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Psychosocial Methodologies: Politics and Change

18th June 2018 @ 8:00 am - 20th June 2018 @ 5:00 pm

Psychosocial Methodologies: Politics and Change


UCL Institute of Education in association with the Association for Psychosocial Studies and the University of Birmingham


Dates: over 3 days

Monday June 18th10am – 5pm

Tuesday June 19th  10am- 5pm

Wednesday June 20thand 10 am – 1.15pm


Tutors: Claudia Lapping, Ian McGimpsey, Maria Jose Lagos, Felipe Acuna



UCL Institute of Education, Rooms tbc
20 Bedford Way
Bloomsbury, London



UCL students – as usual.

Non UCL students: Please contact Bob Grist: r.grist@ucl.ac.uk

For any queries about the course, please contact Claudia Lapping: c.lapping@ucl.ac.uk



Psychosocial Methodologies: Politics and Change


This experimental, intensive, two and a half day course will explore different ways of understanding politics and processes of change. Drawing on selected texts from key theorists in the fields of psychoanalysis, social and cultural theory (e.g. Butler, Deleuze, Freud, Lacan, Laclau and Mouffe, Zizek) we will engage with a series of concepts each of which functions as a lens for the analysis of politics or processes of change. Each text provides a slightly different framework for identifying both what counts as change, and for the construction of interventions that might help to provoke or direct subjective and/or political change. Methodologically, these frameworks orient us for the empirical examination of discourse, language, affect or desire, time, regulatory technologies, and relations to individual and institutional o/Others. Sessions will explore:

  • Processes of subjective and political change
  • What is sayable? Processes of repression or disguise in discourse
  • The ethics of researching traumatic events
  • The event and the limit experience
  • The question of memorialisation
  • Trauma, Repetition and memory
  • Time, politics and the Other


In the sessions we will discuss the frameworks set out in the selected texts and, importantly, explore how these might be applied in the analysis of a concrete instance or piece of data related to a specific political moment. We see the course as an invitation for participants to take part in a project exploring this political moment with us. Through engaging in this project, which involves concrete processes of analysis, we will gain insights into both psychosocial methodologies and the event that is the object of the data we are exploring. As such, participants should be prepared to engage in discussions of recent concrete events that involve loss and the precarity of human life, distributive injustices, and symbolic violence. Participants will be asked to prepare through detailed readings of the core texts in advance of the session.


Key Texts – Relevant chapters and extracts will be specified!

Butler, J. 2004. ‘Violence, Mourning, Politics’ in Precarious Life: The Powers of Mourning and Violence. London: Verso

Deleuze, G. (1990/1969) Deleuze Logic of Sense. Twenty-First Series of the Event (pp. 169-175) and Twenty-Third Series of the Aion (pp. 186-193). London: Bloomsbury Academic

Deleuze, G. (2004). Difference and repetition. London: Continuum – Extracts

Freud, S. (1914). Remembering, Repeating, and Working Through. In Freud, S. (2003). Beyond the pleasure principle. Penguin UK.

Freud, S. (1920). Beyond the Pleasure Principle. In Freud, S. (2003). Beyond the pleasure principle. Penguin UK. – Extracts

Foucault, M. (2000/1978) Interview with Michel Foucault. In Power. Essential works of Foucault 1954-1984 (pp.239-297). Edited by James D. Faubion.

Gerson, S. (2009). When the third is dead: Memory, mourning, and witnessing in the aftermath of the Holocaust. The International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 90(6), 1341-1357.

Lacan, J. (2006). Logical time and the assertion of anticipated certainty. In B. Fink (Tr), Jacques Lacan, Ecrits: The first complete edition in English (pp. 161–175). London: W. W. Norton and Company

Laclau, E. & Mouffe, C. Section of Hegemony and Socialist Strategy, Verso – Extracts

Wiegman, R. (2000) ‘Feminism’s Apocalyptic Futures’, New Literary Histories, 31: 805-825

Zizek, S. 1989, The Sublime Object of Ideology, Verso – Extracts



18th June 2018 @ 8:00 am
20th June 2018 @ 5:00 pm
Event Category: