Psychoanalysis has a reputation for insularity, often limiting its interest and scope to events in the consulting room. But the origins of Freud’s notion of free speech bear meaningful similarities to the Founding Fathers’ conception of free speech, sparking curiosity about how psychoanalysis and democracy might speak to one another. In her recent book, Feminine Law: Freud, Free Speech, and the Voice of Desire (Karnac, 2016), author Jill Gentile starts up such a conversation and makes a cogent argument for how psychoanalysis might contribute to a truly free and robust democratic political system. In our interview, we discuss how she stumbled upon the ever-evolving journey of documenting these links and how the feminine body is the missing piece in understanding what free speech truly means.
Jill Gentile, Ph.D. is faculty at NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis and training and supervising analyst at the Institute for the Psychoanalytic Study of Subjectivity. Her essays, describing a semiotic and phenomenological trajectory of agency, desire, and symbolic life, have been published in many psychoanalytic journals. She is founding member of the DreamTank collective, dedicated to the application of psychoanalysis to democracy and to the public sphere. She is also a practicing psychoanalyst in Manhattan, NY and Highland Park, NJ. Follow her on Twitter.
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Eugenio Duarte is a licensed psychologist and psychoanalyst practicing in New York City. He treats individuals and couples, with specialties in LGBTQ issues, eating and body image problems, and relationship problems. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.
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