Rogelio Alfonso Scott Insua

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Cornell U.

Grant number

Gr. 10629

Approve Date

September 29, 2023

Project Title

Scott Insua, Rogelio (Cornell U.) "The Articulation of Psychoanalysis and Genomics: Neuromuscular Diseases, Epistemic Cultures, and Medical Modernities in Brazil"

This project examines an emerging articulation of health and knowledge: the combination of genomic medicine and Lacanian psychoanalysis to treat neuromuscular disorders (ND) at the Human Genome and Stem Cell Research Center (HUG-CELL) in Brazil. At the HUG-CELL both psychoanalysts and genomic medics coincide in the importance of their mutual collaboration but deploy diverging arguments to explain it. Patients with ND traverse complex forms of experience, embodiment and meaning that challenge ordinary notions of healing, recovery and suffering. The material alterations that ND brings to ordinary life, as well as genomic discourse’s overwhelming power to frame lived experience, pose a challenge to orthodox psychoanalytic practice. Analysts mobilize their experience at HUG-CELL to validate the relevance of their practice inside psychoanalysis, and psychoanalysis’ scientific validity in extra–psychoanalytic spheres. I will deploy participant observation, semistructured interviews with relevant actors, and documentary analysis of various media materials. I trace how psychoanalysts and genomic doctors negotiate and translate clinical knowledge; how psychoanalysts perform and redefine their practice; and how they mobilize their experience at HUG-CELL to validate and legitimize psychoanalysis.