Dr Nicholas Ray

Lecturer in Critical and Cultural Theory

+44 113 343 4775

Summary: Critical theory; psychoanalysis; animal studies; Shakespeare; translation.

Research Interests

My research interests are fairly diverse. My most consistent interest is psychoanalysis. I am particularly concerned with the ways in which Freudian thought leans on paradigms borrowed from other fields (including, but not limited to, literary discourse); conceptualisations of the animal within psychoanalytic theory; and the resumption of Freud's oeuvre in current continental thought, especially post-Lacanian psychoanalysis in France. I am also interested in trauma theory; philosophies of tragedy and the tragic; Renaissance literature, especially Shakespearean drama and its place in contemporary critical theory; Greek tragedy; television studies; and the theory and practice of translation.

My book Tragedy and Otherness (2009) examines the close historical and theoretical connections between Freud's interpretative appeal to the tragic drama of Sophocles and Shakespeare, and his professed abandonment of the 'seduction' hypothesis in 1897. I demonstrate how certain modes of alterity have been simplified out of both psychoanalytic theory and the dramatic texts it repeatedly endeavours to comprehend. Drawing on recent critical re-formulations of Freud's early trauma theory, the book offers a reading of tragic drama which attempts to take account of the constitutive priority of the other in the itinerary of the tragic subject.

I am currently working on two book projects. The first is a co-edited volume with John Fletcher, titled Seductions and Enigmas: Cultural Readings with Jean Laplanche. This collection brings together essays by established scholars and clinicians which work through the implications of Laplanche’s ‘general theory of seduction’ for the reading and interpretation of cultural production – from literature to the visual arts and film. I’m also writing a new monograph, More and Less than Animal, which explores and interprets the shifting theoretical delimitations between the human and non-human animals in Freud’s oeuvre.

I am willing to consider supervising doctoral work related to any of the topics mentioned above.

Publications

BOOKS

Fletcher, J.; Ray, N. (2014; forthcoming) eds. Seductions and Enigmas: Cultural Readings with Jean Laplanche, Lawrence and Wishart.

Ray, N., ed. (2012) Interrogating The Shield, Syracuse University Press.

Fletcher, J; House, J; Ray, N, trans. (2011) Freud and the Sexual: Essays 2000-2006, by Jean Laplanche, International Psychoanalytic Books.

Ray, N (2009) Tragedy and Otherness: Sophocles, Shakespeare, Psychoanalysis, Peter Lang.

JOURNAL ARTICLES

Ray, N (2014) "Interrogating the Human/Animal Relation in Freud's Civilization and its Discontents", Humanimalia, forthcoming.

Ray, N (2012) “Forming new knots: Jean Laplanche 1924-2012”, Radical Philosophy, July/Aug, 174: 53–56. (Reprinted for The Higher Education Research and Information Network in Psychoanalysis (THERIP) at: http://www.therip.com). (Spanish translation, “Formando nuevos nudos”, trans. Deborah Golergant, Alter: Revista de psicoanálisis, 7, June 2012).

Ray, N (2012) “Seduction, Receptivity and the Feminine in Peter Greenaway's The Pillow Book”, International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 93, 3: 517–538. (Swedish translationFörförelse, mottaglighet och det ’feminina’”, trans. Jim Jakobsen, Divan: Tidskrift för psykoanalys och kultur, 3/4, no. 50, 13–33. German translation by Karsten Münch, in Internationale Psychoanalyse, vol. 8, July 2013 ).

Ray, N (2012) Psychoanalysis and ‘The Animal’: A Reading of the Metapsychology of Jean Laplanche”, Journal for Critical Animal Studies, 10, 1: 40–66. (Partial Spanish translation by Deborah Golergant in Alter: Revista de psicoanálisis, 7, June 2012).

Ray, N (2011) “Translator's Preface” to The Laplanche DossierSitegeist: A Journal of Psychoanalysis & Philosophy, 5: 7–12.

Ray, N (2010) “Anthropo-Decentring : ‘Human’ and ‘Animal’ in the Work of Jean Laplanche”, Sitegeist: A Journal of Psychoanalysis & Philosophy, 4: 21–46.

Ray, N (2006) “Translator's Introduction”, Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society, 2, 11: 164–70.

Ray, N (2003) “Hamlet and Hamlet”, Imaginaires, 9: 21–35.

