CFP: Psychoanalysis, Class, and Social Justice (edited book collection)

Chris Vanderwees's picture
Call for Publications
May 1, 2020
Subject Fields: 
Cultural History / Studies, Health and Health Care, Philosophy, Psychology, Social Work

Confronted with a shortage of literature on actual poverty and homelessness in the field of analysis, Patricia Gherovici has commented that “One might talk about the psychoanalysis of poverty,” but one could perhaps more easily “talk about the poverty of psychoanalysis” (“Psychoanalysis” 221). Gherovici underscores the apparent exclusion of the poor’s access to psychoanalysis and the prejudice involved in the psychoanalytic exclusion of the poor. In Canada and the United States, contemporary psychoanalysis sometimes has the reputation of being only accessible for society’s educated or elite class at an immense financial cost where the privatized treatment is likely to last for many years. This caricature conveys the widespread perception of psychoanalysis in the social imaginary as a discipline detached from the progressive ideals of social responsibility, institutional psychotherapy, and community mental health.

In contrast to this misperception, Freud and his early followers including Alfred Adler, August Aichorn, Siegfried Bernfeld, Erik Erikson, Anna Freud, Eduard Hitschmann, Willi Hoffer, and Wilhelm Reich helped to establish outpatient clinics for people who could not otherwise afford treatment in ten cities and seven countries across Europe including Berlin, Budapest, Frankfurt, London, and Vienna between the world wars from 1918-1938. Elizabeth Ann Danto has documented the efforts of these practitioners in Freud’s Free Clinics  (2005). In another stark example, one of Lacan’s students, psychiatrist Jean Oury, along with several other clinicians, helped to develop a movement towards “institutional psychotherapy,” which proposed a radical restructuring of the hospital and the mental health clinic where patients would actively contribute to managing the operations of the facility. This French movement resulted in the founding of La Borde  clinic for psychosis in 1953. Despite the significance of these psychoanalytic social justice efforts that emerged in the past, there is little written from the perspective of any psychoanalytic orientation about work with people who are simultaneously marginalized, impoverished, addicted, or homeless. This edited collection will explore issues of class and social justice within the field of psychoanalysis in culture and the clinic. The editors are especially interested in papers that explore any of the following topics:

•  Clinical psychoanalysis and issues of poverty and social justice in treatment

•  Theory and practice in regards to class and psychoanalysis

•  Lacanian approaches to class and the clinic

•  Institutional psychotherapy (Jean Oury, Felix Guattari, Frantz Fanon, etc.)

•  Anti-psychiatry and psychoanalysis

•  Free clinics

•  Psychoanalytic orientation towards community outreach

•  History of psychoanalysis, progressivism, and social justice

•  Social work, sociology, and psychoanalysis

•  The Freudo-Marxist movement

Contact Info: 

Full papers are due May 1st , 2020 (length may vary between 20 - 25 pages double spaced)

Email editors for more information or to submit a paper:  /