University at Buffalo

The Center

for the Study of

Psychoanalysis and Culture

Objects, Outsides, Others (2013)

For reasons that have yet to be examined adequately, the beginning of the 21st century has witnessed the (re)emergence within metaphysics of the question of the object and objective (or asubjective) reality. Under the designations of speculative realism and/or object oriented ontology, a variety of philosophers and thinkers have put forward a number of (admittedly) metaphysical, or at least ahuman, accounts of the world that excise any question of subjectivity. Such a world has neither need nor regard for human consciousness. While these speculative systems are distinct, following different trajectories, making different interventions, and proposing different accounts of this asubjective landscape, all more or less share the same project: to consider objects and events as independent of the subject as correlate, without recourse to, or consideration for, the Kantian problem of finitude in terms of human access to the world. These depictions, descriptions, and conceptualizations of a universe populated by small, mid-sized, and immense objects, or of rigorously distinguished, and self- actualizing, substances, or, finally, of temporalities before and after given-ness or human awareness — a great outdoors that is both independent of, and perfectly understandable from within, the human enclosure — all attempt to signal the endpoint of the “linguistic turn” that characterized the second half of the 20th century. But do accounts of the subject’s irrelevancy mean that it must no longer be considered? Does the problem of the subject persist even after the challenge to correlationism? What is the position of the subject with regard to the object if we accept its independence from human access?

     The purpose of the next issue of Umbr(a): A Journal of the Unconscious is to discover what psychoanalysis has to say about these newly emerging understandings of the object and reality with respect to this novel philosophical discourse. We do so in order to draw attention to both their parallel and perpendicular inquiries in the hope that we will better appreciate the importance each places not only on the object as such, but also on the object’s concomitant features and operative roles: interiority and exteriority, the other and the Other, the place or status of truth or the true, the status of the real, and the function of the subject. While some have insisted that psychoanalysis — especially Lacanian psychoanalysis — is no more than one doctrine of human access or correlationism among others, it must be remembered that Lacan’s insistence in Seminar XI that “man thinks with his object” is viable only insofar as man does not know that he thinks with his object, what position he inhabits with regard to this object, and what this object means. Rather than a derivation of Kantian finitude, psychoanalysis offers a mode of figuring the subject and its (non)relation to the object through lack, displacement, and (stupid) repetition — an approach that may provide new philosophical investigations and understandings of the object with a properly non-correlationist model of subjectivity.


Umbr(a): Objects, Outsides, Others (2013)
Editor: Joan Copjec
Issue Editor: Christopher Sylvester and Macy Todd
ISBN: 978-0979953965 / 0979953960
ISSN: 1087-0830


We are currently seeking articles related to the topics listed here, as well as other points of interaction between object oriented ontology, speculative realism, and psychoanalysis. Submissions should be 1,500- 6,000 words in length, must be submitted both electronically (Microsoft Word) and in hard copy, and must be received by no later than October 31, 2012. Please send all submissions to the current editors:

cps8 (at)
c/o Christopher Sylvester and Macy Todd
Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis and Culture
408 Clemens Hall
University at Buffalo, State University of New York
Buffalo, New York 14260-4610