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55th ATPPP Scientific Session

55th ATPPP Scientific Session

Radical Psychoanalysis – Laplanche in America

Presenter: Gila Ashtor, PhD, LP

Discussant: Clive Thomson, RP, PhD

Saturday, November 4, 2023: 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Cost: $100

Open to all by registration.

** DISTANCE PARTICIPATION ONLY – This event will be conducted online.

Preregistration is required.
Registration deadline: October 28, 2023

Jean Laplanche is one of the leading theorists in French psychoanalytic thought, but his writing has only recently been translated into English; thus, his theories remain largely underrepresented in contemporary psychoanalytic discourse. Gila Ashtor’s Exigent Psychoanalysis, The Interventions of Jean Laplanche (Routledge, 2021) represents an important contribution to a new wave of American scholarship that explicates Laplanche’s contributions for Anglophone readers. Ashtor demonstrates how Laplanche’s radical innovations offer an critical and provocative alternative to the dominant strands of psychoanalysis today, drawing lines between his theories; his critique of Freud; affect and queer theories; and the fractious development of American psychoanalysis.

Learning Objectives:

At the conclusion of this presentation the participant will be able to:

  1. Describe what Laplanche means by the competing “Ptolemaic” and “Copernican” tendencies of psychoanalysis.
  2. Describe the importance of the “seduction theory” to psychoanalysis, and in particular, how Laplanche’s ideas on this topic differ from existing formulations.
  3. Define Laplanche’s concept of ‘enlarged’ sexuality and describe the meaning of this idea.
  4. Describe how Laplanche’s theory of translation differs from prevailing theories of motivation.
  5. Explain how Laplanche’s ideas of seduction, sexuality and translation conduce to new conceptual foundations for psychoanalysis.

Reading Materials:

Aron, Lew, Sue Grand and Joyce Slochower, Eds. (2018). De-Idealizing Relational Theory: A Critique from Within. New York: Routledge.

Atlas, Galit (2018). “Don’t throw out the baby! External and internal, attachment, and sexuality” Decentering Relational Theory: A Comparative Critique, Eds. Lewis Aron, Sue Grand and Joyce Slochower, New York: Routledge.

Cooper, Arnold (2008). American Psychoanalysis Today: A Plurality of Orthodoxies. Journal of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry, 36 (2) 235-253.

Demos, E. Virginia (2019). The Affect Theory of Silvan Tomkins for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy: Recasting the Essentials. New York: Routledge.

Giffney, Noreen and Eve Watson, Eds. (2017). Clinical Encounters in Sexuality: Psychoanalytic Practice and Queer Theory. Punctum Books.

Laplanche, Jean (1999) Essays on Otherness: Jean Laplanche Ed. John Fletcher. London: Routledge.

Laplanche, Jean (2011) Freud and the Sexual: Essays 2000-2006. Trans. John Fletcher, Jonathan House, and Nicholas Ray. New York: Unconscious in Translation

Laplanche, Jean (2015) The Temptation of Biology: Freud’s Theories of Sexuality. Trans. Donald Nicholson-Smith. New York: Unconscious in Translation.

Laplanche, Jean (2016) New Foundations for Psychoanalysis. Trans. Jonathan House. New York: Unconscious in Translation.

Laplanche, Jean (2020) The Unfinished Copernican Revolution: Selected Works, 1967-1992. Trans. Luke Thurston. New York: Unconscious in Translation.

Register Now
Gila AshtorGila Ashtor

Gila Ashtor, PhD, LP is a professor, psychoanalyst and writer. Her areas of academic and clinical expertise are trauma, affective disorders, identity, and sexuality. In addition to Exigent Psychoanalysis: The Interventions of Jean Laplanche, she is the author of Homo Psyche: On Queer Theory and Erotophobia (Fordham UP, 2021) and an experimental memoir, Aural History (Punctum, 2020). She teaches at Columbia University and is on the faculty of the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research (IPTAR) where she teaches and supervises. She is in private practice in New York City.

Clive ThomsonClive Thomson

Clive Thomson is Professor Emeritus, Western University and University of Guelph (Canada), psychoanalyst and faculty member at the Toronto Institute for Contemporary Psychoanalysis. Books and edited collections: Georges Hérelle, archéologue de l’inversion sexuelle “fin de siècle” (2014); Autobiographie et homosexualité en France au XIXe siècle de Philippe Lejeune (2017); Fières archives: documents d’homosexuels fin de siècle (2017, in collab.); On croit comprendre le monde avec ça ! Entretiens mémoriels avec Henri Mitterand (2021); Quand c’est possible, c’est faisable ! Entretiens mémoriels avec Colette Becker (2023); Quelques pas dans l’en-deça: entretiens avec le docteur Michel Guenkine (forthcoming, 2023). He has published chapters in edited collections and articles in journals (Les Cahiers naturalistes, Bakhtiniana, Figura, Heterity: Psychoanalytic Review, Semiotic Inquiry, etc.). Current research project: Correspondance croisée 1869-1873: Georges Hérelle, Adrien Juvigny, Paul et Félix Bourget, Maurice Bouchor (co-ed. with Michael Rosenfeld, Daniel Ridge (forthcoming 2025).

This event is eligible for Section 1 CME credits (0.5 credits/hour). This event is an accredited group learning activity (section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certificate Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, approved by the Canadian Psychiatric Association (CPA). The specific opinions and content of this event are not necessarily those of the CPA, and are the responsibility of the organizer(s) alone. As per the Royal College standard, each presentation provides a minimum of 25% interactive learning.

Refunds must be requested in writing two weeks prior to the beginning of the event, after which fees cannot be returned. A handling fee of $30 will be retained.

For more information about and for registration in the tps&i Extension Programs, Scientific Meetings, Training Programs, Study and Supervision groups and Special Presentations, please visit our website: or email

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