Northwestern Events Calendar


Anthropology Colloquium: Xochitl Marsilli-Vargas, Emory University

When: Monday, April 15, 2024
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM CT

Where: 1810 Hinman Avenue, 104, 1810 Hinman Avenue , Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Cost: Free

Contact: Nancy Hickey   (847) 467-1507

Group: Anthropology Colloquia and Events

Co-Sponsor: Anthropology Department

Category: Academic, Lectures & Meetings


“That’s not what you mean”: Intention, poetics and resonance in the therapeutic encounter

In this presentation I focus on the concept of resonance as an embodied practice that defies the here-and-now of sound production through the poetic function by analyzing how words sound and resound in the listener. I explore “the music in the words” or how messages/sounds/words resonate in the therapeutic encounter. By analyzing excerpts from meetings of Multi-Family Structured Psychoanalytic Therapy (MFSPT) in Buenos Aires, in which both analysands and analysts shift their attention from the semantic content and referential function of an utterance to its poetic structure, I ask what kinds of textual artifacts are being produced in this setting when the focus is not on the text but rather on what the text evokes in the listener. Moreover, I problematize the concept of intention when the “real motives and feelings” of the analysands inside MFSPT do not belong to the producer of the utterance but to the expert listener who is attuned to—or “touched” by in Jean Luc Nancy’s terms—the unconscious realm. In this setting, a particular form of reported speech emerges in which what is being reported is not an indirect or direct form of quotation, but instead the report of unconscious motives and actions. Thus, the type-token relationship in this form of quotation is complex because many different tokens of the same type can emerge (e.g., when listeners hear different meanings in the same utterance). Consequently, the diffuse, multivalent intentional organization associated with the poetic function comes to override the individualized intention localized in the speaker’s utterance.

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