Listening to Silence

Education, the “impossible profession,” may be even more so with the alienating mediation of Zoom and other online interfaces – or is this just a symptom of our nostalgia for face-to-face pedagogy? While we are now able to reach or attend more audiences & events than before (Lacan Salon itself now has 40-50 people attending from around the world), that mediating technology is increasingly susceptible to the interferences and monetization of state and capital, showing the fraught politics (or “fragile absolute”) of the tēchnē on which we rely. But Lacanian theories of the gaze and the screen can help us, and no-less germane is Freud’s comment, at the end of Studies in Hysteria, that “you will be able to convince yourself that much will be gained if we succeed in transforming your hysterical misery into common unhappiness”. “Listening to silence” qua title grew out of conversations with Ed Pluth and Cindy Zeiher (thinking of the “Zoom silence” when we are lecturing, silence as objet a perhaps) and is designed as a series of short essays offering psychoanalytic perspectives of the current state of education in a pandemic.

Technology is Non-All - by Zahi Zalloua

Zoom, silence, the gaze and the mask - by Clint Burnham

Disjunctioning Silence - by Sanem Güvenç

Corona Crisis, the Death Drive and the Education of the Subject - by Fernando Murillo 

Ventriloquism in the Virtual Classroom - by Alma Krilic