This essay argues that a specifically psychoanalytic theory of solidarity underscores its symbolic dimension. While other traditions conceive solidarity as primarily action or affect, psychoanalytic emphases on free association, punctuation, and construction opens onto a theory of solidarity as a practice of the signifier. Words are the mediators that incite subjects to collaborate. The embrace of this mediating capacity poses a corrective to theories that romanticize the unrepresentability of political will or political goals. Considering Freud’s and Lacan’s specifications for talking in the clinic, the essay also takes up the example of the Hollywood film Pitch Perfect, which understands multivocal speech in music as a venue for solidarity.
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December 1, 2022
Research Article| December 01 2022
anna kornbluh is a professor of English at the University of Illinois Chicago. She is the author, most recently, of The Order of Forms: Realism, Formalism, and Social Space (University of Chicago Press, 2019) and Immediacy, or, The Style of Too Late Capitalism (Verso, forthcoming 2023).
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differences (2022) 33 (2-3): 33–50.
Anna Kornbluh; Solidarity Words. differences 1 December 2022; 33 (2-3): 33–50. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10407391-10124662
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