Yale University: 24th November 1975: ‘Kanzer Seminar’: Jacques Lacan

by Julia Evans on November 24, 1975

This Text is part of the Conferences and Conversations in North American Universities.

ii. Yale University: 24th November 1975: ‘Kanzer Seminar’

Translated by Jack W. Stone

Published by University of Missouri, M. I. T.: here

Available here

NOW available at www.LacanianWorksExchange.net   /lacan

Published in French:

Title: 1975-11-24, Yale University – Kanzer Seminar

Scilicet n° 6/7, 1975, p7-31

Also available electronically

1975-11-24, Yale University – Kanzer Seminar

Published at ‘pas tout Lacan’ here

Available here

OR in French & English

Translations by Jack W. Stone & Philip Dravers, Published bilingual at  www.Freud2Lacan.com  /Lacan  (38. Lacan: Seminar at Yale: November 24, 1975)

This has p1-31 « Yale University, Kanzer Seminar »  p7-31 of Scilicet, then on p32 is the text, ‘Conversation with students’, p32-37 of Scilicet 6/7.


Richard Klein has added in June 2022 the following anecdote to the end of the bilingual translations at Freud2Lacan.

“I heard an anecdote about this conference a few years ago. Apparently, Shoshana Feldman gave a reception for Lacan at her home in Yale one evening, “last night in Shoshana Feldman’s house”-it was on Sunday, November 23rd 1975. A lot of the participants in this conference attended. Perhaps including Paul de Man in whose home Lacan was staying and perhaps Harold Bloom. Lacan was feigning boredom and wasn’t really speaking with anyone. Shoshana Feldman sent one of her graduate students over to him, Esther Rashkin. She engaged him in conversation by talking about his latest themes, Joyce, the sinthome, the sexuation chart, etc. At the end of the evening Lacan bowed and went to kiss her hand, but instead bit it lightly drawing a little blood. This was told to me by Esther Rashkin at an APCS (Association for Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society) Conference at Rutgers University around early November of 2009.”


Translated by Philip Dravers from Scilicet 6/7 (1976): p7-31, published in The Lacanian Review No 12, June 2022, p39-61 :

Introduction by Janet Haney :

Lacan’s third journey to the USA began with his talks at Yale University (24 and 25 November 1975). At last, the Kanzer Seminar in English! This beautiful text draws us in across the decades as Lacan tells us what drew him to psychoanalysis in the first place:  “I would like to address a question precisely to those who have chosen to establish themselves as psychoanalyst … and I will necessarily have to answer first.” We never hear a reply from the audience, but we do hear Lacan explain the difference between his own way into psychoanalysis (“I would say that I’m psychotic … for the sole reason that I have tried to be rigorous”) and that of Freud (“his way of approaching … was perfectly serious, consisting not in collecting writings [as Lacan had done] but in listening,” something that – paradoxically – turns into “a reading”). Lacan poses the question three times, and each time he gives a bit more of his own trajectory: “Certainly I came to medicine because I had the suspicion that the relations between men and women played a determining role in the symptoms of human beings…” Following the Kanzer Seminar are two short papers which were put together from notes; the first is from the Q&A session with students, where, again, the question is raised about how people are drawn into analysis. This time the question is raised about how people are drawn into analysis. This time the question is about how Lacan chooses his analysands. He replies that it is a question of the effort that will have to be made. An effort in relation to the symptom which, as he says in the Lecture on the Body, “is the most real thing that many people have.” Reading these three papers provokes further reflection on our relation to our symptoms and on the very singular way in which each of us in turn began a relation with psychoanalysis.

Janet Haney, The Lacanian Review No 12, 6th June 2022, p38


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Julia Evans

Practicing Lacanian Psychoanalyst


Other texts

Yale University: 24th November 1975: Conversation with Students: Jacques Lacan  or here

Yale University: 24th November 1975: ‘Kanzer Seminar’: Jacques Lacan or here

Yale University: 25th November 1975: Law School Auditorium: Jacques Lacan or here

Columbia University Auditorium, School of International Affairs: 1st December 1975: Jacques Lacan or here

Massachusetts Institute of Technology : 2nd  December 1975: Jacques Lacan or here

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