Hosted by the Psychology and the Other Institute at Lesley University
Where and What is Psychosocial Studies?Sasha RoseneilSeptember 27, 2013Psychosocial Studies has emerged in Europe during the past decade as a distinctive field of inquiry that poses a fundamental challenge to the 19th century disciplinary division between sociology and psychology. Within the context of recent theoretical developments in social and cultural theory, postcolonial and critical race theory, feminist and queer theory, and for many adherents, engaging critically with histories and practices of psychoanalysis, Psychosocial Studies is forging new ways of researching and thinking about the complex entanglements of the psychic and the social, in the constitution of individual subjectives, in group life and the wider social formation. Psychosocial Studies is now formally recognized by the academy for the Social Sciences in the UK, and takes institutionalized form in a number of universities across the UK which have recently set up undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in the field. In this talk Sasha Roseneil will offer an overview of the development of psychosocial studies, tracing its peculiarly British history and some of it's European antecedents and contemporary expressions, from her own perspective as a sociologist and feminist researcher, as a member of the first Department of Psychosocial Studies, and as the Chair of the newly established Association for Psychosocial Studies.A Tragedy and a Dream: Disability RevisitedJulia KristevaOctober 15, 2013Born in Bulgaria, Julia Kristeva has lived and worked in France since 1966. In the 60's, Kristeva was an active member of the 'Tel Quel' group, publishing influential writings on the politics of language in the Tel Quel journal and eventually joining its editorial board. This early work in language and linguistics led to the publication of Semeiotike (1969) and La Revolution du language poetique (1974). Kristeva completed her training in psychoanalysis in 1979. Her writings in the 1980's draw on her practice as an analyst and elaborate on the nature of the relationship between semiotic drives and symbolic language. These texts include Pouvoirs de l'horreur (1980), Histoires d'amour (1985) and Soleil noir. Depression et melancolie (1987).Kristeva is now Professor Emeritus at University of Paris VII Diderot. She holds honorary degrees from a number of universities in the United States, Canada, and Europe. In 2004, she was the first recipient of Norway's Prix Holberg in recognition of her "innovative explorations of questions on the intersection of language, culture, and literature, which inspired research across the humanities and the social sciences throughout the world and have also had a significant impact on feminist theory."Michelle Alexander's "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness"Michelle AlexanderDecember 6, 2013The fourth installment in the Emmanuel Levinas Lectures, Sponsored by the Psychology and the Other InstituteThe New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness challenges the conventional widson that with the election of Barack Obama as president, our nation has "triumphed over race." Jim Crow laws were wiped off the books decades ago, but today an astounding percentage of the African American community is warehoused in prisons or trapped in a permanent, second-class status, much like their grandparents before them who lived under an explicit system of racial control. Alexander argues that the sudden and dramatic mass incarceration of African-American men, primarily through the War on Drugs, has created a new racial under caste -- a group of people defined largely by race that is subject to legalized discrimination, scorn, and social exclusion.The old forms of discrimination -- employment, housing, education, and public benefits; denial of the right to vote; and exclusion from jury service -- are suddenly legal once you're labeled a felon. She challenges the civil rights community, and all of us, to place mass incarceration at the forefront of a new movement for racial justice in America.Intergenerational Transmission & Subjectivity: New Psychosocial MethodsValerie WalkerdineDecember 7th, 2013Psychosocial research allows us to blend psychoanalytic insights with approaches from the humanities and social sciences which engage subjectivity in its social settings. The issue that has concerned Valerie Walkerdine recently is how to think about this in a historical way, which also does justice to the specificities of location. This has been particularly salient in Walkerdine's recent and ongoing work on intergenerational transmission. While there is a large literature on the intergenerational transmission of trauma, which recognizes the centrality of of historical events, the growing literature on, for example, the intergenerational transmission of poverty relies much more on a model of family pathology. Yet, family situations are always also set in locations and with specific histories. To avoid an easy reductionism, Walkerdine suggests that we need to find methods which can engage with the locational and historical as part of the analysis of subjectivity and not as an add-on. Along with colleagues, she has been developing approaches that attempt to do this and that also, more recently, explore a performative dimension. In this talk, Walkerdine will discuss these approaches, illustrating them with examples from her own fieldwork.
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