“AGORA: “Psychosis and Rhetoric: What Does the Sovereign Citizen Mean?”

September 16, 2016 - 3:00pm to 5:00pm

Reactionary conservative groups such as the sovereign citizens movement are increasingly prominent--and violent--in the United States. These groups cohere around their own unique discourses of law, language, and history which are often dismissed as meaningless, or even "crazy." Following Jacques Lacan's injunction that the analyst must "let the subject speak," this talk will examine sovereign citizen rhetoric as a coherent, internally-consistent field of meaning exhibiting the traits of psychotic discourse in which the metaphorical operation of the law-as-signifier is disavowed. Doing so illustrates not only the powerful intersection of communication and psychoanalysis but also the potential for a rhetorical reading to challenge the most violent collective psychoses.

Location and Address

208B Cathedral of Learning