Marx, Lacan and a Third Thing

Seminar, 13 January 2017, Gent, Belgium

Symposium in Ghent Belgium - Friday 13th January 2017

Marx, Lacan and a Third Thing

LOCATION:Geuzenhuis, Kantienberg 9 – 9000 Gent, Belgium.

Entrance is free but please register to reserve your place by sending an e-mail to: JanR.DeVos [AT]

How does one link Karl Marx to Jacques Lacan? Or still differently, how does one link political economy to subjectivity and the personal? Is there not always a recourse to be observed to a third thing to allow the linkage? This “tertium quid” can take different forms: it can be a third author, a third theory (e.g., German Idealism, [critical] psychology …), or it can be something extra-academic such as the arts or activism itself.
This one day symposium sets out from some recent major contributions in linking Marxism to psychoanalysis and examines both the necessity and the effect of bringing in a third term.

We welcome both Samo Tomšič, author of “The Capitalist Unconscious: Marx and Lacan” (Verso, 2016) and David Pavón Cuéllar, author of “Marxism and Psychoanalysis. In or against Psychology” (Routledge, 2017). The third main speaker of the day is Robert Pfaller, author of i.e. “On the Pleasure Principle in Culture: Illusions Without Owners” (Verso, 2015) and known for his theatrical approach to Marx (for more click here)

The third element will also be brought in by the respondents, being: Wouter Wanzeele (social worker, activist), Dominiek Hoens (RITCS, Brussels) and Gertrudis Van de Vijver (Ghent University). Jasper Feyaerts (Ghent University) will chair the closing panel discussion.


9u30 Welcome and coffee

10u00 Jan De Vos (Ghent University)
“Marx, Lacan & the digitalisation of (inter)subjectivity.” (Introductory paper)

11u00 David Pavón Cuéllar (Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, Morelia, Mexico)
“Marxism, psychoanalysis and the critique of psychological dualism: from dualist repression to the return of the repressed in hysteria and class consciousness” (abstract)
Response by Wouter Wanzeele (social worker, activist)

12u30 Lunch

14u00 Samo Tomšič (Humboldt Universität, Berlin, Germany)
“Labour and Psychoanalysis” (abstract)
Response by Dominiek Hoens (RITCS, Brussels)

15u30 Coffee

16u00 Robert Pfaller: (Universität für angewandte Kunst, Vienna, Austria)
"The invisible third. Structure of function of the naive observer in an Althusserian theory of ideology."
Response by Gertrudis Van de Vijver (Ghent University).

17u30 Panel discussion chaired by Jasper Feyaerts (Ghent University)

18u00 Closure