THE UNIVERSITY JACQUES-LACAN
by Jacques-Alain Miller
Jacques Lacan Université
populaire of Psychoanalysis
Created Sunday 8 November 2009 in Paris
There is a time for thinking – meditating, calculating, figuring out, dithering – and
there is a time for acting, pushing ahead, moving into the register of the act, which
always entails passing through the gate to non-knowledge in great haste.
Some time ago now I opened up to discussion the idea of creating a powerful teaching
hub in Paris, bringing together under the same umbrella, without putting into question
their functional autonomy, the teachings of the School, those of the Department of
Psychoanalysis, the two Clinical Sections, the Freudian College for continuing training,
the Envers de Paris, the groups of the Freudian Field, and more. I went so far as to
bring up the idea of a European University, and this idea was supported by UFORCA,
and warmly welcomed in Spain and Italy.
What was lacking was what Stendhal calls ‘crystallisation’. These Study Days are the
moment for this. There are over 2000 of you here: an unprecedented turnout. Above
all, never mind the doom-mongers promising us the ‘Kermesse’ because we’re no
longer putting on that long funereal face traditional among psychoanalysts in any
institutional setting, we’ve never been working better, more seriously or more
A political line is emerging; I shall present it as it reveals itself to me, like a prophet
who would simply be a logician; at the moment this line enjoys the assent of the
greater part. Well, the time has come to conclude with regard to the university issue,
so as to forge ahead with other plans.
I’m saying ‘Université populaire’ because the term is a well-known one, it’s common
currency, and it indicates very well that we’ll be taking to heart that ‘Freudian
education of the French people’ I was earnestly calling for back at the start of the
decade – or maybe it is to be extended to all peoples, as the example of Mitra Kadivar
in the Islamic Republic of Iran encourages us. The religions have succeeded very well
in orienting humanity towards divinities of doubtful utility, and whose existence is
subject to controversy. Why shrink back from the notion of an analysing humanity?
It’s not for tomorrow, I grant you – but the day after? And then, the world!
I’m calling it ‘Jacques Lacan’ because I shall see to it that it is worthy of this name.
It will be a non-profit making association; we shall strive to have it recognised as
being of public benefit.
It will provide a base for the Parisian hub I spoke of, to which the principal UFORCA
establishments shall be added, along with the best from abroad, like the ICBA (the
Buenos Aires Clinical Institute) or the Franco-Bulgarian Seminar distinguished by
Judith Miller. I can see this University providing a base for a Lacan institute, dedicated
to Lacanian studies. I can see it aiding the teaching establishments of the Freudian
Field to reconfigure and perfect themselves, on the basis of voluntary service, and, as
I said, with respect for managerial autonomy. Reducing to a minimum the number of
establishments under direct management. The ‘Université populaire’ will have to be
furnished with a department of publications, into which the Journal des Journées,
LNA-Le Nouvel Âne and Ornicar ? will be integrated, along with its own website and
I’m laying down the act. I don’t have any more details to communicate. They will be
discussed afterwards, in the win-win spirit of these Study Days. I am constructing this
Université populaire under a clear blue sky, under the tyranny of transparency, with
those who wish to collaborate, in particular in the Journal and on Twitter.
Translated from the French by Adrian Price