Psychoanalysis has been devoted to the study of fetishism to the extent that it could be defined as the science of fetishism. Starting from Freud’s text on fetishism, the talk offers a reflection on the processes of substitution that are central to any act of fetishism and their psychic offshoots. According to Freud, fetishism is to be found in phenomena ranging from perversion, psychosis, religious feelings, economical circulation, to the scientific drive. The lecture traces the mechanisms that operate the function of libidinal Ersatz and explores the way fetishism inflects questions of sexual difference and epistemic genealogy, as well as proscribes a cultural discourse that at once appropriates and attempts to substitute the fetish itself.
Nimrod Reitman received his Ph.D. from the department of German at New York University in June 2015 and is currently the 2016 Albert Einstein Fellow at the Einstein Forum. The historical and philosophical frameworks of his research aim at marking disjunctions in figuration as seen both in the philosophy and the history of thought in Romantic and Modernist poetry. His dissertation, entitled: “On the Serious Motherhood of Men: Dissonance in Music, Rhetoric, and Poetry,” describes covert maternal tropologies and disruptions effected by femininity in theories of subjectivity and the history and rhetoric of lamentation in German, Italian, and Hebrew literature. He is currently completing a book project on the rhetoric of the musical lament and a monograph on the poetry of Ingeborg Bachmann. In addition to his research, he has been working as an art curator and has curated a number of exhibitions in Israel, and Germany, to which he also contributed catalogue entries. Reitman is a classically trained pianist who has performed as a soloist and chamber musician throughout Europe, Israel and the USA.