The Candidate

Issue 7, 2017

Issue Editors:  Anna Fishzon, Emma Lieber, and Olga Poznansky

The Candidate Journal -- a candidate-run publication committed to exploring psychoanalysis across generations, institutes, and theories -- has a new editorial board.  For our first issue, we would like to confront the set of questions that implicitly underlies the journal’s formation and perspective: that is, the notion of psychoanalytic candidacy and what is implied or assumed in being a candidate.

This issue will look at the “candidate” as a category, a subject position, and a place of speech and enunciation.  Always aware of a terminus, led by degrees to non-existence, the candidate is an ontological and semiotic problem; the search for the candidate’s professional identity, often performed in retrospect, provokes more questions than it answers.  In the structure of the analytic institute, the candidate is located in the perpetual process of becoming, in debt to someone else’s knowledge.  For the graduated analyst, positioned at the endpoint of knowingness, the candidate is a placeholder who exists in reference to -- and in wait of -- the rupture that will eventually produce the analyst. The candidate as such, marked by what she is not (i.e. not an expert, not skilled, and incomplete in knowledge), is often screened off, disavowed, forgotten, even as her position of lack is used to support the fantasy of the graduate’s wholeness. 

But what if we claimed the candidate as a subject with authority and voice?  What if we destabilized the voice of the analyst and opened the category of ‘analyst’ up for interpretation?  What would be gained, what would be lost?  Would we end up stabilizing candidacy, removing its ephemeral potentiality?  In other words, we wonder whether it is possible to theorize the position of the candidate in its own right, with a view to the strategy, orientation, affect, or poetics inhabited by the candidate; and whether such a project is viable without reinforcing the fissure between analyst and candidate, or surrendering the candidate’s unstable but exciting place of confusion and experimentation.

We ask contributors at all stages of their careers, and especially those who identify as candidates, to write on the themes and questions that surround the position of candidacy: the candidate’s voice, the difficulties of training, clinical work, training analysis, and the very concept of the candidate as an experiential and theoretical category.  

·  How is the idea of the “candidate” perceived and deployed in the analytic institute -- as a pupil, an apprentice, an object of transference, a young clinician, or a job applicant seeking to be admitted to a professional community?

·  Is there a particular relationship to knowledge that is occupied by the candidate? 

·  In what way does the position of the candidate speak to the problematics of the transmission of psychoanalysis or psychoanalytic knowledge itself?  

·  Is there a place of consensus and legitimacy from which candidates can speak, or does the power of the candidate’s position consist precisely in the danger her voice poses to legitimacy itself? 

·  What are the possibilities for a community of candidates that is not organized around questions of legitimacy, and how might such a community inflect the hierarchies in which each candidate is, inevitably, located?

We welcome a wide range of proposals: academic articles, clinical writings, personal essays, free associations, and other experimental material.  If you are interested in contributing, please submit a 300-word abstract and short bio by email attachment to by JUNE 15, 2016.  After approval of abstracts, the deadline for submission of articles will be OCTOBER 15, 2016.

Please see our submission guidelines here.


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