Subject to Reading: Literacy and Belief in the Work of Jacques Lacan and Paulo Freire

The book explores what it means for a human organism to be a subject and responds to what it sees as the contemporary ablation of subjectivity in favour of an impoverished biopolitics (a concept borrowed from Foucault). It is preoccupied with questions of ethics and education, arguing that Lacanian psychoanalysis, like Freirean literacy, constitutes first and foremost an education in responsible subjecthood. It identifies such an education as a very necessary intervention in what appears to be a global double bind between fanatical certainty and capitalist abstraction. The book asserts that, contrary to most trends concerning the appropriation of psychoanalysis or Freirean techniques for teaching, Freirean pedagogy and Lacanian psychoanalysis are not purely toolboxes but profound epistemological and philosophical arguments. These arguments also combine to suggest a new socio-political conception of theology. In addition the book draws on examples from literature and popular culture to explicate certain ideas. In this regard the book primarily undertakes a reading of selected works by J.M. Coetzee.