Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities
2007—2008 Forum on Origins
Visiting Assistant Professor, Cornell University
Modern European History
Rethinking the Origins of Society: Anthropology, Psychoanalysis, and the Prohibition of Incest
Rethinking the Origins of Society examines the ways in which French anthropology, psychoanalysis, and family law have worked together since the beginning of the twentieth century to produce and promote a particular theory of social origins premised on sexual difference. Dr. Robcis focuses on the works of Claude Lévi-Strauss and Jacques Lacan, both of whom highlighted the interdependence of the sexual and the social by positing a direct correlation between kinship and socialization. She traces how their ideas gained recognition, not only from French social scientists, but also from legislators and politicians who relied on some of their most difficult concepts - such as the symbolic, the incest prohibition, psychosis, or the Name-of-the-Father - to enact a series of laws concerning the family.