Desire of the Analysts

Psychoanalysis and Cultural Criticism

Edited by Greg Forter & Paul Allen Miller

Subjects: Psychoanalysis
Series: SUNY series in Psychoanalysis and Culture
Paperback : 9780791473009, 266 pages, January 2008
Hardcover : 9780791472996, 266 pages, January 2008

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Table of contents

Greg Forter and Paul Allen Miller

Part One  Psychoanalysis and the Future of Cultural Criticism

1. Sartre, Politics, and Psychoanalysis: It Don’t Mean a Thing if It Ain’t Got das Ding
Paul Allen Miller

2.Psychoanalysis, Religion, and Cultural Criticism at the New Millennium
Henry Sussman

Part Two  Psychoanalysis and Collectivity

3. Lacan’s Four Discourses: A Political Reading
Slavoj Žek

4.Signs of Desire: Nationalism, War, and Rape in Titus Andronicus, Savior, and Calling the Ghosts
Deneen Senasi

Part Three  Psychoanalysis and the Author

5. Moving beyond the Politics of Blame: Let Us Now Praise Famous Men
Kaja Silverman

6. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Psychobiography, and the Fin-de-Siècle Crisis in Masculinity
Greg Forter

Part Four  Psychoanalysis and Sexuality

7. Desiring Death: Masochism, Temporality, and the Intermittence of Forms
Domietta Torlasco

8. Sadistic and Masochistic Contracts in Voltaire’s La pucelle d’Orléans and Graffigny’s Lettres d’une Péruvienne; or, What Does the Hymen Want?
Sharon Diane Nell

9. Queer(ing) Pleasure: Having a Gay Old Time in the Culture of Early-Modern France
Pierre Zoberman


Explores psychoanalytic approaches to cultural studies.


Why do we continue to desire psychoanalysis? What can this desire contribute to a vital cultural criticism? In Desire of the Analysts, these and other questions are addressed by leading contributors from a variety of fields, including Sharon Nell, Deneen Senasi, Kaja Silverman, Henry Sussman, Domietta Torlasco, Pierre Zoberman, and Slavoj Zðizûek. They argue for the urgency of a psychoanalytic criticism that is at once intellectually vibrant, politically engaged, and uniquely able to illuminate the psychic motivations and gratifications underlying a range of contemporary cultural phenomena. These phenomena include nationalistic violence, the formation of normative masculinity, the psychic appeal of domination and submission, and the place of the "queer" desire in counterhegemonic practices. The contributors explore the role of psychoanalysis in shaping the future of cultural criticism; elaborate on innovative ways to approach group dynamics from a psychoanalytic perspective; rethink psychoanalytic understandings of authorship; and offer original interpretations of the intersections between gender, sexuality, and domination. Desire of the Analysts demonstrates that psychoanalysis remains an indispensable resource for critiquing our contemporary condition.

Greg Forter is Associate Professor of English at the University of South Carolina and the author of Murdering Masculinities: Fantasies of Gender and Violence in the American Crime Novel. Paul Allen Miller is Carolina Distinguished Professor of Classics and Comparative Literature at the University of South Carolina. He is the author or editor of many books, including (with Barbara K. Gold and Charles Platter) Sex and Gender in Medieval and Renaissance Texts: The Latin Tradition, also published by SUNY Press.


"This represents the most admirable synthesis of cultural studies and psychoanalysis that I have seen. It will be an inspiration to scholars with psychoanalytic interests who do not yet sense how they can apply their methods to a cultural studies framework." — Marshall W. Alcorn Jr., author of Changing the Subject in English Class: Discourse and the Constructions of Desire