Brief Biography of Jacques Lacan

by Julia Evans on September 9, 1981

Born in Paris, 1901

Medical training in the Paris Medical Faculty. Became Chef de Clinique in 1932. Doctoral thesis for psychiatric degree – ‘Paranoid psychosis in its relation to the personality’ (1932)

Associated with the French surrealist movement, from early 1930s.

1934 – Joined the Société Psychanalytique de Paris.

1936 – Presented paper on the ‘mirror stage’ to the International Psychoanalytic Congress in Marienbad.

Until 1952 – Distinguished member of the French psychoanalytic establishment. Intellectual contacts with Merleau-Ponty and Lévi-Strauss, through the Collège Philosophique, Paris.

1953 – Presentation of the Rome Discourse. Controversy within the Paris Psychoanalytic Society. Daniel Lagache, followed by Lacan, formed a new Société de Psychananlyse. Formation of Lacan’s Seminar.

1953 to early 1960s – continuous development of ideas, particularly those put forward as programme in the Rome Discourse, involving psychoanalysis and linguistics.

Expelled, finally, from the International Psychoanalytic Association, because of unorthodox practice and teaching methods.

1964 – Reformed his analytic society, calling it L’École freudienne de Paris.

1966 – Publication of his Écrits, followed by explosion of his influence in French society. He soon became a cultural phenomenon.

1966-1980 – Increasing interest in his work in france and abroad.

1968-May Revolution. Lacan supported the students’ revolt. President of the psychoanalytic department of the University of Vincennes.

1980 – dissolved the École Freudienne, and formed La Cause Freudienne. Expulsion of many previously close collaborators. Legal battles.

1981 – Death

From Bice Benvenuto and Roger Kennedy ‘The works of Jacques Lacan: an introduction’ Free Association Books 1986 p223 : Availability Introduction (The works of Jacques Lacan: an introduction): 1986: Bice Benvenuto & Roger Kennedy  or here

Also see:

A Reader’s Guide to Écrits: 1982: John P. Muller and William J. Richardson or here

Jacques Lacan in English or here

References to Jacques Lacan’s texts in LacanianWorks posts. Or here

Sigmund Freud’s texts available electronically  or here

References to Sigmund Freud within LacanianWorks or here

A short biography of Sigmund Freud

A short introduction to Sigmund Freud’s life 

Posts for the “Freud Sigmund” category : Available here