2021 Abstracts Stage 2

Reconciling Both Sides of Oneself: Using Freudian & Lacanian Psychoanalytic Theory to Deconstruct Tony Soprano.

This essay explores and deconstructs the inner psyche of Anthony Soprano, the protagonist of the TV show ‘The Sopranos’ (1999-2007). This essay puts an explicit focus on the work of Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan and their work on subjectivity and the formation of selfhood. The broader aim of this essay is to better understand how a personality is formed, and the ways in which our experiences – even the ones forgotten over time – have a permanent effect on our self-esteem, our behaviour and our response to certain situations. Tony Soprano was chosen for analysis because of the extreme dichotomy between the side of him that wants to be good and the side of him that is demonstrably bad. This essay also discusses whether or not Tony’s inner conflict can be resolved, coming to the conclusion that this is impossible for him. This essay also seeks to avoid an ethical discussion and look objectively at character-forming from a purely psychoanalytic perspective to avoid a discussion of moral relativism, instead hoping to understand the notion of morality as being formed through experience.

2021 Abstracts Stage 3

Mahadevi’s Devotion to Siva: Does it End in Fusion for Lacan and Levinas?

This essay explores the possibility of fusion, of becoming one with Siva, as it is expressed in the Vacanas (poems) of a 12th Century Siva devotee: Mahadevi. Considering the writings of Emmanuel Levinas and Jacques Lacan we can ask what it means to be liberated and to fulfil one’s desires in this way. Critically, we begin this essay with Levinas and discuss his conception of the self; how this self comes to be in relation to the other, and how freedom is to be understood. Following Levinas we investigate the notion of desire for Lacan, which requires a look into the Oedipus complex and the object petit a. In the final section of this essay, we attempt to find the position of Siva in relation to the subject and question whether fusion is finally possible. This will respond to what has been so far discussed in the hope of showing that Siva is not a being but is representative of the subject of my subjectivity – Levinas’ infinitely other – which is only attainable by being a self for the Other.

2021 Abstracts Stage 3

The Black Mirror: Influence of Social Media on Identity

Objectives: To establish the extent of influence Social Media has on people’s identity using the philosophical concepts of: Lacan, Goffman, Bauman and McLuhan. Furthermore, to investigate if the anxiety surrounding, what Farman described, as the ‘techxistential crisis’ of the 21st century is rational. And if Social Media can have a positive influence on one’s Identity.

Conclusions: The Black Mirror – Social Media has a pervasive influence over our identity as the ‘mirror stage’ does for Lacan. This is because we spend a lot of time staring into the “black mirror” of the screen in which we use for Social Media. The performance of our identity on Social Media and in real life converge. Social Media’s influence on our identity does not have to be a negative one. Our identity has always been performative and Social Media just offers a new medium in which to explore this. If we learn how to monitor our usage and utilise Social Media positively; social media can be a positive influence for exploring and performing identity

2021 Abstracts Stage 3

The Great Awakening of QAnon’s Weltanschauung: A Psychoanalytic Interpretation of Conspiracy Theory in an Age of ‘Post-truth’

Object: QAnon is an online group consisting of a web of conspiracy theory, with the main premise being that there is a cabal of paedophilic, Satan-worshiping elites known as the ‘deep state’ controlling society from the shadows. The group began when an anonymous user named ‘Q’ started posting cryptic messages (‘Q drops’) on the online messaging board ‘4Chan’.

Territory: A psychoanalytic interpretation through the works of Jacques Lacan and Slavoj Žižek

Aims and Key Concepts:
• Birth of the Internet and the Death of the Author
I aim to investigate the impact the internet has had on conspiratorial thinking. What will also be made apparent is the fact that ‘Q drops’ present the implications of what Barthes calls “the death of the author”.
• ‘Q drops’ as a Text bound to jouissance
Through Barthes and Lacan, it will be shown that framing the ‘Q drops’ as a Text allows us to see how they are bound to the Lacanian term jouissance: a term linked to the ‘death-drive’ that is beyond the pleasure principle.
• QAnon: The Ultimate Hysteric Discourse?
With the help of Lacanian psychoanalysis, it is evident that the hysteric discourse is at play for particular QAnon members. Moreover, there will be an exploration of how the discourse of the hysteric causes cynical distancing to hegemonic master signifiers, leading to what Žižek defines as the “demise of symbolic efficiency.”
• The Paranoic Fantasy of the ‘Deep State’
Within QAnon, it is evident that there is a combination of perversion, psychosis and neurosis. I will attempt to show how the psychotic – the paranoid subject – formulates the belief in an ‘Other of the Other’ (the ‘deep state’), and this will be done with the aid of Slavoj Žižek.

• Roland Barthes, Image-Music-Text (1977)
– The Pleasure of the Text (1975)
• Jacques Lacan, The Other Side of Psychoanalysis: Seminar XVII (1991)
• Slavoj Žižek, The Ticklish Subject: The Absent Centre of Political Ontology (1999)
– ‘The Matrix, or, the Two Sides of Perversion’ (2006)

2017 Abstracts Stage 2

Toxic Masculinity In Young Males: A Possible Explanation Through Hobbes and Lacan?

This project is centered around the idea of toxic masculinity, and attempting to understand the prevalence of it in young males with reference to the philosophical and psychoanalytical ideas of Hobbes and Lacan.

-Toxic masculinity is the exhibition of certain antisocial behavioural tendencies predominantly performed by young males, including, homophobia, misogyny and violent physical or verbal behavior to one another. This behavior is rampant throughout society, with the behaviour of young males being especially indicative of this toxic way of acting. Lad culture has become simply sexism with and alibi. To show the existence of toxic masculinity within young males I researched different journal and website articles detailing examples, as well as conducting an interview with a female Newcstle university student. I will also be looking through the primary texts and identifying at what points their ideas contribute to the discussion. These texts are Hobbes Leviathan and Lacan’s Ecrits.

2005 Abstracts Stage 2

The Body

• Our bodies are our mind’s access to the outside world. This tool for spatial interaction is increasingly abused in our current times. Why has it become so apparently unimportant to us? Image, as opposed to our tactile relation to the outside world, has realised new status. In exploring this the image we ourselves create will be looked into. • The key subject to be discussed in this project is how our mentality towards clothes has changed through the ages. My territory will be the body but more specifically, the body’s interaction, as an image, with others in an attractive or repellent way. We use the body, now more than ever, in a fleeting and ephemeral way. • Lacan – recognition of our bodies as our own from birth to adulthood. Tangibility and testing of our own bodies in infancy. • Descartes – measure and quantify. Removal of reality and questioning and reasoning of the unknown. • Debord and Baudrillard – false images as expressions of the spectacle of society – a manifestation that resides and guides our society through mediation of images as part of a capitalist society. • Harvey – space-time compression. Reduction of our ability to live in normal realms of space and time. Recalling of the past and other cultures in post-modern design as a stability to the culture we are currently a part of. FASHION – a constant flux showing examples of the state of society. Acceleration and deceleration of trends with changing rate of living. DIVORCE OF THE BODY FROM THE MIND