Julia Kristeva

Psychoanalysis and Modernity

By Sara Beardsworth

Subjects: Psychoanalysis, Feminist Philosophy, Cultural Studies, Continental Philosophy
Series: SUNY series in Gender Theory
Paperback : 9780791461907, 320 pages, September 2004
Hardcover : 9780791461891, 320 pages, September 2004

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Table of contents




Suffering: A Piece of the Reality that has Come to grief
The Tendential Severance of the Semiotic and Symbolic


Part I. From the Revolutionary Standpoint to the Nihilism Problematic

1. The Early View of Psychoanalysis and Art


The Lacanian Background
Revolution in Poetic Language


2. Primary Narcissism


The Appearance of the Nihilism Problematic
Primary Idealization


3. Ab-jection


The Phobic Object
"Where Am I?"


4. Primal Loss


Intolerance for Loss
The Signifying Failure


Part II. Art and Religion: Kristeva's Minor Histories of Modernity

5. The Powers and Limitations of Religion


Psychoanalysis and the Sacred
Religious Codifications of Abjection


6. The Kristevan Aesthetic


Holbein: "God is dead"
Duras: A New Suffering World
A New Amatory World


Part III. The Social and Political Implications of Kristeva's Thought

7. Ethics and Politics


The Ethics of Psychoanalysis
Nations Without Nationalism


8. Kristeva's Feminism


"Woman" and "Nature"
Kristeva or Butler?
The Maternal Feminine


Conclusion: Revolt Culture and Exemplary Lives




A comprehensive examination of Kristeva's work from the seventies to the nineties.


Honorable Mention, 2006 Goethe Award for Psychoanalytic Scholarship presented by the Section on Psychoanalysis of the Canadian Psychological Association

This is the first systematic overview of Julia Kristeva's vision and work in relation to philosophical modernity. It provides a clear, comprehensive, and interdisciplinary analysis of her thought on psychoanalysis, art, ethics, politics, and feminism in the secular aftermath of religion. Sara Beardsworth shows that Kristeva's multiple perspectives explore the powers and limits of different discourses as responses to the historical failures of Western cultures, failures that are undergone and disclosed in psychoanalysis.

Sara Beardsworth is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Southern Illinois University.