Philadelphia Lacan Study Group

Saint Agatha, by Tiepolo

Saint Agatha, by Tiepolo

The Ecstacy of St. Teresa, by Gian Lorenzo Bernini

The Ecstacy of St. Teresa, by Gian Lorenzo Bernini


Oedipus explains the riddle of the Sphinx, by J. A. D. Ingres

Detail of Saint Lucy, by del Cossa

Detail of Saint Lucy, by del Cossa

About the Group

The Philadelphia Lacan Study Group & Seminar has been meeting since 1990 as an open seminar devoted to the discussion of Freud’s and Lacan’s main ideas and their application to broader clinical, social, and cultural issues.

We organize lectures with renowned international scholars and psychoanalysts. We also coordinate several cartels and reading groups which engage theoretical problems, clinical presentations, and psychoanalytic cultural critique.

Site content is © Philadelphia Lacan Study Group 2009. All rights reserved. Site design by James Muspratt.

Recent Past Reading Group Projects

2008/2009 Fall Symptom

Do we really know what a symptom is, and more precisely what a psychoanalytic symptom is? Since the root of “symptom” is “to fall,” how do we fall in and through a symptom? In this seminar, we alluded to the Freudian notion of the symptom and followed its ramifications in the works of Lacan. Finally, we read the Seminar that Lacan devoted to Joyce and the symptom of literature. With the invention of the concept of “sinthome,” Lacan travels the distance from a young man without an ego to the ego of Joyce.

2007/2008 Love Loves Love

What do psychoanalysts talk about when they talk about love? Freud defined the aim of the cure as restoring the ability to work and love. Lacanians have been criticized for not taking emotions into account. This discussion group explored how love is a pivotal force in the analytic treatment but also whether or not there is an original Lacanian theory of love.

The 2007/08 program was planned in coordination with the March 28-30, 2008 APW international psychoanalytic conference On Love that took place in at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Keynote presenters included Bruce Fink, Paul Verhaeghe, and Colette Soler. Visit Affiliated Psychoanalytic Workgroups for more information.


Those interested in further reading and discussion of Freud and Lacan’s work are welcome to participate in the cartels network. Cartels are small study groups, which are limited in number and duration, are organized around a specific subject of investigation, and function independently. Cartels were designed by Lacan to create a novel relationship to the transmission of his teachings. We encourage anyone interested in creating or joining a cartel to contact us for further information.

Clinical Seminar

The clinical seminar is designed for clinicians and is organized with a focus on clinical work and discussion of cases from a Freudo-Lacanian perspective.

Past lectures