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Alireza Taheri: The Late Modern Crisis of Sexuality

What Can Psychoanalysis Provide Beyond the Clash Between the Ideologies of Essentialism and Total Freedom? 

When: Saturday, Feb 3, 2024 (10:00 AM – 12:00 PM PST)

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Psychoanalysis holds that humans are speaking beings derailed from nature by speech and language. We are thus without essence, orphaned by nature. We therefore require cultural institutions to provide supplementation for this lack. Human cultures have always faced the task of regulating sexual practices through social institutions. Sexual identity too requires cultural supports enabling ascension to adulthood. Faced with the contemporary crisis of credibility regarding the universality of social institutions (now understood to constitute singular fictions), what destiny lies in wait for human sexuality? Today we witness the rise of transgender movements testifying to the collapse of the binary conception of sexuality and provoking the ire of conservatives hoping to re-establish patriarchal forms. Faced with the clash between conservatives vying for essentialist sexual norms and liberals celebrating the plurivocity of genders, can psychoanalysis provide a path freed from the constraints of older fictions and yet also unfettered to new ideologies? 


Alireza Taheri holds a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge. He currently provides psychoanalytic psychotherapy and supervision in Toronto where he also teaches at the Toronto Psychoanalytic Institute and Society. Alireza is a faculty member of Persepolis Psychoanalytic as well as the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis. He writes on philosophy, psychoanalysis, film and literature. Alireza has published a monograph entitled Hegelian-Lacanian Variations on Late Modernity: Spectre of Madness where he develops a novel dialectical theory based on Hegel, Lacan and Žižek. Alireza’s current research focuses on Lacanian theories of psychosis and autism about which he is preparing a monograph.