Masterclass: The Freudian Unconscious

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Masterclass: The Freudian Unconscious


“This project is essential and crucial for the future of psychoanalytic theory and the emancipatory drive.” - Slavoj Žižek


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“Cadell Last's work and projects are of extreme significance in the times we live in. They give theory a platform it doesn't usually get, and establish connections that one would never thought of. All this with great lucidity, intensity and dedication.”

- Alenka Zupančič

The foundation of our culture is structured by major intellectual revolutions. The mathematics of Plato, the religion of Jesus, the science of Descartes. These revolutions allow for a new understanding of our world. Consider paradigm shifts on the level of the heliocentric Copernican transformation, or the evolutionary Darwinian transformation. No longer did we exist within a geocentric Earth-centred model, nor a world of static-fixed organism forms. However, few of these intellectual revolutions are as profound, far reaching, and yet still so unexplored and unintegrated as the Freudian revolution. This revolution is best represented by the singular discovery of the unconscious. What is the unconscious? How does it impact our life and world? What are the consequences of its discovery? And how can you integrate this understanding into your personal and professional world? This paradigm shift is the focus of our investigation.

In this course we will be trying to solve a simple yet profound problem: there is a very low level understanding, both academically and generally, about the true nature of the discovery of the unconscious. Yet this discovery appears as fundamental a discovery for psychology and consciousness as the discovery of gravitational laws in physics, or evolutionary mechanisms in biology. The result of this gap or lack in our understanding could be so fundamentally problematic that we may have the principle reason why there are still general emotional tensions between the sciences and the humanities; or why we still do not have a good understanding of our motivations or our social structures; or that we do not yet have a proper science of life and consciousness.

This course plans to go back to the basics and re-articulate our collective understanding on everything from metaphysics to sexuality to dreams to immortality through the lens of the discovery of the unconscious. In this work we will be hoping to return to foundational texts in the Freudian tradition so that we can better incorporate this knowledge either in our academic life and/or in our personal life. In the academic track we will be trying to work towards applying an understanding of the unconscious into our professional academic papers and articles. In the personal track we will be trying to work towards applying an understanding of the unconscious into our own deepest knots on an emotional level. In an integrated form we hope to approach both the coincidence between the academic and the personal.


  • 1-on-1 support for your personal and/or professional-academic needs

  • Weekly lecture material focused on specific dimensions of the unconscious

  • Weekly course readings derived from the essential texts in the Freudian tradition

  • Weekly live calls focused on the lecture/reading material

  • Transdisciplinary action modules designed to help you progress through your academic or personal goals


  • Collective accountability and online team atmosphere to achieve high level goals

  • 1-on-1 goal setting activity in relation to personal or academic goals

  • Working towards new understanding of your deepest personal issues and/or working towards understanding your academic direction or paper

  • A new frame of reference related to internalising meaning of the unconscious

  • New network of general thinkers to collaborate and innovate

  • Ability to apply psychoanalysis to your work and life

Course Outline:

  • WEEK 1 (June 3rd): Psychoanalytic Origin

    • Trauma, contradiction, subjectivity

  • WEEK 2 (June 10th): Metaphysics and Dreams

    • First principles (being, identity, time, space); realm of images and desires

  • WEEK 3 (June 17th): Sexuality

    • Analysis of primordial libidinal energy

  • WEEK 4 (June 24th): Language

    • Symbolic order and beings in language

  • WEEK 5 (July 1st): Negativity

    • De-ontological dimension (nothingness, destruction, annihilation, catastrophe)

  • WEEK 6 (July 8th): Society and Truth

    • Nature of civilization and hidden secrets

  • WEEK 7 (July 15th): Immortality and Drives

    • Transcension of life-death; movement beyond the ego-will

  • WEEK 8 (July 22nd): Creation

    • Emergence of something


  • Where?: online, internet connection required

  • Time?: 8 week program (starts June 3rd)

  • How?: Zoom; email; Facebook; this website; YouTube (all free)