Oedipus Today : Myth, Structure and Knottings

Mar 09, 2019 | 08:30




International Colloquium of psychoanalysis is organised by Department of Psychology, Istanbul Arel University.

Registration is obligatory. Simultaneous interpretation will be assured. 

President of the Organising Committee: Assist. Prof. Dr. Ceylin Özcan


Christian Hoffmann
Joel Birman
Moustapha Safouan
Bilgin Saydam
Dr. Öğr.
Ceylin Özcan

Istanbul Arel University
Nami Başer
Özge Soysal
Tristan Ayi Ajavon
Anissa Merhi
Hachem Tyal
Josiane Vidal
Aida Sylla
Agnès Bardin
Paul Lacaze


09:00 - 09:30
Ö. Şimsek - C. Özcan - C. Hoffmann - P. Lacaze
Moderator: Ceylin Özcan
09:30 - 10:00
Christian Hoffmann
Names-of-Father, the structure and contemporary subjectivities - Abstract
10:00 - 10:30
Joel Birman
Violence in Contemporary Brasilian Society - Abstract
10:30 - 11:00
Moustafa Safouan (Video)
The Post-oedipian civilisation
11:00 - 11:30
Coffee break
Moderator: Fiona Faraci Petridis
11:30 - 12:00
Bilgin Saydam
"Homo interus -ergo inquietus-": The portrait of Polymythic Oedipus as "Anti-Hero" of betweennesses - Abstract
12:00 - 12:30
Ceylin Özcan
"Anatomy is not destiny”: The anxiety and the feminine - Abstract
12:30 - 13:00
Nami Başer
Was the father of the Oedipus queer? - Abstract
Moderator: Özen Alemdar
14:30 - 15:00
Özge Soysal
Oedipus today : The tragedy without a final scene - Abstract
15:00 - 15:30
Tristan Ayi Ajavon
The contemporary master with the prism of coloniality : effects on oedipal knotting ? - Abstract
15:30 - 16:00
Anissa Merhi
Wars in the Name-of-the-Father and the destiny of drives in Lebanon women - Abstract
Moderator: Herve Granier
16:30 - 18:00
Hachem Tyal
The abortion right of the person with mental disorders. Between the faith and the law. The Moroccan experience - Abstract
Josiane Vidal
Yeni klinik yaklaşımlar ve Cinselleşme - Abstract
Aida Sylla
The systemic family therapy in the transforming society - Abstract
Agnès Bardin
The Oedipally-assisted reproduction - Abstract
18:00 - 18:30


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Istanbul Arel University

Oedipus Today : Myth, Structure and Knottings

Notre Dame de Sion Fransız Lisesi
Great Hall

İnönü Mahallesi, Cumhuriyet Cd. No:127, 34373 Şişli/İstanbul

+90 850 850 27 35




Christian Hoffmann

  • Psychoanalyst, member of Espace analytique & CRPMS
  • Director of Research on psychoanalysis PhD School
  • Professor of psychopathology in Sorbonne Paris Cité- Paris Diderot University and professor
  • in Tongji (Shnaghai) University
  • Co-writer of Trauma dans la civilisation (2018), Lacan et Foucault à l'épreuve du réel (2018), Writer of Des Cerveaux et des Hommes (2007)

Joel Birman

  • Psycohanalyst, member of Espace analytique & Espaço Brasileiro de Estudos Psicanaliticos.
  • Professor of Institut of Psychology in Federal Rio de Janeiro University
  • Professor of Institut of Social Medecine in Rio de Janeiro State University
  • Researcher at National Counsel of Research (CNPQ) in Brazil
  • Director of human sciences studies in Sorbonne Paris Cité – Paris Diderot University
  • Writer of  Foucault et la psychanalyse (2007), De la Pulsion à la Culture (1998), Cartographie du contemporain : Espace, douleur et détresse dans l'actualité (2009). Co-writer of Lacan et Foucault à l'épreuve du réel (2018).

Moustapha Safouan

Egyptian Psychoanalyst, One of the first disciples of Lacan since 1951.

