Friday, January 20, 2017
8:00 pm


A Second Confusion of Tongues: Ferenczi, Laplanche and Social Life


How do social norms become a part of the subject’s psychological life? To supplement the traditional notion of the superego, I argue that psychoanalysis provides us with two additional conceptual frameworks to account for this process and its vicissitudes: Ferenczi’s seminal notion of a confusion of tongues, and Laplanche’s idea of the enigmatic message. I expand both Ferenczi and Laplanche beyond their original concept referring to the place of sexuality between between adults and children, to the field of social learning and meaning in general. I place these two notions on a spectrum. I suggest that, precisely as they are both concerned with the enigmatic and potentially traumatic differences between adults and children, they are better suited to account for how we all become social subjects.


Co-Editor, Studies in Gender and Sexuality; Associate Editor, Routledge book series, Relational Perspectives in Psychoanalysis, and member, the scientific committee of the Freud Foundation in Vienna.  Author of numerous articles published in Psychoanalytic Dialogues, Contemporary Psychoanalysis and Studies in Gender and Sexuality, as well as book chapters.  Has presented in conferences around the world.  His research focuses on the intersection of psychoanalysis and social theory, and explores the relationship between subjectivity, collective forces and history. He is in private practice in New York.



NYU Global Center for Academic and Spiritual Life

238 Thompson Street New York NY 10012

Room GC 279

Continuing Education Units: 2 contact hours.  Cost: $40.

Click here to register and pay.

Attendance without CE credits suggested contribution: $20 at the door.