“Hasn’t it ever struck you at some turning of the way that something was missing in what you gave to those closest to you? And not simply that something was missing, but that there was something that left the abovementioned loved ones irremediably missed by you? What could that be?”
— J. Lacan, Transference: The Seminar of Jacques Lacan Book VIII

What can psychoanalytic experience teach us about love and the experience of love? What does it mean to love, or to say that you love someone, in the most basic sense possible? Indeed, what is “love,” given, as Lacan maintains, that “there is no sexual relationship”? How might we characterize the relation between loving, lacking, and desiring? And if the relation of transference, as Freud and Lacan tell us, imitates the love relation, how can we also understand the place of love in the analytic relationship, and think about what is being transferred in “transference-love,” or our being as it submits to being transferred? Such are the questions we will seek to explore in this seminar.

Together, we will conduct a close reading of the first eleven chapters of Lacan’s seminar on Transference, alongside Plato’s Symposium upon which the first part of the seminar is based as an extended commentary. Along the way, we will also consult Bruce Fink’s companion volume, Lacan on Love, to Lacan’s seminar, as well as some supplementary texts on the question of love in philosophy; and, if time allows, proceed on to the second part Lacan’s seminar (‘The Object of Desire and The Dialectic of Castration’).

The seminar is open to Candidates and Pre-Candidates of the School, as well as to members of the public. There are no prerequisites other than your interest and your curiosity.

Reading List:
Transference: The Seminar of Jacques Lacan Book VIII, Jacques Lacan
Lacan on Love, Bruce Fink
Symposium, Plato

Supplementary Texts:
‘Observations on the Transference-Love’, Sigmund Freud
‘Love’, G.W.F Hegel
In Praise of Love, Alain Badiou
Love’s Work, Gillian Rose

Faculty: Jeremy Soh
Tuition/Fee: $300
Day & Time: Wednesdays, beginning September 13th 2017, 15 sessions, fortnightly (biweekly).
Location: TBD, Kroeber Hall, University of California, Berkeley

Contact: J. Soh,