The Robert S. Liebert Award and Lecture: Psychoanalysis of the Oppressed, a practice of freedom
Introduced by: Nate Kravis, M.D.
Tuesday, March 7, 2023 at 8 PM
Location: Register via the button below to receive the Zoom link
In this talk, Professor Ankhi Mukherjee draws on her decade-long work, in Unseen City, with free- and sliding-fee clinics which deliver psychoanalytically oriented psychotherapy in the slums, interstices, and dusty margins of global cities. Framed by a reading of Paulo Freire’s libertarian pedagogy, it asks what revolutionary leadership, mobilized within and across class lines, might look like when it comes to the relay of psychoanalytic training from supervisor to lay therapist. Drawing on psychotherapeutic initiatives in Kolkata, Chennai, London, and NYC, the talk dwells on the figure of the community mobilizer and “vulnerable” expert (Sudhir Kakar’s term), a cornerstone of the historical free clinic movement which started with a speech act by Sigmund Freud in 1918. Dr. Mukherjee will present these vigilante mental health activists as guardians of the psychic life of urban poverty and the dream of a psychoanalytic commons.
Ankhi Mukherjee is Professor of English and World Literatures at the University of Oxford and a Fellow in English at Wadham College. Her most recent book, Unseen City: The Psychic Lives of the Urban Poor, was published by Cambridge University Press in December 2021. Her second monograph, What Is a Classic? Postcolonial Rewriting and Invention of the Canon (Stanford UP, 2014), won the British Academy Rose Mary Crawshay Prize in English Literature in 2015. Mukherjee’s other publications include Aesthetic Hysteria: The Great Neurosis in Victorian Melodrama and Contemporary Fiction (Routledge, 2007), and the collections of essays she has edited, namely A Concise Companion to Psychoanalysis, Literature, and Culture (with Laura Marcus, Wiley-Blackwell, 2015) and After Lacan (Cambridge University Press, 2018).
The Robert S. Liebert Award, established jointly with the Columbia Psychoanalytic Center and the Association for Psychoanalytic Medicine, honors the outstanding contributions to applied psychoanalysis of the late Robert S. Liebert.