This program, when participated in its entirety, is available for 2.5 continuing education credits. Division 39 is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Division 39 maintains responsibility for this program and its content. This presentation also meets the requirements of WAC 246-809-620 (definition of recognized categories of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists and social workers).
In this Alliance Master Class, Dr. Sheldon George will focus on understanding the mythical psychic structures expressed in American race relations. To that end, Dr. George will engage with participants in a close reading and discussion of Freud’s “Notes Upon a Case of Obsessional Neurosis” (“The Ratman”), Lacan’s response, “The Neurotic’s Individual Myth,” and reflections from his own Trauma and Race: A Lacanian Study of African American Racial Identity. All participants will receive a copy of the relevant readings upon registration. In order to provide an intimate, stimulating discussion, the group will be limited to 10 participants who can directly engage with the author.
The tripartite structure of the oedipal complex has been central to Freudian understandings of the psychoanalytic subject. In the early 1950’s, however, Jacques Lacan introduces a revised reading of the structural relation between father, mother and child by presenting death as a fourth term that determines the subject’s mythic relation to the self and others. By working through a rereading of the case of the Rat Man in his lecture “The Neurotic’s Individual Myth,” Lacan shows how obsessional neurosis reveals deeper layers of myth that may shape subjectivity even across generations. This seminar will focus on understanding the mythical psychic structures expressed in American race relations. It will investigate how myths about race position racialized individuals within oedipal relations of Eros and aggression that are fundamentally determined by deep psychic relations to the fourth term which Lacan applied to the oedipal dynamic—the factor of death that defines a fundamental relation to subjectivity and alterity. We will work through this reading of the mythic structure of race in America by first returning to Lacan’s lecture and then advancing toward an investigation of race in fiction by the African American author Ralph Ellison.
Sheldon George is Professor of English and Chair of the English department at Simmons University in Boston, Massachusetts. His scholarship centers most directly on Lacanian psychoanalytic theory and applies cultural and literary theory to analyses of American and African-American literature and culture. His most recent publications include two co-edited special issues of the journal Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society: one titled “Lacanian Psychoanalysis: Interventions into Culture and Politics” and the other titled “African Americans and Inequality.” His book Trauma and Race: A Lacanian Study of African American Racial Identity was published in 2016 by Baylor University Press. He is co-editor with Jean Wyatt of Reading Contemporary Black British and African American Women Writers: Race, Ethics, Narrative Form and is currently completing a collection with Derek Hook which is under contract by Routledge for publication in 2021: Lacan and Race: Racism, Identity and Psychoanalytic Theory.
- Participants will be able to describe how Lacan rethinks the oedipal complex through neurosis and death.
- Participants will be able to analyse how death becomes overlapped with myth to shape psychic fears and obsessions.
- Participants will be able to analyse how the static four-part oedipal structure acts as a frame into which racial others are actively inserted.
George, S. & Hook, D. (Eds.). (2021). Lacan and race: Racism, identity and psychoanalytic theory.
Wyatt, J., & George, S. (Eds.). (2020). Reading contemporary Black British and African American women writers: Narrative, race, ethics. London: Routledge.
George, S. (2020). Narrating the raced subject: Toni Morrison’s Jazz and the literature of modernism. In J. Wyatt & S. George (Eds.), Reading contemporary Black British and African American women writers: Narrative, race, ethics. London: Routledge.
Rendering Unconscious: Interview with Dr. Vanessa Sinclair: http://www.renderingunconscious.org/psychoanalysis/ru106-professor-sheldon-george-on-psychoanalysis-trauma-race/
Public Seminar, The New School Publishing Initiative: Interview with Daniel Gaztambide: “The Reign of One’s Own Desire”: https://publicseminar.org/essays/the-reign-of-ones-own-desire/
KBOO Portland, OR 90.7 FM: Interview with Janice Haaken: “Trauma, Race, and African American Identity”: https://kboo.fm/media/54224-trauma-race-and-african-american-identity
Participants: This event is designed for graduate level students in mental health and all mental health professionals from introductory to advanced levels. The presentation is geared for clinicians who wish to advance their knowledge and expand their skill base in psychodynamic clinical work.
Refund Policy: Refunds less a $15 handling fee will be given up until one week before the presentation.
This program, when participated in its entirety, is available for 2.5 continuing education credits. Division 39 is committed to accessibility and non-discrimination in its continuing education activities. Division 39 is also committed to conducting all activities in conformity with the American Psychological Association's Ethical Principles for Psychologists. Participants are asked to be aware of the need for privacy and confidentiality throughout the program. If program content becomes stressful, participants are encouraged to process these feelings during discussion periods. If participants have special needs, we will attempt to accommodate them. Please address questions, concerns and any complaints to John Allemand at 253-509-8302. There is no commercial support for this program nor are there any relationships between the CE Sponsor, presenting organization, presenter, program content, research, grants or other funding that could reasonably be construed as conflicts of interest. Participants will be informed of the utility/validity of the content/approach discussed (including the basis for the statements about validity/utility), as well as the limitations of the approach and most common (and severe) risks, if any, associated with the program's content.