Lacan Toronto is an active, enlarging group of “people interested in Lacan” in Toronto. It is diverse, consisting of psychoanalysts, psychotherapists, counsellors, university professors, graduate students, people in business and people in retirement. Some of its members did previous Lacan studies and personal analyses in other countries, some use Lacanian theory in their academic pursuits, and others began reading Lacan for the first time in the context of this group.
The nucleus of LacanToronto evolved from an earlier group of psychoanalysts in Toronto who began meeting regularly in 2001 to read Lacan together. They gave a yearly course, “Introduction to Lacan”, based on a succession of Lacan’s Seminars, in the Extension Program of the Toronto Psychoanalytic Society, beginning 2003. Members of this group had connections with a yet earlier Toronto group, run by William (Moe) Robinson and Richard (Rick) Simpson, called “Speaking of Lacan”, who were supported by their connections with the Stockbridge Lacanian Clinical Forum (John Muller, William Richardson), with Après-Coup in New York City (Paola Mieli) and with Cormac Gallagher in Dublin, Ireland, the translator of many of Lacan’s Seminars.
Some participants of the earlier group were joined by several others in 2007, continued to meet and to give the yearly “Introduction to Lacan” course in the Extension Program. They had connections with the new “Speaking of Lacan” group, led by Mavis Himes, in Toronto; with GIFRIC, (Willy Apollon) in Quebec City; the APW (Bruce Fink, Dan Collins, Patricia Gherovici) in the U.S.; Forums du Champ lacanien (Colette Soler) in Paris; and the New Lacanian Schools (W.A.P.) member groups of the Lacanian Compass (Tom Svolos, Maria-Cristina Aguirre, Alicia Arenas) in the U.S. Developments in all these organizations were shared among the Toronto group members following their attendance at the various conferences.
Finally, in May, 2012, the group formed Lacan Toronto, joined by others who had attended the Extension Program courses at the T.P.S. We began this website, constructed and supervised by one of our members, Stephen van Beek, and are meeting regularly to “read Lacan”. Members have already presented theoretical, clinical, and applied (film analyses, Hamlet) Lacanian papers in Toronto and at international conferences, and continue to teach about Lacan and the Lacanian Orientation in the Extension Program of the T.P.S. We have twice-monthly or once-monthly “regular meetings” and have had Special Presentations by invited guests and a film group meeting several times a year. We encourage Members to pay an annual fee of $150 to cover the costs of the work of the group, and non-members to help fund the Special Presentations.
We are independent of other official organizations although we enjoy contact with their members and attend their conferences freely. We work with an Executive and Treasurer and discuss and develop policy and programming with the whole membership. We attempt to work “without a master”. We work in English, from English translations of primary and secondary sources, and from English authors. We are attempting to support in particular North American Lacanian-oriented clinicians, scholars and authors and to extend the applications of the Lacanian orientation to psychotherapy with a wide variety of patients, clients, contexts and situations.