Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Theory and Criticism


Dr. Allan Pero


In this work I discuss the relevance of the psychoanalytic concepts of resistance and transference for an understanding of language from a psychoanalytic point of view, in particular how it is that human beings relate to language and whether or not we can conceive of a relation of reference between word and thing from the point of view of Jacques Lacan’s notion of the subject of the unconscious. This investigation takes us through the notion of reference and how it is possible (or not) for language to even refer to anything outside of itself from a psychoanalytic point of view. How does psychoanalysis force us to confront our prejudices about language? How might we understand the status of knowledge differently (and productively) after Lacan, taking into account the concept of the unconscious as “structured like a language”? We are concerned throughout with understanding the unconscious in material terms



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