Public Engagement

General Public

Democracy Without Fathers

Friday, February 9, 2018 at 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm

Bob and Sheila Hoerle Lecture Hall, Room UL105, University Center 63 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10003

Starting out from Jacques Lacan’s claim that “the unconscious is politics,” Marie-Hèlene Brousse takes up the question of the status of democracy in the era of the barred and inconsistent Other where no one truth or paternal exception can arrive to order and orient the discord at the heart of universalist discourse. Taking her examples from contemporary art and political movements, she highlights at once how the multiplicity of democratic forms come to explode the unicity of the term democracy as well as the ways in which traditional means of ordering the democratic social link through recourse to majoritarian discourse fail. She thus exposes the logic and consequences of the operation that determines our experience of democracies today: the object replaces the master signifier as the agent of discourse, giving rise to the ideal of a democratic jouissance, a paradoxical and impossible ideal that promotes a movement towards isolation and generalized segregation, even as the identitarian category “Us” becomes the privileged mode for the assertion of that very ideal. Dr. Brousse goes on to show how the experience of psychoanalysis holds open a path to treat and find a means to deal with the condition of living in a democracy without fathers: a path marked by the decided desire for a desegregative democracy.

Marie-Hélène Brousse is a psychoanalyst practicing in Paris, France.  She is an Analyst Member of the School of the Ėcole de la Cause Freudienne and the New Lacanian School of the World Association of Psychoanalysis. She is a former Analyst of the School (A.E.). She is Editor of The Lacanian Review and the Lacanian Review Online. She is frequently invited as a guest speaker all over the world.

Event Type

Lectures and Panel Discussions


General Public


Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts


Free admission, open to the public. Seating is first come, first served

Recent Activity

People Interested (2)

Ash Tai - Lang - Faculty Affairs Department of Public Programming

Getting Here

Event Registration Required

This event requires registration.