Misrecognizing the Clinic: Towards a Planetary Psychoanalysis

Ahmad Fuad Rahmat


This paper describes the possibility of a planetary Lacan. It is planetary in that it regards the increasingly global appeal of psychoanalysis as a chance to ground clinical practice within concrete non-Western historical circumstances. Modernisation is hereby understood as a convergence of different histories rather than an inevitable process of Westernization. My argument turns to ‘Aggressiveness in Psychoanalysis’ to show that for Lacan the clinic is designed not for an abstract universal subject but to address the enclosed individual of Western society. Instead of assuming that the clinic can be exported anywhere, he anticipates a future ‘confluence of forms.’ I turn to the hybridity Malay-Southeast Asian health practices for examples of this confluence wherein modern-Western medicine is entangled with ‘non-modern’ treatments. Grasping Lacan’s relevance for the global south requires that the clinic too should be misrecognised as it encounters different cultural articulations of the psyche’s ‘interiority.’


Psychoanalysis, Lacan, Planetary, Southeast Asian medicine, psy-sciences

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1234/fa.v0i80.368

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