.07.2021.

There is an overlapping of psychoanalysis and feminism in the questions “what does it mean to be a sexed subject?” and “how is the female subject constituted?”[1] —posing these questions lead both theories away from essentialism. In other words, sex is not a preconceived idea; this is precisely what both psychoanalysis and feminism demonstrate in their theoretical, practical, and political stances. Where feminism, in its questioning of sex, reveals a theoretical and political problem[2] that must be resolved on some utopian vector, psychoanalysis sees unconscious subjective positions in linguistic structures based on certain modes of desire and jouissance[3] – it is the study of these positions that is of interest for psychoanalysis.

The late nineteenth century was marked by the rise of women's movements, which coincided with the invention of psychoanalysis. Throughout the twentieth century, the history of the relationship between psychoanalysis and feminism went through various phases: from open theoretical antagonism to mutual recognition and the borrowing of ideas and even to elaborating synthetic systems of thought.

In spite of the widespread critical line that recognizes the premise of psychoanalysis through its construction as a patriarchal theory, it is seen by us as an initial, albeit problematic, cooperation with the female: it is women who become Freud's first patients and who inspired his theoretical and practical research. In addition, the history of psychoanalysis is now being revised, the contribution of women psychoanalysts is being reassessed: Lou Salome, Sabina Spielrein, Helene Deutsch, Vera Schmidt, Melanie Klein, Françoise Dolto and many others.

At the same time, feminist invasions into psychoanalytic theory by authors such as Luce Irigaray, Juliet Mitchell, Jane Gallop, Jacqueline Rose, Helene Cixous, Julia Kristeva, Elizabeth Grosz, etc. led to the birth of a wide variety of ideas, where the teachings of Freud, Jacques Lacan, Melanie Klein, Donald Winnicott and other psychoanalysts are being reconsidered from within the feminist epistemological and theoretical framework.

We also want to emphasize that both feminism and psychoanalysis are by no means two purely theoretical projects—these are first and foremost practical enterprises engaged in their own ethics. Feminism began as a struggle for the right of women to vote, the struggle for rights is its primordial domain; whereas psychoanalysis is, first of all, a special type of discourse, a social link that exists within the clinical setting. Psychoanalysis began during the final formation of the modern nuclear family. It examines the earliest relationships and attachments of the subject within the family structure. The consequences of psychoanalytic treatment and its theoretical conclusions are not directly political, however, but they work with a transindividual dimension of the unconscious, within which the division into external and internal, as well as private and social is of no theoretical or practical value (“The unconscious is politics” —Jacques Lacan will say in 1966).

The editorial team of this issue, with productively differing opinions and views, invites you to send us your papers that revolve around the following topics and questions we consider to be important for the relationship between psychoanalysis and feminism today: How do psychoanalysis and feminism intersect and/or diverge on political and social issues? Should psychoanalysis have an ideological framework, or, in any case, reflect on its premise from an ideological point of view? Could the tension between these two theoretical and practical enterprises become productive? How do the strategies of problematization of language and symbolic differ from each other within the framework of these two theories? Are the strategies of theoretical and practical synthesis of psychoanalysis and feminism still justified? Can psychoanalysis and feminism exercise effective mutual criticism of their theoretical foundations[4]? Can these discourses interact in the field of new ways of symbolizing sex and sexual difference: mass feminism, the “new ethics,” transgenderism, etc.? Is it possible to bet on the difference between the two enterprises, which, however, will not lead to a purely imaginary dual confrontation or merger, but will help to clarify the specifics of both one and the other?

[1] It is necessary to consider the fact that making the question of the female subject a central question is not self-evident and has been many times problematized within feminist thought.

[2] In other words, feminism views sex as a problem that needs to be brought to the political level; at the same time, both the female and the male sex are problematic. Within the feminist optics the male sex traditionally appears to be endowed with social, political, and epistemological privileges.

[3] For psychoanalysis, both female and male sexuation is a “difficult” and “dubious” achievement, a result of which a very precarious balance is found, supported by identifications and found ways of jouissance regulation.

[4] Psychoanalysis reveals unconscious structures of desire that feminism tends to ignore, while feminism can pay attention to the problematic status of the female sex, which largely substantiates psychoanalytic discourse.

Issue editors: Iana Markova, Elena Kostyleva, Lera Levchuk, Zoya Komarova, Oxana Timofeeva



An International Journal in Social and Political Philosophy and Theory

Print ISSN 2310-3817 Online ISSN 2500-0721 

Published since 2013 by European University at St Petersburg

Frequency: semiannual (December-January and June-July)

Languages: English, Russian 

Editor: Artemy Magun

Stasis publishes articles on social and political philosophy and theory. It seeks to provide an international intellectual format that can open a common space between the English- and Russian-language philosophical traditions. The journal welcomes interdisciplinarity and covers a broad range of topics, from the purely philosophical, such as negativity, to the culturally and historically specific, such as social movements, religion, and sexuality. 

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