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Emeritus Prof Stephen Frosh: Psychosocial studies with psychoanalysis (Reading Group)

January 24 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

We are incredibly happy to invite you to join us for the first APS online reading group of the year! We are starting this academic year with Stephen Frosh’s important work on some of the principles of psychosocial thinking, including its transdisciplinarity and criticality and its interest in ethics and reflexivity.

Stephen Frosh will be there to talk about his work and in particular his paper:

`Psychosocial studies with psychoanalysis’  (Journal of Psychosocial Studies, 2019)


Please book here:



Psychosocial studies is methodologically and theoretically diverse, drawing on a wide range of intellectual resources. However, psychoanalysis has often taken a privileged position within this diversity, because of its well-developed conceptual vocabulary that can be put to use to theorise the psychosocial subject. Its practices have become a model for some aspects of psychosocial work, especially in relation to its focus on intense study of individuals, its explicit engagement with ethical relations, and its traversing of disciplinary boundaries across the arts, humanities and social sciences.

This article begins with a brief description of some principles of psychosocial thinking, including its transdisciplinarity and criticality and its interest in ethics and in reflexivity. It then explores the place of psychoanalysis in this genealogy, presenting the case for psychoanalysis’ continuing contribution to the development of psychosocial studies. It is argued that this case is a strong one, but that the critique of psychoanalysis from the discursive, postcolonial, feminist and queer perspectives that are also found in psychosocial studies is important. The claim will be made that the engagement between psychoanalysis and its psychosocial critics is fundamentally productive. Even though it generates real tensions, these tensions are necessary and significant, reflecting genuine struggles over how best to understand the socially constructed human subject

Author biography:

Stephen Frosh is Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Birkbeck, where he founded the Department of Psychosocial Studies. He has a background in academic and clinical psychology and was Consultant Clinical Psychologist and latterly Vice Dean at the Tavistock Clinic, London, throughout the 1990s.

He is the author of many books and papers, including Hauntings: Psychoanalysis and Ghostly Transmissions (Palgrave MacMillan, 2013) and Hate and the Jewish Science: Anti-Semitism, Nazism and Psychoanalysis (Palgrave MacMillan, 2005). His recent book Antisemitism and Racism: Ethical Challenges for Psychoanalysis, was released last year by Bloomsbury. His book, Those Who Come After: Postmemory, Acknowledgement and Forgiveness (Palgrave, 2019) won the 2023 British Psychological Society award for the best Academic Monograph. His current research interests are in processes of acknowledgement and recognition after social violence and in questions of social identity. He is co-editor of the Palgrave Handbook of Psychosocial Studies.

Stephen is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, an Academic Associate of the British Psychoanalytical Society, a Founding Member of the Association of Psychosocial Studies, and an Honorary Member of the Institute of Group Analysis. He has been Visiting Professor at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa, and at the University of São Paulo, Brazil.

This event is free – but please make a donation if you can to help cover our costs so that we can continue to make events like this accessible to all.


Association for Psychosocial Studies