  • Writer of La Civilisation Post-Oedipienne (2018), Regard sur la Civilisation Oedipienne (2015), Pourquoi le monde arabe n’est pas libre (2008), Lacaniana I&II (2001), La Parole ou la Mort (1996), Le Transfert et le Désir de l’analyste (1988)
  • Traductor in arab of Interprétation des Rêves (Freud), Othello (Shakespeare)

Bilgin Saydam

  • Professor of psychiatry in Istanbul University Faculty of Medecine
  • Doctor of neurophysiology in Zurich University
  • Founder and member of Psychomythology Working Group in Istanbul
  • Psychotherapist, writer of Deli Dumrul'un Bilinci (2017)

Ceylin Özcan

  • Clinical psychologist, psychoanalyst, PhD of Research in psychoanalysis and psychopathology (Paris)
  • Associated professor and coordinator of higher education in Istanbul Arel University
  • Associated professor in Galatasaray University (2016/2018)
  • Associated researcher in CRMPS (Medecine, Psychoanalysis & Society Research Center) in  Sorbonne Paris Cité- Paris Diderot University
  • Member of AlfaPsy & WPA Section Psychoanalysis in Psychiatry

Research themes: Psychosis, clinical psychopathology, anxiety and contemporary subjectivities, Lacanian psychoanalysis.


Nami Başer

  • Philosopher, poet, critic of literature, traductor
  • Professor of philosophy in Galatasaray University
  • Professor of theatre in Okan University
  • Writer of Lacan (2012), Evsizlik Defterleri (2008)
  • Traductor of J. Genet, M. Blanchot, E. Levinas, P. Gillot.

Özge Soysal

  • PhD of Clinical Psychology and psychopathology (Strasbourg), Psychoanalyst
  • Associated professor in Kültür University (2009-2016)
  • Editor of  Journal of Psychology Club in Kültür University
  • Clinical psyhcologist in German Hospital (2007-2009)
  • Traductor & co-traductor of  S. Lesourd, J.P. Cléro, M. C. Janin, J. -D. Nasio, J.M. Quinodoz Best traduction reward : Journal of Psychoanalytical Writings (2017)
  • Original article reward : Istanbul Psychoanalytical Association (2006)

Research Themes: Feminity, intercultural studies, contemporary discourse, psychopathology and social bound, Lacan and Turkey studies


Tristan Ayi Ajavon

  • Clinical psychologist in psychiatric & forensic institutions
  • PhD student of Research in psychopathology and psychoanalysis in Sorbonne Paris Cité – Paris Diderot University & EHESS.

Anissa Merhi

Psychoanalyst, associated member of Lebanese Association of Psychoanalysis (SLP)


Hachem Tyal

  • Psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, founder & medical director in Clinic of Psychiatry Villa de Lilas (Casablanca, Morocco) 
  • President of AlfaPsy, Vice president and founder of  "CERCLE PSYCHANALYTIQUE"

Josiane Vidal

Psychiatrist, child psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, Montpellier 


Aida Sylla

Professor of Psychiatry in Fann Hospital, psychotherapist, Dakar (Senegal)


Agnès Bardin

Psychoanalyst, Doctor working with children and adolescents, Montpellier


Paul Lacaze

  • Neuropsychiatrist, Psychoanalyst, Institutional and private practice
  • President emeritus & founder pf ALFAPSY, Montpellier (France)

The names-of-Father, the structure and today’s subjectivities.

Transl: Deniz Gezer& Arda Kaplan

At 1975 Lacan asks in the RSI (Real, Imaginary, Symbolic) seminar, whether it is necessary to hold the knot and structure by the names-of-Father. And that doesn’t mean it is still like this even it was like this before. This means, inevitably the “supply” (suppléance) becomes contingent.

So, as Lacan has predicted before, if the name-of-father is still required in analysis today, that doesn’t mean that we are not able to give up that at all. Lacan says that, we are hanging the names-of-father exactly because we are such vulnerable.

Nearly 50 years after the fantastic opening of the question of knotting psychic structure to the “names of the father”, we should ask ourselves: What is our post-modern inconsistency?

Nowadays, in short, a working program is opened in the post-modern world for the analysts to “join the era’s subjectivity”[1] as Lacan suggested. Why? :“Because how is he supposed to make his existence; for how could, he who knows nothing of the dialectic that engages him in a symbolic movement with so many lives possibly make his being the axis of those lives? Let him be well acquainted with the whorl into which his era draws him in the ongoing enterprise of Babel, and let him be aware of his function as an interpreter in the strife of languages.” However, this program ought to be updated with the addition of the transformation of the reality. Because the universality of Oedipus is transformed into the specifity of symptoms indicating the subject’s stumbling in his own reality. Without forgetting the new truth of political science.

This assumes that we examine the post-modern subjective constructions in a transforming society. These subjective constructions differ in various and variable norms, as if no symbolic structure can bring them together in any individual and collective identity. Just as in the last teachings of Lacan and Foucault, they are on the same page, that is, about this topic of contingency[2].

