Radical media, politics and culture.

The Jouissance of Transgression: Lacan and Crime

The Jouissance of Transgression: Lacan and Crime

Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University

Sunday-Monday, March 10-11, 2002

The event will be held at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law

55 Fifth Avenue (at 12th St), NYC

We live in a time when new forms of violence are emerging. The September 11th attack on the United States revealed an unrecognized willingness of terrorists to sacrifice their own lives in order to hurt their "enemies." In the last decade, national conflicts around the globe have resulted in the most brutal forms of torture against civilian populations. In our daily lives, we increasingly hear of brutal crimes committed by young
children and teenagers and between parents and children. The most shocking observation is that many people do not even attempt to give an excuse for why they commit crime, other than for the pure joy of it.

In the mid-twentieth century, French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan developed a startlingly novel school of psychoanalysis by integrating Freudian theory within the context of the Continental speculative philosophical tradition. Lacan suggests that there is a particular jouissance experienced in crime. Participants at this unique conference will ask how the logic of jouissance can explain violence against oneself and others. Leading scholars from many disciplines, including law, philosophy, literary and critical theory, and anthropology, as well as practicing
psychoanalytic clinicians will consider the interrelationship between jouissance, crime, and law.

Psychoanalysis claims that certain primal prohibitions form the basis of the moral law that governs not only social norms but also a subject's inner self. What is the link between these external and internal norms? Paradoxically, the law that society imposes onto the subject does not necessarily limit the subject's behavior-sometimes the subject commits the crime precisely to escape the pressure and feelings of guilt that arise
from his or her inner prohibitions. Crime and guilt are revealed as the founding conditions of law. Can psychoanalysis illuminate the subject's relation to legal punishment? And do lawyers need to know about psychoanalysis in order to better perform their jobs?
Tickets are $40 each

$30 for students

Make check payable to Yeshiva University

Mail to:

Cardozo Law Review

Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law

55 Fifth Ave.

New York, NY 10003

For further information, contact Jacquelyn Schneider at 212-790-0324 or
by e-mail at jaclynss@mindspring.com

Papers and commentary presented at this conference will be published in a forthcoming issue of Cardozo Law Review.


Sunday, March 10


3:30 pm LAW

David S. Caudill, Professor, Washington and Lee University School of Law

"Lacan and the Discourse of Science in Law"

Penelope Pether, Associate Professor of Law and Director of Legal Rhetoric and
Writing, American University, Washington College of Law

"Censorship, Repression, or Denial?: Unpacking the Symptom of People v. Wu"

Jeanne Schroeder, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University, and Visiting Professor of Law, The George Washington University Law School

"The Appearance of Wrong and the Essence of Right"


6:00 pm KEYNOTE: K. Joan Copjec, Professor, Departments of English, Comparative Literature and Media Study, and Director, Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis and Culture, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York

"Jouissance, Rawls' Theory of Justice, and Scarry's "On
Beauty and Being Just?"

Monday, March 11


10:00 am WELCOME, David Rudenstine. Dean and Dr. Herman George and Kate Kaiser Professor
of Constitutional Law, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law,
Yeshiva University

10:15 am CRIME

Linda Belau, Professor, Department of English, The George Washington University

"Killing The Object: The Case of the Psychotic Andrei Chikatilo"

Dr. Nestor Braunstein, Director, Centro de Estudios e Investigaciones
Mexico City

Oblivion of Crime as Crime of Oblivion

Dr. Russell Grigg, School of Social Inquiry, Deakin University, Australia

"Guilt, Shame and Transgression"

12:00 pm LUNCH BREAK

1:00 pm VIOLENCE

Edward Cameron, Professor, Department of English, University of District
of Columbia

"Perversion: A Psychoanalytic Aspect of Serial Murder"

David Gray Carlson, Professor, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva
and Visiting Professor of Law, The George Washington
University Law School

"The Traumatic Dimension of Law"

Sinkwan Cheng, Carl H. Pforzheimer Professor, City College,
City University of New York

"Terrorism According to Doris Lessing: A Lacanian Critique"

Dr. Franz Kaltenbeck, Psychoanalyst, Paris

"On Torture and State Crime"


Parveen Adams, Director, Psychoanalytic Studies, Brunel University, UK

"The Smell of a Murderer: How Not to Give Way on Your Enjoyment"

Dr. Genevieve Morel, International College of Philosophy, Paris, Director,
and Clinical Practice (Savoirs et Clinique), Lille

"Transgression and Identification in the Passage a L'acte"

Juliet Flower-MacCannell, Professor Emeritus, Department of Compartive Literature,
University of California at Irvine

"Between the Two Fears"

Renata Salecl, Senior Researcher, Institute of Criminology, Faculty of Law,
University of Ljubljana, Slovenia and Centennial Professor, London School
of Economics, UK

"The Real of Crime"


The Jacob Burns Institute for Advanced Legal Studies, a leading center of jurisprudential theory since its founding at Cardozo in 1988, has aided in establishing Cardozo's inter-national reputation for interdisciplinary legal scholarship in general, and continental speculative theory, in particular. This conference is the most recent in a series devoted to this project including Hegel and the Law (1989), Deconstruction and the
Possibility of Justice (1990), Law and the Postmodern Mind (1995), Habermas on Law and Democracy (1996), and Nietzsche and Legal Theory (2001).