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Wilson, M. (2019). JAPA 67/1: The Psychoanalytic Body. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 67(1):11-13.

(2019). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 67(1):11-13

JAPA 67/1: The Psychoanalytic Body

Mitchell Wilson

JAPA 67/1, our first issue of 2019, is dedicated to new writing on the psychoanalytic body. These essays and original papers all engage key questions regarding gender and sexuality, as well as aspects of embodied experience within psychoanalytic treatment. For some time now, JAPA has published papers pushing the boundaries of classical psychoanalytic theorizing on these matters and putting into question seemingly foundational binaries regarding gendered positions and sexual object choice (see, e.g., Saketopoulou 2014; Hansbury 2017). No doubt this publishing history redounds to our readers’ benefit, as we continue to receive creative and compelling submissions that fall under this broad category. Over the past year, as the essays and papers you are about to read went through our peer-review process, we gradually realized that we had a critical mass of outstanding work that, if brought together, would make for a thought-provoking and memorable JAPA issue. We wish to thank the authors for their efforts. We are also fortunate to have four commentators, Adrienne Harris, Patricia Gherovici, Jonathan House, and Marilia Aisenstein, whose outstanding contributions to psychoanalytic scholarship are well-known to many of our readers.

We begin 67/1 with Rosemary Balsam's essay, “On the Natal Body and Its Confusing Place in Mental Life.” As her title suggests, Balsam takes the reader through some key moments in the intellectual history of psychoanalytic theorizing on the body and describes its uncertain (i.e., “confused”) status in contemporary thinking about it. There is one fact, she asserts, about which there should be no confusion: what she calls “the programmed procreative potential of our natal bodies” (pp. 17-18): Why, she asks, might we not want to recognize this fact? Balsam offers a complex and penetrating answer to this question.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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