Hegel, Lacan, and the Future of Materialism
Imprint: Northwestern University Press
Responding to the ongoing “objectal turn” in contemporary humanities and social sciences, the essays in Subject Lessons present a sustained case for the continued importance— indeed, the indispensability—of the category of the subject for the future of materialist thought.
Approaching matters through the frame of Hegel and Lacan, the contributors to this volume, including the editors, as well as Andrew Cole, Mladen Dolar, Nathan Gorelick, Adrian Johnston, Todd McGowan, Borna Radnik, Molly Anne Rothenberg, Kathryn Van Wert, and Alenka Zupančič—many of whom stand at the forefront of contemporary Hegel and Lacan scholarship—agree with neovitalist thinkers that material reality is ontologically incomplete, in a state of perpetual becoming, yet they maintain that this is the case not in spite of but, rather, because of the subject.
Incorporating elements of philosophy, psychoanalysis, and literary and cultural studies, Subject Lessons contests the movement to dismiss the subject, arguing that there can be no truly robust materialism without accounting for the little piece of the Real that is the subject.
Part I. Hegel and Philosophical Materialism
1. What’s the Matter? On Matter and Related Matters ‑ Mladen Dolar
2. Subjectivity in Times of (New) Materialisms: Hegel and Conceptualization ‑ Borna Radnik
3. Objects after Subjects: Hegel’s Broken Ontology ‑ Todd McGowan
4. Elements of Dialectical Materialism in Hegel and Marx ‑ Andrew Cole
5. Intellectual Intuition and Intellectus Archetypus: Reflexivity from Kant to Hegel ‑ Slavoj Žižek
Part II. Lacan and Psychoanalytic Materialism
6. Fear of Science: Transcendental Materialism and Its Discontents ‑ Adrian Johnston
7. Ontology and the Death Drive: Lacan and Deleuze ‑ Alenka Zupancic
8. Why Sex is Special: Psychoanalysis against New Materialism ‑ Nathan Gorelick
9. Twisting “Flat Ontology”: Harman’s “Allure” and Lacan’s Extimate Cause ‑ Molly Anne Rothenberg
10. Becoming and the Challenge of Ontological Incompleteness: Virginia Woolf avec Lacan contra Deleuze - Kathryn Van Wert
11. From Sublimity to Sublimation: Hegel, Lacan, Melville ‑ Russell Sbriglia
“Think of it as 'object ontology' meets 'objet a ontology.' In this volume of superb essays, the 'new materialism' associated with figures like Harman, Meillassoux, Bennett, and Bryant finds a Lacanian rejoinder well spoken for by Hegel’s famous line: 'Not only as substance but also as subject!' An invaluable exchange between two major currents of contemporary theory.” —Richard Boothby, author of Freud as Philosopher: Metapsychology after Lacan
“A band of new materialists has come after the subject, knives drawn. In what ways do these thinkers differ from materialists past? From each other? What do they mean when they speak of materialism, of objects, or subjects? By confronting these basic questions directly, the essays in this collection cut through the babble of confused debate to offer clear accounts of the issues at stake.” —Joan Copjec, author of Imagine There’s No Woman
“The collection as a whole is a must read for anyone writing on consciousness, subjectivity, dualism/non-dualism, psychoanalysis, or phenomenology.” —Vanessa Loh, Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature