Perversion - its ubiquity in infantile life and its persistence in the psychical and sexual lives of some adults - was a central element of Freud's lifelong work. The problem of perversion has since been revisited by many psychoanalytic schools with the result that Freud's original view of perversion has been replaced by numerous - often contradictory - perspectives on its aetiology, development and treatment. The concept of perversion has also been significant for the disciplines of cultural studies and gender and queer theory, which have explored the creative and dissident powers of perversion, while expressing a suspicion of its operation as a pathological category. This bi-partite collection offers a series of perspectives on perversion by a range of psychoanalytic practitioners and theorists (edited by Dany Nobus), and a selection of papers by scholars who work with, or critique, psychoanalytic theories of perversion (edited by Lisa Downing). It stages a serious dialogue between psychoanalysis and its commentators on the controversial issue of non-normative sexuality.
Psychoanalytic Perspectives -- Introduction -- Perversion, perversity, and normality: diagnostic and therapeutic considerations -- An overview of perverse behaviour -- Perversion and charity: an ethical approach -- The problem of inscription and its clinical meaning in perversion -- The perversion of pain, pleasure, and thought: on the difference between “suffering” an experience and the “construction” of a thing to be used -- The structure of perversion: a Lacanian perspective -- Birth, death, orgasm, and perversion: a Reichian view -- Perspectives on Psychoanalysis -- Introduction -- Perversion and French avant-garde art 1912–1916 -- The perverse domination of the fascist and the Sadean master -- The feminist ethics of lesbian sadomasochism -- Maternal fetishism -- Lacan meets queer theory -- On sexual perversion and transsensualism