For Freud, famously, the feminine was a dark continent, or a riddle without an answer. This understanding concerns man’s relationship to the question of ‘woman’ but femininity is also a matter of sexuality and gender and therefore of identity and experience. Drawing together leading academics, including film and literary scholars, clinicians and artists from diverse backgrounds, Femininity and Psychoanalysis: Cinema, Culture, Theory speaks to the continued relevance of psychoanalytic understanding in a social and political landscape where ideas of gender and sexuality are undergoing profound changes.
This transdisciplinary collection crosses boundaries between clinical and psychological discourse and arts and humanities fields to approach the topic of femininity from a variety of psychoanalytic perspectives. From object relations, to Lacan, to queer theory, the essays here revisit and rethink the debates over what the feminine might be. The volume presents a major new work by leading feminist film scholar, Elizabeth Cowie, in which she presents a first intervention on the topic of film and the feminine for over 20 years, as well as a key essay by the prominent artist and psychoanalyst, Bracha Ettinger.
Written by an international selection of contributors, this collection is an indispensable tool for film and literary scholars engaged with psychoanalysts and anybody interested in different approaches to the question of the feminine.
Table of Contents
Author Biographies; Acknowledgements; Introduction: Agnieszka Piotrowska and Ben Tyrer; Chapter 1: Elizabeth Cowie, The certainties of Difference and their difficulty: desire and the symptom; Chapter 2: Davina Quinlivan, Her Skin Against the Rocks, The Rocks Against the Sky: Revisiting Weir's Picnic At Hanging Rock (1975) after Morley’s The Falling (2014) and Freud’s Fable of Female Hysteria; Chapter 3: Caroline Bainbridge, Growing up girl in the ‘hood: Vulnerability, violence and the girl-gang state of mind in Bande de Filles/Girlhood (Sciamma, France, 2014); Chapter 4: Vicky Lebeau, Revisiting Joan Riviere; Chapter 5: Bracha L. Ettinger, Supplementary Jouissance and Feminine Sexual Rapport ; Chapter 6: Nava Dushi and Igor Rodin, Self-Recreation Through the Uncanny Encounter: Reading the Feminine Close-Up in Cinema; Chapter 7: Allister Mactaggart, River's Edge: The ebb and flow of feminine ex-sistence, Chapter 8: Ben Tyrer, Under Her Skin: On Woman without body and body without Woman; Chapter 9: Agnieszka Piotrowska and Joseph Jenner, Desire, Commitment and the Transformative Power of Touch: The Posthuman Femme Fatale in Under the Skin; Chapter 10: Wendy Leeks, AnnaMarilyn: Queer tales of femininity; Chapter 11. Sheila Cavanagh, Tiresias: Bracha L. Ettinger and the Transgression With-In-To the Feminine; Chapter 12: A.R. Price, A Specimen of a Commentary on Lacan’s ‘L’étourdit’; Chapter 13, Agnieszka Piotrowska: A #MeToo Moment in Communist Poland; Chapter 14, Pia Hylén – “Vulnerabilities” / “Ravage II”; Index
Agnieszka Piotrowska is an award-winning film-maker and theorist, best known for her iconic documentary Married to the Eiffel Tower. She is the author of Psychoanalysis and Ethics in Documentary Film, Black and White and The Nasty Woman and the Neo Femme Fatale in Contemporary Cinema, editor of Embodied Encounters and co-editor of Psychoanalysis and the Unrepresentable.
Ben Tyrer is a film theorist and lecturer. He is the author of works on cinema, psychoanalysis and philosophy and is the co-editor of Psychoanalysis and the Unrepresentable.