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Author: David W. McIvor

What is the value of psychoanalysis for the theorising of race in our contemporary moment? This article explores this question by engaging with theories of Afropessimism, which criticise the therapeutic ethic that traverses the wide variety of psychoanalytic approaches. Afropessimists accuse psychoanalysis of perpetuating a racialised partition in the social order complicit with ‘anti-Blackness’. While stopping short of these conclusions, I argue that psychoanalysts and social theorists need to countenance the possibilities that even their ‘race-conscious’ work might carry assumptions that are ‘anti-Black’. In doing so I will argue that attempts to mourn the traumas and losses associated with race have to find ways to account for the structural positioning of particular racialised bodies.

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