Sinan Richards

Sinan Richards

Research Affiliations and Professional Memberships

  • Junior member, Centre International d’Étude de la Philosophie Française Contemporaine (CIEPFC), USR 3608, République des Savoirs (École normale supérieure/  Centre national de la recherche scientifique/ Collège de France).
  • Elected member, Executive Committee, The Society for French Studies


My primary research considers the ontological and metaphysical connections between Sartrean phenomenology, Lacanian psychoanalysis, and Schellingian idealism. In my D.Phil thesis, Love in Twentieth-century French Thought: Sartre and Lacan, I focused on the philosophical status and metaphysical (im)possibility of love in twentieth-century French philosophy. I contended that Sartre’s impossible notion of en soi pour soi developed in L’Être et le Néant (1943) resurfaced in Lacan’s later psychoanalysis, notably in Encore (1975), as l’Autre jouissance. I showed this connection by first appealing to F.W.J Schelling’s middle period in order to demonstrate the intellectual viability of onto-theological discussions in twentieth-century French philosophy. I suggested that, for both Sartre and Lacan, love is an impossible demand, a wish to transform oneself into God himself. Through Lacan’s discussions on psychosis, first in relation to Schreber’s Memoirs of my Nervous Illness (1903) in Les Psychoses (1981), then in Lacan’s re-evaluation of psychosis in his twenty third seminar, Le Sinthome (2005), I showed how this pre-psychotic demand for love is a necessary aspect of subject formation. Therefore, for Lacan, unlike for Sartre, love becomes an impossible but necessary subjective process.  

My current research has developed from my previous investigations concerning intersubjective concepts in twentieth-century French philosophy. My MA thesis explored the notion of politeness in Barthes and Lacan, as it related to seventeenth century libertinage, notably the Marquis de Sade’s La Philosophie dans le Boudoir (1795). This research was published in Early Modern French Studies in 2017. I have also published chapters in Slavoj Žižek and Christianity (Routledge, 2018), and in Freedom and the Subject of Theory (Legenda, 2019). My latest publication is “Infidelity as Reality: Re-Staging the global south with Abbas Kiarostami’s Close-up,” published in the summer 2019 issue of Artl@s Bulletin. This research seeks to define the social meaning of the global south, in a dialogue with Abbas Kiarostami’s Close-up and Lacan’s psychoanalysis.



“Infidelity as Reality: Re-Staging the global south with Abbas Kiarostami’s Close-up,ARTL@S Bulletin 8.2, (2019).

“Sartre and Lacan: Reading Qui Perd Gagne alongside Les Non-Dupes Errent” in Freedom and the Subject of Theory: Essays in Honour of Christina Howells, Oliver Davis and Colin Davis (eds.), Legenda, (July, 2019).

“Rühre nicht, Bock! denn es brennt” in Žižek and Christianity, eds. Mitralexis and Skliris, (Routledge: Transcending Boundaries in Philosophy and Theology: London and New York, (2018). pp. 167-187.

“The Violence of Politeness: Implicit Bienséance in the Sadian Universe,” Early Modern French Studies 39.1 (2017): 75-88.

Translations and Reviews

After Lacan: Literature, Theory and Psychoanalysis in the Twenty-First Century, ed., Ankhi Mukherjee, (After Series, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018), in French Studies. 

Jean-Pierre Dupuy, “Science without Philosophy: The Case of Big Data”, Crisis and Critique, 5.1 (2018): 146-161.

Frédéric Lordon, “The Economic Catastrophe as a Passionate Event”, Crisis and Critique, 3.3 (2016):  275-284.

Jacques Lacan, Past and Present: A Dialogue, Alain Badiou and Elisabeth Roudinesco, Translated by Jason E Smith, (Columbia University Press, New York, 2014), in Marx and Philosophy Review of Books 


Currently teaching at the École normale supérieure, Paris.

  • S1 Jacques Lacan and Literature: Shakespeare, Poe, and Joyce (Postgraduate), Translation (Agrégation) , Topics in Contemporary American Politics (L3/M1)
  • S2 European Cinema and Cultural Theory  (Postgraduate), Comprehension (Agrégation) , Topics in Contemporary American Politics (L3/M1)
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