BOOK CHAPTERS

Fletcher, J. and Ray, N. (2014; forthcoming), "Seductions and Enigmas: Reading with Laplanche" in Fletcher and Ray eds. Seductions and Enigmas, Lawrence & Wishart.

Ray, N (2013) "Realities, Fictions and the Abandonment of Seduction: Rethinking Otherness in the Psychoanalytic Approach to Tragedy", in Psychoanalysis in Context, ed. Alvin Henry, Cambridge Scholars.

Ray, N (2012) "Exception and Complicity in The Shield", in Interrogating The Shield, ed. Nicholas Ray, Syracuse University Press.

Ray, N (2012) "Trees Falling", in Interrogating The Shield, ed. Nicholas Ray, Syracuse University Press.

Ray, N (2007) "'Twas Mine, 'twas Helen's': Rings of Desire in All's Well that Ends Well", in New Critical Essays on All's Well that Ends Well, ed. Gary Waller, Routledge.

OTHER PUBLICATIONS

Ray, N. trans. (2014; forthcoming) "Primal Femininity", by Jacques André, in Ray and Fletcher eds. Seductions and Enigmas, Lawrence & Wishart.

Ray, N. trans. (2014; forthcoming) "The Little Death of Sardanapalus: Femininity and Passivity in the Primal Scene", by Jacques André, in Ray and Fletcher eds. Seductions and Enigmas, Lawrence & Wishart.

Fletcher, J; Ray, N. trans. (2014; forthcoming) "From Mastery to Vampirism: The Ides of March", By Éric Toubiana, in Ray and Fletcher eds. Seductions and Enigmas, Lawrence & Wishart.

Ray, N trans. (2013) "On the Psychoanalysis of Babies", by Jean Laplanche, The Higher Education Research Network in Psychoanalysis (THERIP), at: therip.org.uk

Fletcher, J; Ray, N (2012) “Jean Laplanche Bibliography”, The Higher Education Research and Information Network in Psychoanalysis (THERIP), at: therip.org.uk

House, J; Ray, N, trans. (2011) The Laplanche Dossier, Sitegeist: A Journal of Psychoanalysis & Philosophy, 5: 7–53.

Ray, N (2008) "Studies on Hysteria: Freud and Elektra", programme for Opera North's Elektra, Arts Council England.

Ladmiral, V; Ray, N, trans. (2006) "Interpreting (with) Freud", by Jean Laplanche, Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society, 2, 11: 171–84.

Ladmiral, V; Ray, N, trans. (2006) "Exigency and Going Astray", by Jean Laplanche, Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society, 2, 11: 185–9.

Ray, N (2002) Review of Philip Armstrong, Shakespeare in Psychoanalysis, Textual Practice, 16, 1: 115–23.

Ray, N (various dates: 2008–2012), "Incorporation", "General Theory of Seduction", "Jean Laplanche", "Trauer und Melancholie", in The Literary Enyclopedia, ed. Robert Clark et al.

Activities

  • April 2011. Co-organiser, with Dr Sam Francis, of Working Through Psychoanalysis: Freud's Legacy in Art, Cinema, Literature & Popular Culture, an international conference at Leeds University, sponsored by the Wellcome Trust.
  • September 2010, 'Exception and Complicity in FX's The Shield', Crime Across Cultures Conference, University of Leeds.
  • 2007-2009. Co-organiser, with Dr Ian Fairley, of the Psychoanalysis reading group at the School of English.
  • December 2008, invited paper on the Elektra myth in literature, opera and psychoanalysis at "Elektra: Vengeance and Desire", a study day organised by Opera North and CentreCATH.
  • April 2008, invited lecture on Psychoanalysis and Hollywood Cinema, Institute of Communication Studies, University of Leeds.
  • 2007-2008. Co-organiser, with Prof. Griselda Pollock and Dr Anna Johnson of the 2007/8 CentreCATH Research Salon on Psychoanalysis & Aesthetics
  • March 2006, research paper on 'Tragedy and Otherness' at the Psychoanalysis & Literature conference, UC Berkeley

Teaching

Undergraduate

Core Modules:

  • Renaissance Literature (Level 2)
  • Shakespeare (Level 3)

Option Modules:

  • Introduction to Psychoanalysis (Level 3)
  • Invested Objects: Fetishism in Culture and Theory (Level 3)

Postgraduate

Option Module:

  • Reading (with) Psychoanalysis