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Theories and Sites of the Psychosocial


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 7
  • Convenor: Margarita Palacios
  • Assessment: a 4000-word essay (100%)

Module description

This module provides an introduction to the domain of psychosocial studies. The emphasis is on a broad field of theory, analysis and critique that is concerned with understanding the relations between power and subjectivity.

The aim is to introduce you to a plurality of interventions through which the psychosocial can be understood and combine a wide range of cutting-edge perspectives in social and cultural theory, notably contributions in feminist, postcolonial and queer studies, with readings of classic texts by, for example, Freud, Lacan, Fanon, Foucault and Butler.

The course adopts an interdisciplinary approach to the psychosocial, with a strong emphasis on theory. Weekly lectures and seminars cover a wide range of analytical tools and review key debates over the meanings and uses of key concepts such as subjectivity, anti-subjectivity, genealogy and worlding; the unconscious, repression, drives and objects; psychoanalysis, racism and racist imaginaries; colonising gaze, epidermalisation, lactification, racist desire; spatial subjectivity and heterotopias; ideology, interpellation and subject formation; power, discourse and subjectivation; gender, identity, identification and fantasy; the panopticon, surveillance and the gaze; kinship, heterosexist imaginaries, and the ‘non-reproductive’; affect, feelings and emotions; biopolitics, necropolitics, exception and immunity.