Untitled (palm, gold), Asmaa Al-Issa

Islam and / with Psychoanalysis: A Provocative Encounter

Wednesday, January 22, 2020 | 7:00PM | FREE
Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre
SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts
149 W. Hastings St., Vancouver

In recent years the contours of a hitherto unexpected theoretical interface has emerged: Islam and/with psychoanalysis. Why bring this seemingly odd couple together? What kinds of theoretical insights could be gained in this crossing of wires? This roundtable panel discussions hopes to stage a provocative yet mutually productive encounter between facets of Islam and psychoanalytic theory, whereby both can mutually illuminate and enrich each other — in a short-circuiting way.

Participants include: Dr. Laura U. Marks (SFU), Dr. Dina Al-Kassim (UBC), Dr. Clint Burnham (SFU), and Dr. Farshid Kazemi (SFU). 

There will be a short Q&A after the roundtable and refreshments will be offered.

Presented by the SFU School for the Contemporary Arts, the Centre for Comparative Muslim Studies, and the Substantial Motion Research Network (


Laura U. Marks

Laura U. Marks works on media art and philosophy with an intercultural focus. Her most recent books are Hanan al-Cinema: Affections for the Moving Image (MIT, 2015) and Enfoldment and Infinity: An Islamic Genealogy of New Media Art (MIT, 2010). Marks programs experimental media art for venues around the world. With Dr. Azadeh Emadi (University of Glasgow) she is a founding member of the Substantial Motion Research Network.

Dina Al-Kassim

Dr. Dina Al-Kassim is a critical theorist, who works on political subjectivation, sexuality and aesthetics in transnational modernist and contemporary postcolonial cultures, including the Middle East, Africa, Europe and the United States. She is the author of On Pain of Speech: Fantasies of the First Order and the Literary Rant (University of California Press, 2010), which examines parrhesia and the politics of address in the practice of literary ranting. Al-Kassim’s publications have appeared in Grey Room, International Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, Public Culture, Cultural Dynamics, and the volume Islamicate Sexualities. Her current project, entitled Exposures: Biopolitics and New Precarity under Globalization asks why and how exposure has come to be a condition of contemporary truth through selective soundings in literature, arts practice, protest and politics from Lebanon, South Africa, and the United States. Other projects include discrepant histories of colonial psychoanalysis and theories of anti-colonial solidarity.

Clint Burnham

Clint Burnham research interests include cultural studies (especially film and popular culture), contemporary poetry, and theory (especially psychoanalysis and Marxism). He is the author of book-length studies of Steve McCaffery, Fredric Jameson, and Slavoj Žižek. He is also the author of numerous books of poetry and fiction, and has written on art in ESPACE art actuel, fillip, Flash Art, Camera Austria, The Vancouver Sun, Canadian Art, Artforum, and The Globe and Mail. He has been a member of the SFU English department since 2007, and is currently chair of the SFU English Graduate Program. Clint is also an associate member of the SFU Department of Geography and a member of SFU’s Centre for Global Political Economy, and he is a founding member of the Vancouver Lacan Salon.

Farshid Kazemi

Farshid Kazemi is acultural, media and film theorist specializing in an interdisciplinary and theoretical approach to the field of Film and Media Studies, Iranian Studies and Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies.

January 22, 2020