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Michelle Rada

Apr 25, 2022

Death Drive

A Discussion with Michelle Rada

New Books Network 2022

Kim talks with Michelle Rada about the death drive in psychoanalysis.

Michelle references Todd McGowan’s Enjoying What We Don’t Have: The Political Project of Psychoanalysis, University of Nebraska Press, 2013. She also recommends Capitalism and Desire: The Psychic Cost of Free Markets, by Todd McGowan. In our longer conversation, she also quoted, What IS Sex? by Alenka Zupančič, MIT Press, 2017.

She also recommends a special issue of differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies on “Constructing the Death Drive.” This issue includes an article by Luce Cantin, “The Drive, the Untreatable Quest of Desire” which she discusses in the epidsode. Michelle thinks the whole issue is worth checking out, and especially recommends the article in there by Tracy McNulty as well, “Unbound: The Speculative Mythology of the Death Drive” and the piece by Willy Apollon, “Psychoanalysis and the Freudian Rupture.”

She also highly recommends Life and Death in Psychoanalysis by Jean Laplanche (Johns Hopkins UP, 1976), which really informs her understanding of the economics/psychic structure of the drive, and of course….Beyond the Pleasure Principle by Sigmund Freud.
And “On Narcissism: An Introduction,” Freud’s 1914 essay on primary/secondary narcissism.

Michelle Rada is a PhD candidate in English at Brown University and Affiliated Faculty at Emerson College. Her research is on modernist aesthetics, form, the novel, and psychoanalysis. Michelle’s work has appeared in Room One-Thousand, The Comparatist, The James Joyce Quarterly, The Journal of Beckett Studies, and The Journal of Modern Literature. She is Senior Assistant Editor at differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies.

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