We had known for a long time that the psychoanalytic experience is not like it’s been before. It must be known that, now we are not analyzing in the same way. At this point, we must remember Moustapha Safouan’s book “La civilisation post-oedipienne“[3] (Post-Oedipal Civilization). In his work, Safouan discusses the effects the neo-liberal society on the new ways of being subjective, while emphasizing that neo-liberal society force the individual who conceptualized as autonomous and responsible of his own to take precedence over the divided subject who –as psychoanalysis describes his state- bears the stamps of his relationship he constructed by his word. However in fact the divided subject means that the subject who seeks for the recognition of his existence being torn between enunciated (énoncé) and enunciation (énonciation). In his L’herméneutique du sujet[4] lecture, Foucault states that we cannot comprehend subjectivity without referencing Lacan’s contribution about the subject of psychoanalysis. Today, after Lacan’s last seminars we understand what he said about psychoanalysis and he helped us to take essential measure of the talking being.

In this seminar, Lacan will make a distinction between social symptom and individual symptom which is pertinent if the best potential possibilities are considered.

The question we will ask is this: Would this distinction obstruct the symptom as the most particular type of enjoyment (jouissance) from the unconscious, defined by Lacan?

Violence in the contemporary Brazilian society

Transl: Zeynep Maçkalı

The aim of this presentation is to specify the main coordinates and the lines of forces of the violence embedded in the local public places in Brazil since 1960’s. Only when it is possible to identify the forms of subjectivities generated through this violence, then the existing inequalities in the Brazilian society might make the Brazilian people feel better. Thus, due to these forms of subjectivities, the psychoanalytical discourse will be highly emphasized.

Homo interus -ergo inquietus-: The portrait of Polymythic Oedipus as ‘Anti’-Hero of betweennesses
Bilgin Saydam

Transl: Zeynep Maçkalı & Deniz Gezer

In the interpretations of Sophokles & Freud, Oedipus is the unquiet hero of ‘betweenness’es. He is reluctant and in multiple obscurities, but always acts; he builds his mortality with the acts of exiting from betweennesses. He is a ‘heroism-enthusiast’ protagonist who resists hopelessly becoming ‘anti-hero’. The different stance and action schema from his passionate action and clear and explicit teleology of the ‘hero’ make ‘anti-hero’ become ambivalent in terms of his identification. Anti-heroes are together with their inactions, hesitations, their questioning of their selves and the world than their actions. The questionings are the fermentation of a transformation from an “anti-hero” to “hero” with a meta-view. Heroes may take individual and society a step “further”; but transformers, who stimulate metamorphic dynamics, are anti-heroes. Oedipus provides ethical support to the patriarchal order that moves from the maternal to the paternal; with his story yelling that his actions and the containment of the transformative “crime” includes the prohibitive “punishment”. However, in the transformation seeded by the hero, the transition to different psycho-social-cultural schema could (not) matter, precipitousness is dominant in this story. Oedipus is under pressure to act. Victim-and-hero Oedipus is a “man of system”. The system owes it’s continuity to Oedipus. The story of Thebai to Kolonos is a configuration of paternal Zeus-Apollo-Laios’ command in the heart of maternal Eumenides’. Oedipus can not liberalise trans-oedipally: His legacy is the oedipal complex that covers the restlessness of  betweenness.

Anatomy is not destiny”: The Anxiety and the feminine
Ceylin ÖZCAN

The trajectory of Oedipus is that of the Freudian myth of the father; a father who derives his power of prohibition from the dichotomy to have / not to have it. With Lacan and his reading of Freud, the trajectory evolves towards a father as a name. Thus the father derives his symbolic power from his metaphorical function. He is the one who gives meaning to the maternal desire. But giving meaning is possible only if a divided subject of unconscious desire is recognized by the other, in this place occupied by the father.

What does the myth of Oedipus teach us about the feminine? From the prohibition of incest to the impossibility of “jouissance”/enjoyment (a mythical enjoyment of prehistory) of speaking -being, the place of the feminine remains like a hole deep down of the subject. Neither anatomy, nor culture, nor language, nor the captivating image, are enough to answer the question that keeps its enigma: What is a woman? What does she want?

Starting from the subversive work of an Anglo-Saxon feminist artist, Linder Sterling, about the female body image, we will examine the feminine in the post-Oedipal world.

Was the father of Oedipus queer?

Transl: Zeynep Maçkalı

We will start from these two remarks:

  1. In general, when the myth of Oedipus is being told, the fault of his father is ignored, in other words it is not taken into account that he raped the son of the king of Peloponnes, Chrysippos,
  2. In 1954, Lacan laid great stress on the fact that Oedipus could not continue to be relevant among societies in which the tragedy has gradually lost its meaning. Again, similarly Lacan indicated that children were the real parents in the family.

Starting from here, we will open the issue that the father of Oedipus is quite queer up for discussion.

Oedipus Today : Tragedy without the last scene
Özge Soysal

Transl: Deniz Gezer & Arda Kaplan

As Pierre Vidal-Naquet reminded us by referencing a striking connotation by Walter Nestle, tragedy borns when we start to look at a legend or myth from the eye of the people. As an abandoned and old narrative form, tragedy includes both some contrast (between hero and choir, choir and folk, gods and folk, collective truths, hero’s defiance and extravagance) and a symbolic knot that is tied with a final decision involving sanctions at the last scene, which is the contributing factor that forms a connection between oppositions in a tragedy at the last instance.

Being in the first place Freud and Lacan, the application of psychoanalysis to this narrative form; the use of desire, law, symbolic boundaries, and social bond as the founding texts, is an existential division of the human-subject, in other words, the common disease of  humanization’s - symbolic castration- allows to consider together with the question of “impossible both methodically and aesthetically and ethically.

As a tragedy, Oedipus is always more than a passionate love drama for psychoanalysis, just as Antigone is more than a narrative of a power war between a “wild young girl” and a “ruthless, rational king”. As a matter of fact, stories are of  interest to the psychoanalyst to a certain extent; because what is more important is how the narrative is structured and how it is symbolically knotted from a subjective-ethical place as a consequence. Let us remember that in the last scene of the tragedies, the ruling authority is not the people, the choir or the king, but the hero himself who takes responsibility for the knowledge of a subjective truth. In other words, Oedipus has the last word as the one who knows and the point is now a definite closure of a story as expressed.

Based on the common discourse and current clinical application that listens subjective suffering, I am going to discuss the stories that are constantly open without subjectivity and naming  moreover not only the subjective truth but also as the place of impossible, the new forms of staging and it’s dead-ends caused by the annulment of the unconscious.

The contemporary master with the prism of coloniality : effects on oedipal knotting ?
Tristan Ayi AJAVON

It is said that there is coloniality in the contemporary master, or that capitalism, in its current neoliberal version, is not unrelated to past colonial situations. But, who's talking ? Especially since the unconscious itself is part of the master's discourse...

Although increasingly sophisticated, technologies of power mobilized for population management do not seem to be able to compensate the precariousness of the subjects in their relationship to the symbolic. This prospect of a decline in paternal function leaves an increasing number of them struggling with an enjoyment (jouissance) whose regulation poses difficulties. If the oedipal complex is "the mythical clothing of the structure of desire", what does the questioning of the father's significant function teach us? How can we adjust our clinical decoding to these changes ?

Through the inventiveness of his symptom, the subject responds to the unease in the culture. In this respect, we will question here the generalized weakening of symbolic mediations based on a specific variation of identity discourse, the reason for which is coloniality. Beyond the necessary debates around the collective construction of a historical truth, we wish here to highlight what the use of these discourses teaches new ways of relating to subjective division and object.

It is a question of thinking together, on the one hand the historical processes that tend to massify the multiplicity of bodies, and on the other hand the subject of the unconscious which, one by one, finds in this globalised theatre matter for its enjoyment. To these vertiginous games of scales, which too schematically divide the collective and the individual, Lacanian topology responds in a quite subversive and enlightening way for the practice.

In the name of the Holy Father: Wars and the impulsive destinies of the Lebanese women
Anissa El-Amin MERHI

Transl: Zeynep Maçkalı

Symbolical, imaginary, real! Which father is in question?

Before answering this question impatiently, it is required to highlight the specific axes that point out where the social structure of Lebanon is based on.

