Professor Genevieve Sartor, PhD Candidate


Genevieve Sartor is a PhD Candidate at Trinity College Dublin.

Dismantling Oedipus: Theory and Practice

This course fulfills a requirement for the Philosophy & Psychoanalysis Certificate.

Credits: 5

Format: Blended-Learning (Self-Paced)
Prerequisites: None

Requirements: The researcher/participant in this seminar must complete the course either via: (a) a written examination; or (b) a 2,000 word research paper due no latter than January 15, 2020.

Language: English

Dismantling Oedipus
79.00 100.00


Description: [Self-Paced]

This four session seminar will explore how an understanding of the Oedipal component in psychoanalytic theory is useful for deconstructing what is at stake in political nationalism. While the theoretical intersection between politics and psychoanalysis is a topic familiar to many of us, this seminar is focused on how dismantling the coordinates of this relationship can bring about new ways to consider political and social forms. Attempts at globalisation have arguably prompted a populist shift, one that resembles qualities of an orthodox, psychoanalytic family framework. This seminar will question the psychoanalytic traits in contemporary nationalism in order to address how elements of its theory can be used on a practical level: how does an increase in nationalism relate to fundamental fantasy or the family unit? How can dismantling aspects of the Oedipal model deconstruct current politics in order to think about national and global identity differently? In addressing these questions we will discuss what constitutes national identity, what is being fought for, how the idea of family and nation are related and, most importantly, how we can use aspects of psychoanalytic theory to strategically consider global future.


To pass this course the student must either complete a 2,000 word research paper or successfully pass an examination.

4 Lectures

  1. Freud’s Oedipal Beginnings 

Readings:  Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams, The Complete Letters to Wilhelm Fliess, 1887-1904 (selected readings provided), “Some Psychological Consequences of the Anatomical Distinction Between the Sexes” (1925). 

      2. Lacan’s Paternal Metaphor and the Name(s)-of-the-Father

Readings: Jacques Lacan Seminar V: Formations of the Unconscious (Chapters VIII-XIII).

      3. American Patriotism and Psychoanalysis: Race, Family, Fantasy

Readings: Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (selected readings provided); Alan Bourassa, “Freud and Trump” And Magazine (; James Baldwin, “A Letter to my Nephew” (

     4.  European Consequence: Nationalism and Debt to the Other

“How Spain Misunderstood the Catalan Independence Movement”, The Atlantic (; “Germany needs” The Financial Times


When one successfully passes this course they are eligible to receive 100 GCASY tokens.