Race and Psychoanalysis
This seminar will investigate the relationship between race and psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis is often characterized as a theory concerning sexuality and sexual difference. However, we will explore how psychoanalysis might be repurposed to analyze problems of race and racial difference. We will begin the term by reading classic theorists of psychoanalysis (Sigmund Freud, Melanie Klein, and Jacques Lacan) in order to establish a critical foundation for fundamental concepts in the field (identification, desire, repression, projection, attachment, neuroses, psychoses). The remaining time will be devoted to studying a number of commentators and analysts in order to situate psychoanalysis within a troubled global history of liberalism, colonialism, and race relations. In conjunction, we will also examine novels, films, and clinical case histories and commentaries focused on the psychic lives of African Americans, Asian Americans, and Latino/as.