Psychoanalysis and Consequences: An Interview with Joan Copjec

Joan Copjec is a leading American psychoanalytic and film theorist. She is currently Professor of Modern Culture & Media at Brown University. Her first book, Read My Desire: Lacan Against the Historicists (1994), establishes Lacanian psychoanalysis as a theoretical framework irreducible to prevailing trends in post-structuralist theory—especially as represented by the work of Michel Foucault—and employs this framework to radically re-think film, cultural studies, and feminism. Another notable book, Imagine There’s No Woman: Ethics and Sublimation (2002), develops two seemingly
incompatible strands of Lacan’s thought—sublimation and feminine sexuality—in order to establish an ethics beyond questions of identity. In addition to her two major books, Copjec was editor of the journal October, the book series S from Verso Press, as well as the journal Umbr(a). Her latest research brings her psychoanalytic background to bear on Iranian cinema with a particular emphasis on the relationship between the work of Iranian film director, Abbas Kiarostami, and medieval Islamic philosophy; her book manuscript, Cloud: Between Paris and Tehran is forthcoming from MIT Press.

This interview was conducted during Dr. Copjec’s visit to London, Ontario in March 2019 where she delivered a lecture, “From the Cloud to the Resistance,” hosted by The Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism at Western University, Canada. We wish to express our gratitude to Dr. Allan Pero, who made this interview possible, and, of course, to Dr. Copjec for her generosity and thoughtful engagement with us.

Read the full interview: here.