Cartels are small workgroups that allow each cartelisand to research their own question regarding a shared theme. It is a primary mode of psychoanalytic study within the World Association of Psychoanalysis (WAP). Thus the cartel, supervision, and personal analysis are considered the three pillars of analytic formation. In his “Founding Act,” Lacan designated the cartel as a vital organ of the School, one of two lungs, along with the pass.

We are all subject to not wanting to know, which Lacan called the passion of ignorance. Cartels offer the possibility of mobilizing desire to go beyond this passion. Lacan chose the signifier cartel for its Italian root, cardo (hinge), with its polyvalent meaning of openness to surprise and discovery, against the inertia of closed groups, and transfer of the cartel work produced out into the School, through written texts or presentations. The Plus-one pursues their own question, but also supports the others, addresses whatever challenges arise, and ensures the cartel’s hinge function in relation to the School.

Permutation is essential to the cartel’s function, so cartels are dissolved after 1-2 years (flash cartels are shorter than 1 year). Each cartelisand or Plus-one may decide to create a “work product”, a written text to be submitted for publication or presented at an event of the School (see “Cartel Events” section below).

The official cartel publication of the New Lacanian School (NLS), 4+one, can be found here.


Cartel Delegate: Jeff Erbe

Cartel Committee: Leticia Lopez, Maurien Caron


To create a cartel it takes a desire to work on a question or subject of interest. You need 3-5 cartelisands (4 is best) and a Plus-one. Meetings can be in-person or online. The cartel decides on a theme, trait of work (each one chooses their own topic related to the theme), and structure (modality, frequency, duration). Then the cartel must be registered by the Plus-one with the NLS directory (see “Cartel Declaration” below), and is knotted when the work begins.

If you are interested in participating in a Cartel, please complete the form below. For assistance connecting with others or a Plus-one, contact the Lacanian Compass Cartel Delegate, Jeff Erbe at


Cartels must first be declared and registered by the Plus-one to the New Lacanian School (NLS) using this form.

For cartels that include at least one member of Lacanian Compass, we request the Plus-one complete the form below to be included in our list of active cartels.


Once a cartel has completed its work and has been unknotted, we request the Plus-one to inform the Lacanian Compass Cartel Delegate by writing to


Lacanian Compass Encounter of the Cartels | May 15, 2022 | 12-2pm Eastern Time

This event is free and open to all. To attend, please click the button below to register. Once registered, you will receive a zoom link to connect on Sunday, May 15th.