  1. Laws on marital statuses – without considering the level of religiosity, the Lebanese citizens are always registered by the name of their religious communities.
  2. Within this symbolic order, women become daughters, siblings, wifes and mothers of the men whose names they bear. In this context, the subject of the unconscious is the discourse of the other.
  3. The feminine in the discourse of the other, for Christians she is the Virgin Mary, for Muslims she is Hagar. Hagar, رجاه ; is the one who desires and is the other woman who challenged the wife of the Other -Sara-,  is the grandmother whose name is erased. Her destiny was built on denial and rejection.
    The conclusion for this symbolic order, ‘there is no women’ as a legal personality or as an individual.
  4. The Lebanese war, that could not be thought independently from the ‘political disasters’, arrayed regional and international attacks. These attacks aggravated inter-communal threats. So, there occurred a situation called as the ‘familial mobilization’. Girls and boys find a ‘satisfying breast/area’ in the confession community to protect themselves from the hypothetical enemy and this became especially possible among war princes. It is time for equality, not intersexual discrimination.
  5. The equality finds its justifications within the contemporary discourse. The unlimited Imaginary. Women stick their heads above the parapet phallically with their diplomas: success, courage, primary statues, etc. However, in many cases, there is confusion between the masculine and the phallic. Every time, there simmers something above them, have it said “this is not exactly”.
  6. For the sake of her love, she rejects her feminity equivalent to the powerless gender that might be raped to defend the real father who lost his status- through identifying with him or her brother. Here, she was slapped with the Reality that she is woman and she is mother.
  7. Fulfilling the deficiency of her mother and desiring her desire as a possible phallus are two problematiques that lead her into a dead end and make her more sensitive over her own desire. Here we come across with the clinical picture that is becoming more serious through social transformations suppressing all details and questions and meet with the contemporary subject: subjectively splitted, alienated in the face of scientific developments, westerner but moored with the language of her own culture (Lalangue) which is impossible to be separated. Therefore, depression and phobia become ordinary. Additionally, other changes and transformations prevent her to realize what she desires.

The abortion right of the person with mental disorders. Between the faith and the law. The Moroccan experience
Hachem TYAL

The problem we think about when we talk about elective abortion (Volontary Interruption of pregnancy) touches upon  the embryo / fetus that must be brought to term irrespective of the consequences: but what about what lives - or rather what dies in ... - the mother who carries it? And what about the future of this embryo / fetus carried by this mother?

This is true for pregnant women in general, but the problem is of particular concern for those with mental disorders. What is the solution to this problem in a society as deeply rooted in its Arab-Islamic culture as a Maghrebian  North African society like Morocco? These are the questions that this work will try to answer.

Contemporary clinical approaches and the sexuation
Josiane VIDAL

What light can psychoanalysis shed on the new wagers in contemporary clinic with regard to questions of gender? Gender as a socio-cultural norm that would determine being « woman » or being « man » is ever more contested. Language opens itself to new denominations, taking into account this blurring of traditional oppositions.

During consultation, some people present themselves with a « non-binary » identity, that is to say putting to question classic, binary, differentiation of the sexes, accompanied with diffuse, underlying anxiety, unhappiness, and interpersonal difficulties.

A certain flexibility as to the identity remains, or is even demanded as the right to « not decide ». Would there be a position outside of gender attribution and sexual differentiation, outside of a fixed choice or the choice of being bi ? Feminist and queer associations that fight for the recognition of the rights of gender minorities are a reflection of societal mutations in process and offer an idea of the inventory of different identities. They are refered to by the acronyms LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual) and QIA (Queer, Inter-sex, hermaphrodite, Asexual). How can what is beyond sexual difference, beyond anatomical assignment and cultural steriotypes be considered with psychoanalysis ?

Systemic Family Therapy: An Institutional Tool in a Changing Society

In Africa, the family is a broad or even enlarged structure, a system of complex interactions that is not defined solely by the sole criteria of consanguinity and cohabitation.

African societies are by no means fixed and incapable of evolution. We live on African soil a time where tradition and modernity meet and meet each other, thus calling into question the elements that ensured and justified the organization of traditional societies. The intervention of new ethical, political and religious norms have largely contributed to their transformation.

Systemic family therapy is a model of psychotherapeutic management of the patient and the family group to which he belongs. It was introduced in the late 1990s in Senegal and is used by several  specialists.

We describe tools of systemic family therapy and their use to help families or couples facing new problems in their socio-cultural context.

The Oedipally-Assisted Reproduction

From the clinical case of a 9-year-old girl with abdominal pain , we will explore the possible psychological consequences for a child when ,

 informed in advance :

  1. His parents’ desire to have a second child
  2. And that they will need medical assistance for procreation .

In this context , is a resolution of Oedipus still possible?

On sliding from the Clinic of the Subject to that One of the Object 

The  Clinic of the Subject, through the truth of the unconscious which is revealed there, can only be singular, unpredictable, worrying, often unrepresentable. It arouses all kinds of resistance. It inevitably comes up against, sometimes to the point of disappearing, the Clinic of the Object (neural or physiological or behavioral) whose collective application is more manageable, representative and profitable. It's controllable! Should we fear it, regret it or admit it and make it a springboard for the future?

Thanks to language, the subversive nature of the questioning of the Subject, while being a suffering, is an opportunity for the human being and his creativity. On the other hand, what happens when the development of science as a reason as well as religious belief as a faith claim to provide the collective response having the value of an Object, sometimes necessary, often useful and seductive but at the cost of stifling the Subject? Where is the right alliance between listening to the Subject and handling the Object?