Black Psychoanlayses?

deadline for submissions: 
February 23, 2024
full name / name of organization: 
MLA Executive Forum: Psychology, Psychoanalysis, and Literature
contact email: 

Since the “discovery” of psychoanalysis, thinkers of race (creative, intellectual, political, and clinical) have contemplated whether psychoanalytic discourses can contemplate—let alone contend—with the question of Blackness. The range of figures includes thinkers who were focused on the clinical imperative, such as Frantz Fanon, to those who more implicitly yet just as critically have inquired about the psychic life of anti-Black racism (Richard Wright, Patricia Williams, Toni Morrison, etc.). This panel seeks to outline this intellectual history of critical black thought that brings into sharp focus the tensions between psychoanalyses and race while also remarking on current interventions in the state of the field. Such questions that the panel seeks to explore include, but are not limited to:

  • What questions do contemporary Black critical theories pose for psychoanalytic discourse and practice today? 

  • How might other psychoanalytic thinkers of race (e.g. Claudia Tate, Anne Cheng, David Eng, etc.) be contiguous and or in tension with Black critical theories or the interventions posed by Afro-Pessimism to psychoanalysis?

  • In addition to Freudian and Lacanian frameworks of psychoanalysis, what other theoretical modes and meditations of psychoanalysis can be put into conversation with questions of Blackness (e.g. object relations, infantile psychoanalysis, psychoanalytics of listening)?

  • Is it possible to have a Black psychoanalysis?

  • And what might be the ethical quandaries that psychoanalysis and Black thought would have to confront?

Please submit a 250-word abstract & short CV as an email with: “[Name of Author]_MLA BP Submission” as the subject header. Email submissions can be sent to Linette Park,

Deadline for submissions:  23 February 2024