THIS SUMMER ..
The Psychoanalysis Study Group is an interdisciplinary seminar for academics and clinicians who are interested in psychoanalytic theory. Through close reading of texts and presentations by psychoanalysts and academics, we consider the application of psychoanalytic ideas to patients, texts, film, art, culture, and ideas, leaving room to elaborate points of common interest and points of difference.
Wednesday May 8, 2013, 5.30PM - 7PM: PSYCHOANALYSIS AND RACE: A Reading of James Baldwin's play, Blues for Mister Charlie with Professor Soyica Colbert. PSYCHOANALYSIS STUDY GROUP MEETING. Haldeman 246. Please contact the Administrator to book your spot and receive a reading.
This meeting will draw from a chapter of Professor Colbert's book that analyzes the black pride that developed during the Civil Rights Movement as an active force that challenged the association of black men and boys with predators. By considering how psychoanalysis may offer insight into structure of racialized desire, Colbert argues that this play demonstrates why subjects attribute pride to their physical appearances and danger to others' bodies. Through an examination of the threat physical differences pose, Baldwin's play questions the social and historical circumstances that enable America's most famous lynching, that of Emmett Till. Writers, from Gwendolyn Brooks to Toni Morrison, reference Till's death, while historians associate Till's murder with the development of the Civil Rights Movement. Baldwin's play challenges readers and viewers to consider Till's murder as evidence of the violent cultural struggle in the US over black masculinity, a struggle that occurs at the intersection of race and sexuality. The play depicts a character loosely based on Till to restructure the visual legacy of lynching by obscuring the protagonist's lynched body from view and focusing on the sound of his voice. Through the acoustic, the play destabilizes the evidentiary quality of the body, challenging the materiality of blackness.
Some questions that Professor Colbert poses for us to consider include:
•Is race a fantasy?
•How does the language of psychoanalysis enable and limit understanding national haunting?
•Is race fundamentally a sexual category?
Please contact the Administrator to reserve your place and receive a reading.
Coordinators: Sally Ackerman (psychoanalyst in private practice), Aden Evens (English), Veronika Fuechtner (German Studies), Susannah Heschel (Religion)
Image: "The Wolf Man - Courtesy Freud Museum, London.
Last Updated: 4/25/13