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Knoblauch, S.H. (2020). Fanon’s Vision of Embodied Racism for Psychoanalytic Theory and Practice. Psychoanal. Dial., 30(3):299-316.

(2020). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 30(3):299-316

Fanon’s Vision of Embodied Racism for Psychoanalytic Theory and Practice

Steven H. Knoblauch, Ph.D.

This text is built around a clinical encounter illustrative of the challenge/struggle for recognizing and working in terms of race. The author employs perspectives and terms emerging from a vision developed by Frantz Fanon to represent issues of race for psychoanalytic practice that have begun to be recognized and discussed recently. These issues open up unprecedented challenges for theory and practice, particularly as they reveal the myopia of the terms and discourse with which we make meaning and practice clinically. The author examines the experience of his own need to perform in the role of rescuer, in tension with surrendering to the limits of an attempt at recognition within the discursive terms of a racist social order. In particular, the author points to the limitations of verbal re-presentational categories/models in currently accepted psychoanalytic discourse as well as in the capacities of both analyst and patient to re-present complex, emotionally difficult to bear, racialized experience. The author demonstrates the clinical value of expanding analytic attention to embodied registrations as one way of surrendering to this myopia of theory, and the effects of amnesia and/or erasure that racist discourse can have on re-presentations of traumatic histories for both patient and analyst.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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