Department of Business Humanities and Law

Call for Papers: Lacan at Work

Conference to be held at CBS, September 4-6, 2008




Call for Papers for the Copenhagen Conference on

Lacan at Work





Conference to be held at Copenhagen Business School, Denmark,

September 4-6, 2008 at Carlsberg Akademiet

(from 9.00 am on Sept 4 to 5.30 pm on Sept 6)


Keynote speakers:



  • Ian Parker, Manchester Metropolitan University

  • Yannis Stavrakakis, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki



To imagine psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan at work is improbable if not outright amusing. If alive today, one could be sure that Lacan’s eccentric style, often with a crooked cigar in his hand, as well as his inexhaustible ability to coin new terms, would have attracted the interest and fascination of some business leaders – at least those who most strenuously search for novel and adventurous ideas. But Lacan’s unfailing desire to turn things on their head, and his refusal to make things easy for his audience would have made this career a short one. Lacan openly claimed that he wished not to be understood too quickly. In the world of work, this is rarely a commended attitude.

But Lacan’s slim chances of making a career in a business does not mean that he has nothing of importance to tell us about work and organizations. On the contrary, Lacan’s life-long commitment to psychoanalysis has led him to draw from and to develop a number of fields, many of which are of clear relevance for the study of work and organizations. One of the most important of these is the theory of the subject. Throughout his career he opposed his theory of the subject to the individual and conscious subject of bourgeois philosophy, of psychology and of economic discourse. Indeed, Lacan’s critique of the subject constitutes a powerful attack against today’s ideology of emancipation through ‘becoming oneself’.

By removing the ego from the centre-stage, and at the same time reactivating the Cartesian cogito, Lacan throws new light on at least seven areas which we suggest are important for studying work, management and organizations: 1) discourse, 2) subject, 3) theory, 4) enjoyment, 5) laughter, 6) ethics, 7) life.

We invite contributions on any of these areas. We are aware that they require, to put it modestly, quite a bit of work. We propose to hold a discussion that will give some focus to these conversations by looking at what we can say to each of these themes, and others, in the light of the work of Lacan and of others in the Lacanian tradition. The conference will be a working conference, that is to say, a venue to work on ideas with one another. We welcome contributions from academics, practicing and trainee analysts, and from practitioners, activists and analysands. We wish to promote a space for the critical examination of ideas and therefore hold only to the orthodoxy that all orthodoxy is subject to examination.



We invite submissions of abstracts of no more than 1,000 words. Deadline for submissions is 30 June 2008. Full papers will be required by 1 August 2008. Abstracts should be sent as a word attachment to Sara Louise Muhr ( For questions regarding the conference, please contact any member of the organizing committee.




Papers presented at the conference will be considered for a special issue of the journal Organization and a book on Lacan and Organization to be published by MayFlyBooks. Please prepare papers according to the formatting guidelines at the journal homepage at



Registration is necessary. Please e-mail your contact info to Sara Louise Muhr,

In addition, a conference fee of 275 euro will be charged. This fee must be paid into the following account:


Danske Bank

Frederiksberggade 1

1459 København K

Swift/ Bic: DABADKKK

Account: 9541-10014840

Iban: DK76 3000 0010 0148 40



Organizing Committee

Carl Cederström, Lund University, Sweden (

Alessia Contu, Warwick Business School, United Kingdom (

Casper Hoedemaekers, Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands (

Michaela Driver, University of Aarhus, Denmark (

Campbell Jones, University of Leicester, United Kingdom and Copenhagen Business School, Denmark (

Sara Louise Muhr, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark and Lund University, Sweden (




The page was last edited by: Department of Business Humanities and Law // 04/29/2013