• February 26, 2020
  • 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
  • CIIS LOBBY
Add to Calendar 02/26/2020 7:00 pm 02/26/2020 9:00 pm America/Los_Angeles Psychoanalysis and the Invention of “Racism” Abolitionists in the nineteenth century condemned the “colorphobia” of pro-slavery ideologues as an irrational, even psychotic defense of racial hierarchy. In attributing to racism an essentially psychic reality, abolitionist rhetoric—in the speeches and essays of Frederick Douglass in particular—anticipated key insights into the modern subject of the unconscious that psychoanalysis advanced nearly a century later. This talk explores how denunciations of the madness of racism shaped an understanding of white supremacy and the “afterlife of slavery,” and critiques how Freudian social theorists in the interwar United States later attempted to consolidate racism into a scientific object of investigation. CIIS LOBBY Community Mental Health & Foundation of California Psychoanalysis false MM/DD/YYYY

Abolitionists in the nineteenth century condemned the “colorphobia” of pro-slavery ideologues as an irrational, even psychotic defense of racial hierarchy. In attributing to racism an essentially psychic reality, abolitionist rhetoric—in the speeches and essays of Frederick Douglass in particular—anticipated key insights into the modern subject of the unconscious that psychoanalysis advanced nearly a century later. This talk explores how denunciations of the madness of racism shaped an understanding of white supremacy and the “afterlife of slavery,” and critiques how Freudian social theorists in the interwar United States later attempted to consolidate racism into a scientific object of investigation.

Christopher Chamberlin is the President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in English at UC Berkeley. He received his Ph.D. in Culture and Theory at UC Irvine in 2018. He has published in Studies inGender and Sexuality, Discourse, Journal of Medical Humanities, and Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society, and serves on the editorial boards of the journal in Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society and the European Journal of Psychoanalysis. Dr. Chamberlin is currently finishing a monograph that examines how Freudian practitioners analyzed antiblack racism during the Civil Rights Era.  

Dr. Fernando Castrillón is a personal and supervising psychoanalyst, faculty of the Lacanian School of Psychoanalysis (LSP) and the Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California (PINC), a licensed clinical psychologist and Professor in the Community Mental Health Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), and the founder of the  Foundation of California Psychoanalysis (FCP). Dr. Castrillón is Co-Editor-in-Chief of the  European Journal of Psychoanalysis, member of the  Istituto Elvio Fachinelli ISAP (Institute of Advanced Studies in Psychoanalysis) based in Rome, Italy and the author of a book and numerous articles in both Spanish and English.

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