Psychoanalysis and Rhetoric, SCoR’s Summer, 2009 meeting

Georgia State University

Mary Stuckey (Georgia State) and Janice Odom (Valdosta State) look on as Barb Biesecker reminds us of the importance of arguing from the text.

On Friday afternoon, July 17, a small but enthusiastic group gathered in the Department of Communication at Georgia State University to discuss psychoanalysis and rhetoric. As the basis of our discussion, we used the in-print debate between Josh Gunn (U Texas) and Christian Lundberg (U North Carolina, Chapel Hill), both of whom were able to join us for this colloquium. The debate between Gunn and Lundberg highlights particular questions that must be asked in the move to apply psychoanalytic principles to rhetorical analysis. In addition to the exchange between Gunn and Lundberg, we also read the posthumously assembled collection My Teaching, lectures of Jacques Lacan.
The seminar was followed by a cookout at the home of Mary Stuckey.

The Complete Reading List:

Gunn, Joshua. "Refitting fantasy: psychoanalysis, subjectivity, and talking to the dead." Quarterly Journal of Speech 90.1 (Feb. 2004): 1-23
Gunn, Joshua. "On Dead Subjects: A Rejoinder to Lundberg on (a) Psychoanalytic Rhetoric."
Quarterly Journal of Speech 90.4 (Nov. 2004): 501-513
Lacan, Jacques.
My Teaching. Verso, 2009.
Lundberg, Christian. "The Royal Road Not Taken: Joshua Gunn's "Refitting Fantasy: Psychoanalysis, Subjectivity and Talking to the Dead" and Lacan's Symbolic Order."
Quarterly Journal of Speech 90.4 (Nov. 2004): 495-500.
Our text for this meeting was Barack Obama’s “A More Perfect Union” speech (March 18, 2008).

The Scene:


From left to right: Under questioning from Michael Bruner, Josh Gunn and Chris Lundberg ponder their responses; Tony de Velasco follows the exchange intently; Chris Lundberg explains his idea of the gap while Mary Stuckey, Janice Odom, and Barb Biesecker look on.