The Hysteric Rebels: Rethinking Socio-Political Transformation with Foucault and Lacan

Theory and Event 23 (3):607-640 (2020)
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In this article, I bring Lacan and Foucault into a conversation to show that both theorized the hysteric subject as the moment of the limit in power, where power fails to subordinate us. Moreover, both thinkers theorized the hysteric as the paradigmatic example of a political subject that not only rebels but radically transforms power structures. Next, I show that Freud's Dora case refers to a psychoanalytic discourse on hysteria, which turned into the master's discourse. Such master's discourse aimed to discipline Dora into the norm of female, bourgeois, and heterosexual subjectivity. However, Dora successfully rebelled against the master's discourse. Finally, I expose that only a collective of hysterics could bring down psychiatric power down in the asylum.

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Claudia Leeb
Washington State University


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