Upcoming Event

"Mama, Mnemo - Reading Kristeva with Montale"

Benjamin Davidson, Ph.D.

Time and time again, Eugenio Montale's poems speak to a loved and absent auditor; they address, intimately, a You, a second person or familiar other. You could call this work museic, which would be to say both that it is often musical (deploying a pleasing geometry of sound and sense bordering on the unsayable) and addressed to a muse, a cherished femme figure serving at once as a source, catalyst and inspiration for song.

 Among the polymath, Julia Kristeva's gifts to practicing analysts are a series of concepts and coinages speaking directly to the question of this You, the "matrixial borderspace" or forgotten song central to language and to psychic life which is transmitted via polyphonic or polysemic modes of signifying rooted in the sounds and sensations of the body.

These registers skirt a delicate and doubled line between metaphor and the meat of matter;  they work, on the one hand, as a living memory of real experiences -- those of infancy, anterior to the acquisition of language, or those of motherhood, surpassing words -- and, on the other,  constitute a timeless presence within speech and thought, a weather or welter of past, present,  and future immanent to sign and syntax.

Reading Kristeva with Montale brings into bold relief the urgent necessity of the talking cure in an age in which the age-old symbolic orders governing speaking beings -- the panoply of human compacts and regimes generated by song, sign and syntax -- have come to founder.


Berkeley City Club
2315 Durant Avenue

Saturday, November 23, 2019

10:00 AM - 12:00 PM


Benjamin Davidson, Ph.D.

Benjamin Davidson is a faculty member and research psychoanalyst of the San Francisco Bay Area Lacanian School, and maintains a private practice in Palo Alto and San Francisco.  Since 2010 he has taught seminars on Lacanian and Freudian analysis at Stanford University, where he works a a Dean.  Revolt!, his extended essay in two acts, was published in summer of 2019 by the European Journal of Psychoanalysis


Future Events

Coming soon


Past Events

Saturday, October 12, 2019

"The Maternal: Psychoanalysis, Literature and Film"
Claire Kahane, Ph.D.,
Marilyn Fabe, Ph.D.,


Saturday, April 13, 2019

"Light Rooms: Medium, Mourning and Mania"
Elizabeth Abel, Ph.D.


Saturday, January 26, 2019

"From Freud's Mourning to Mourning Freud"
Madelon Sprengnether, Ph.D.


Saturday, December 1, 2018

"Group Discussion: The Place of the Nonrepresentational and the Nonverbal in Psychoanalysis"
Margot Beattie, Ph.D.,
Israel Katz, MD,


Saturday, October 20, 2018

"Freud's Seduction: Psychoanalysis and California"
Fernando Castrillon, Psy.D.


Saturday, March 3, 2018

"Trans Psychoanalysis and Livable Embodiments"
Patricia Gherovici, Ph.D.


Saturday, January 27, 2018

"The Political Unconscious in Perilous Times"
Judith Butler, Ph.D.,
Lance Dodes, M.D.,
Jill Gentile, Ph.D.


Saturday, October 28, 2017

"Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg: The Dream World of Wagner"
Steven H. Golderg, MD,
Jeanne C. Harasemovitch, LCSW,


Saturday, October 7, 2017

"Incandescent Alphabets: Language and Art in Psychosis"
Annie G. Rogers, Ph.D.


Saturday, May 20, 2017

"Homeland (In)Security: How Feminine Law Might Rescue Democracy, Truth and Free Speech"
Jill Gentile, Ph.D.


Sunday, March 26, 2017

"Enigmatic Mechanisms: Some Reflections on Love, Affect, and Identification in Freud"
Marcus Coelen, Ph.D


Saturday, March 18, 2017

"Refashioning Jouissance/Enjoyment for the Age of the Imaginary"
Juliet Flower MacCannell, Ph.D.


Saturday, January 28, 2017

"Freud and the Frankfurt School"
Martin E. Jay, Ph.D.


Saturday, October 29, 2016

"Thinking About The Future"
Christopher Bollas, Ph.D.


Saturday, September 24, 2016

"Death Drive Dialogue #2"
Henry Markman, MD,
Israel Katz, MD,


Saturday, May 21, 2016

"Psychoanalytic Knowledge"
Peter Hobson, Ph.D.


Saturday, April 23, 2016

"The Alterability of the Memory Trace"
Rosaura Martinez, Ph.D.


Saturday, April 2, 2016

"Conversion Disorder: Freud, religious transformation, Foucault and Agamben"
Jamieson Webster, Ph.D.


Saturday, March 26, 2016

"Surviving Terror: An Interview with Ernst Federn"
Helen Schoenhals Hart, Dr.med.


Saturday, October 17, 2015

"Rosa Luxemburg and Marilyn Monroe: Women in Depressed Times"
Jacqueline Rose


Saturday, May 9, 2015

"Keeping the Other Alive: Counter-trends to the Death Drive"
Judith Butler, Ph.D.


Monday, March 30, 2015

"Cultivating the Foreigner Within: Julia Kristeva and Hannah Arendt on Uncanny Art and Human Relations in the Contemporary World"
Elaine Miller, Ph.D.


Saturday, January 31, 2015

"Enduring Inequality: Racism in America"
Jeffrey Prager, Ph.D.



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