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Dr Amber Jacobs

Senior Lecturer in Psychosocial Studies, Programme Director (BA Psychosocial Studies)
BA English Literature (Sussex), MA European Literatures and Languages, PhD (London).


Academic background

  • 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.


Research and teaching

Research interests

    • 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)



Book chapters

Journal articles


Audiovisual Practice



Short Films

Contact details

Room 503A, 30 Russell Square
Department of Psychosocial Studies
Birkbeck, University of London
London WC1B 5DT

Tel: +44 (0)20 3073 8015