Clinical Seminar "Institutional Unconscious" - Capitalist Discourse in its late form: Auto-erotism, lacking a lack

March 23, 2019

The Institutional Unconscious

  • Presented by Hilda Fernandez Alvarez, MA, RCC, with the kind support of the SFU Institute for the Humanities and the Lacan Salon.
  • 8 sessions from January 12 to May 4th, 2019.
  • Fortnight Saturdays 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • SFU Harbour Centre, 555 West Hastings St. Vancouver, BC (see detailed program for classroom numbers)
    Open to all and free of charge

This seminar is an open invitation to learn how to read ways in which the unspeakable/traumatic unconscious appears and disappears in institutional practices by mapping the positions that speakers and their interlocutors occupy in language, and the terms of exchange materialized in the social relation they sustain.

Following Lacan’s theory of the four discourses (1969-70), we will interrogate those intrapsychic/intersubjective conditions at work within an institution, hoping to develop a critical understanding of the underpinning dynamics of discursive modalities that constitute different ways of establishing social bonds, such as: master-oppressor, hysteric-protestor, university-scientist, analyst-revolutionary, and capitalist-reification.

This seminar is designed to advance questions about institutional practices and thus it will work best if you have an interest in developing a critical positionality within an institutional practice, such as clinical, educational, artistic, community development, etc. We invite case presentations of our own embodied practice, so we work on notions that have an impact on our direct experience rather than just developing an empty theoretical sophistication.

The detailed program can be found here. Please register here before attending. It is highly recommended that you attend the first session to discuss the way we will work.


This Seminar will take place on unceeded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh peoples.
Art: Diego Rivera (1934) Man at the Crossroads.