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By Celia Brickman

What half does racial distinction play in psychoanalysis? What should be discovered while contemplating this query from a postcolonial point of view? during this sophisticated and commanding research, Celia Brickman explores how the colonialist racial discourse of late-nineteenth-century anthropology came upon its manner into Freud´s paintings, the place it got here to play a covert yet an important function in his notions of subjectivity. Brickman argues that the typical psychoanalytic inspiration of "primitivity" as an early degree of mental improvement inevitably includes with it implications of an anthropologically understood "primitivity," which was once conceived via Freud -and might be nonetheless is this present day -in colonialist and racial phrases. She relates the racial subtext embedded in Freud´s inspiration to his representations of gender and faith and exhibits how this subtext kinds a part of the bigger historicizing development of the psychoanalytic undertaking. ultimately, she exhibits how colonialist strains have made their means into the...

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Psychoanalysis remains invaluable for its exploration of the constitution of subjectivity and for an approach to suffering that can allow for the role of the inner workings of desire, anxiety, conflict, and fantasy. It has generated the indispensable insight that our behaviors and symptoms speak to us, giving testimony to hidden layers of meaning which, when articulated, can lead both to a deeper self-understanding and to an increased capacity to participate more fully in the world around us. The racial subtext embedded in it exhausts neither what psychoanalysis has to say nor what there is to say about psychoanalysis.

Introduction Know what [the anthropologist] thinks a savage is and you have the key to his work. You know what he thinks he himself is. —Clifford Geertz, The Interpretation of Cultures Our ways of making the Other are ways of making ourselves. —Johannes Fabian, “Presence and Representation” . . savages . . a well-preserved picture of an early stage of our own development. —Freud, Totem and Taboo How does psychoanalysis configure racial difference, and what do we learn when we consider this question from a postcolonial perspective?

The patient under discussion was a young white man who had lost his mother at an early age and was now having difficulty deciding on his vocation. One way or another, he hoped eventually to go to Africa to do good works. His desire to go to Africa was immediately taken up by the clinicians at the conference: he wished to visit the dark continent! they exclaimed. What could this mean, except that he was now ready to explore the darker reaches of his own mind. What could this mean, except that he was now ready to explore the painful memories surrounding the loss of his mother, primitive memories buried so deeply in those darker reaches.

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