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Jacques Marie Émile Lacan, a distinguished French postmodernist psychoanalytic theorist, was born in Paris on 13 April 1901. His thought was influenced by Sigmund Freud, Hegel and post-Hegelian German philosophy, Saussurean linguistics, and surrealist poetry. His greatest influence has been on postmodern film and literary theory, in part due to his emphasizing the importance of language and the arts in the study of the human psyche. In particular, like many poststructuralist thinkers, he considers that the self is constructed by language, and that the defining moment in the development of the self is language acquisition.

As you develop your note for your graduate class, you might focus on the work of Jane Gallop and Ellie Ragland-Sullivan, both of whom have been important for the assimilation of Lacanian analysis into North American literary theory.

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