and Racialization

The old fight between theories of „idealism“ and „materialism“ found a theoretical bridge and political praxis in what Freud called „Psychoanalysis“, or else, the „talking cure“: Emancipation and „self-overcoming“ of psyche and body was for him only possible by „becoming conscious“ of one’s own unconscious stumbling stones and repetitively endangering behaviors. To date, Freud has a bad reputation not only in contemporary studies of Psychology, but also amongst consumer-oriented health services, privatized medical care and a culture of pharmaceutical or esoteric self-care.

However, no other theoretical approach has brought together questions of sexuality, subjectivity and structural impediments as psychoanalysis has done, which after all was primarily invented as a therapeutical praxis and not as a theory. Additionally, in everyday parlance, and psychiatry are many times confused or even collapsed.

In this class, we aim to get an overview over what we mean by a praxis and theory of psychoanalysis and how it differs from psychiatry.

We will also try to understand at the same time to think psychoanalysis together with an understanding of racialization and race. It is, after all, the theory and understanding of Othering, Otherness and Difference.


Together, we will read Sigmund and Anna Freud as well as Melanie Klein. From there on we will move to post-colonial and Critical Race theorists who have engaged with psychoanalytical readings of their worlds, plagued and ridden with racializations and internalized self-hate.

Required Readings:
           Sigmund Freud, Various Readings - TBA
        Melanie Klein, Notes on the Schizoid Position; Transference
            Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks (selections)
            Judith Butler, The Psychic Life of Power (selections)