Dr Amber Jacobs
Senior Lecturer in Psychosocial Studies, Programme Director (BA Psychosocial Studies)
BA English Literature (Sussex), MA European Literatures and Languages, PhD (London).
- Amber Jacobs' research background is in literature, feminism, psychoanalysis, Ancient Greek myth and tragedy.
- Her monograph, On Matricide: Myth, Psychoanalysis and the Law of the Mother is an intervention into classical psychoanalysis via structural anthropology and feminist philosophy that posits a new post-patriarchal theory of the symbolic order. She has published articles on psychoanalytic feminism and the mother-daughter relation in cinema, literature and feminist thought.
- Her current work involves re-readings and expansions of psychoanalytic theories to accommodate new forms of subjectivities in the context of social, cultural and technological change. Her recent research is in visual culture, digital technologies, film theories, the relation between new media technologies and unconscious fantasy and theories of feminist and Queer spectatorship that challenge dominant psychoanalytic models of the gaze and sexual difference. She is also interested in the analysis of formal techniques in filmmaking that rework the relation between the image and power, and in making her own films.
- Amber Jacobs was awarded a Birkbeck Excellence in Teaching Award (BETA) on 9 June 2014.
Research and teaching
- Psychoanalysis - Post Freudian tradition ( Freud, Klein, Lacan, Bion, Winnicott, Andre Green, Laplanche).
- Psychoanalytic feminist theory and feminist philosophy - my research is concerned with theorising beyond the classical Oedipal paradigm. I am especially interested in the work of Luce Irigaray, Judith Butler, Juliet Mitchell, Jessica Benjamin Jean Laplanche (among others) as post Lacanian theorists who are attempting to think through a post-patriarchal symbolic order.
- Ancient Greek myth and tragedy (feminist interpretations and political uses of) and contemporary recycling of myth in literature, culture and theory.
- Writing and sexual difference, particularly contemporary literature by women.
- Theories of and constructions of the maternal both in psychoanalytic feminism and contemporary culture.
- Representations and constructions of misogyny in cinema, literature and visual arts.
- Visual culture, theories of gender and spectatorship, film theory, feminist cinema and practice as research (audiovisual practices).
- I have successfully supervised doctoral projects to completion and am currently supervising nine further projects.
- I supervise PhD students working in the following areas: feminist theory and philosophy; visual culture; psychoanalytic feminist theory; psychoanalysis and philosophy; film theory; gender and the horror genre; queer theory; the psychosocial implications of digital technology; constructions of the maternal and the maternal body; literature, film and feminist uses of ancient Greek myth.
- I am currently programme director for the BA Psychosocial Studies.
- Undergraduate teaching includes:
- Hate: the Power of the Negative (core module).
- Introduction to Psychoanalysis (core module).
- Postgraduate teaching includes:
- Visual Culture: Power and the Image (optional module, MA Psychosocial Studies).
- Queering the Unconscious (optional module, MA Psychosocial Studies).
- Theorizing Gender (core module, MA/MSc Gender, Sexuality and Society)
- Jacobs, A. (2007) On Matricide: Myth, Psychoanalysis and the Law of the Mother. New York: Columbia University Press.
- Jacobs, A. (2016) 'Rethinking Matricide', in Rosalind Mayou and Christina Moutsou (eds.) The Mother in Psychoanalysis and Beyond: Matricide and Maternal Subjectivity: (forthcoming). London: Routledge.
- Jacobs, A. (2016) 'Feminist Fury in the Oresteia', in Rebecca Kennedy (ed.) Brill's Companion to the Reception of Aeschylus. Leiden: Brill.
- Jacobs, A. (2015) 'The Demise of the Analogue Mind: Digital Primal Fantasies and the Technologies of Loss-less-ness' in Stephen Frosh (ed.) Psychosocial Imaginaries: Perspectives on Temporality, Subjectivities and Activism: 126-144. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Jacobs, A. (2014) 'On Maternal Listening: Experiments in Sound and the Mother-Daughter Relation in Todd Haynes' Mildred Pierce', in Mary Evans (ed.) The Sage Handbook of Feminist Theory: 163-177. London: Sage.
- Jacobs, A. (2016) 'On the Maternal Creaturely Cinema of Andrea Arnold', Journal of British Cinema and Television, vol. 13, no. 1.
- Jacobs, A. and Fisher, M. (2011) 'Debating Black Swan: Gender and Horror', Film Quarterly, vol. 65, no. 1: 58-62.
- Jacobs, A. (2010) 'The Life of Metis: Cunning Maternal Interventions', Studies in the Maternal, vol. 2, no. 1.
- Jacobs, A. (2007) 'The Potential of Theory: Melanie Klein, Luce Irigaray and the Mother-Daughter Relation', Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy, vol. 22, no. 3: 175-193.
- Jacobs, A. (2006) 'Perspectives on Teresa Brennan's The Transmission of Affect', Women: A Cultural Review, vol. 17, no. 1: 103-117.
- Jacobs, A. (2004) 'Towards a structural theory of matricide: psychoanalysis, the Oresteia and the maternal prohibition', Women: A Cultural Review, vol. 15, no.1: 19-34.
- Jacobs, A. and White, R. Todd Haynes's "Mildred Pierce": A Discussion, Film Quarterly. University of California Press, January 2012.
- Jacobs, A. and Grant, C. WHITE [MATER]IAL: Milk and Maternity in Todd Haynes's 1995 Film [SAFE]. Filmanalytical Film Studies, 29 May 2013.
- Viva Riva! - Film Screening and Q&A. Amber Jacobs in conversation with Djo Munga, followed by panel discussion with Andrew Asibong. 12 June 2014.
- Itinerancy, Dislocation, Nomadic Subjects: Vagabond (Agnes Varda, 1985). Panel discussion chaired by Amber Jacobs, with James Williams and Libby Saxton. 11 June 2014.
- Itinerancy, Dislocation, Nomadic Subjects: Taste of Cherry (Abbas Kiarostami, 1997). Panel discussion chaired by Amber Jacobs, with Rosalind Galt and Laura Mulvey. 25 June 2013.
- Roundtable Discussion on 'Dawn of the Dead'. Introduction by Amber Jacobs, panel discussion with Mark Fisher, Gordon Hon, Paul Myerscough and Catherine Grant. 26 May 2011.
- Capitalist Realism: Is there No Alternative? Amber Jacobs in conversation with Mark Fisher. 17 January 2011.
- Daily Subversions. Twelve-part series of radio programmes. ResonanceFM, May to July 2011.
- Matricide and Culture. Discussion chaired by Amber Jacobs with Sarah Pucill, Alison Stone and Lucy Bolton. Enemies of Good Art, May 2010.
- Daily Subversions: the feminist practice of everyday life. Discussion chaired by Amber Jacobs with Sarah Turner, Nina Power and Francis Wilson. Enemies of Good Art, March 2011.
- The Artist Self and the Maternal Self. Discussion chaired by Amber Jacobs with Eti Wade, Maria Marshall and Adriana Cerne. Enemies of Good Art, October 2010.