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    Psychoanalysis, race and colonialism

    Frosh, Stephen (2022) Psychoanalysis, race and colonialism. In: Caspi, T. and Govrin, A. (eds.) The Routledge International Handbook of Psychoanalysis and Philosophy. Routledge International Handbooks. London, UK: Routledge. ISBN 9780367276454. (In Press)

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    Recent discussions of psychoanalysis’ implication in discourses of ‘race’ and practices of racialisation have focused more on colonialism than on racism itself. This has led to some very productive work that both locates psychoanalysis within the colonial project and explores the potential that psychoanalytic concepts have for critical analysis of that project. Much of this work has drawn on the writings (and figure) of Frantz Fanon, though there have also been major contributions from researchers on Indian and Latin American psychoanalysis. This chapter explores psychoanalysis’ engagement with ‘race’, racism and colonialism from the point of view of the philosophy of psychoanalysis as (a) a body of developmental theory; (b) an individualising practice; and (c) a potentially open discipline in relation to psychosocial formations of the subject. The chapter references Freud’s anthropological writings but is concerned mainly with contemporary readings of psychoanalysis as a political philosophy that is implicated in the perpetuation of racist and colonialist ideas, yet also offers leverage in contesting these ideas. The chapter asks, to what extent can psychoanalysis become an anti-racist and ‘decolonising’ discipline and what might need to happen for this to be achieved? Book Synopsis: The Routledge International Handbook of Psychoanalysis and Philosophy provides a rich panoramic view of what philosophy offers or disturbs in psychoanalysis and what it represents for psychoanalytic theory and practice. The thirty-three chapters present a broad range of interfaces and reciprocities between various aspects of psychoanalysis and philosophy. It demonstrates the vital connection between the two disciplines: psychoanalysis cannot make any practical sense if it is not entirely perceived within a philosophical context. Written by a team of world-leading experts, including established scholars, psychoanalysts and emerging talents, the Handbook investigates and discusses the psychoanalytic schools and their philosophical underpinning, as well as contemporary applied topics. Organized into five sections, this volume investigates and discusses how psychoanalysis stands in relation to leading philosophies such as Wittgenstein, Heidegger, Nietzsche, and Kant; philosophical perspectives on psychoanalytic schools such as Freud, Klein, Bion, Kohut, and Lacan; how psychoanalysis addresses controversial topics in philosophy such as truth, language and symbolism, ethics, and theories of mind. The last section addresses contemporary applied subjects in psychoanalytic thought: colonialism, gender, race, and ecology. This Handbook offers a novel and comprehensive outlook vital for scholars, philosophers, practicing psychoanalysts and therapists alike. The book will serve as a source for courses in psychoanalysis, philosophy of science, epistemology, ethics, semiotics, cognitive science, consciousness, gender, race, post-colonialism theories, clinical theory, Freud's studies, both in universities and psychoanalytic training programs and institutes.


    Item Type: Book Section
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): psychoanalysis, racism, colonialism, grievability
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Depositing User: Stephen Frosh
    Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2022 10:28
    Last Modified: 09 May 2024 00:10


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