You can attend a workshop I’m pleased to offer on the topic of “Islam and Psychoanalysis” at Georgetown University. Here are the details and a link to the suggested reading:
Daniel Tutt: “Islam and Psychoanalysis”
Time:Wednesday, February 28th, 12:30pm
Location: Georgetown University, ICC 450
**Open to the public. Food provided
The Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies and the Arabic Department Graduate Association are very pleased to present the Arabic and Islamic Studies Graduate Colloquium, a forum in which graduate students have the opportunity to present and discuss their research projects, hold academic workshops, and participate in roundtable discussions. The Colloquium aims at encouraging discussions among graduate students and professors over their research and its contribution to the scholarship in the field. It is also open to discuss works-in-progress by more advanced scholars.
In this colloquium, we will explore the broader implications of scholarly efforts to interpret subjectivity in Muslim societies and to deconstruct Islamic scripture through the theoretical lens of psychoanalysis. We will review the literature in this wider field by noting two general tendencies: the first is an effort to derive a theory of Muslim subjectivity modeled off of Freud’s late work on Judaism in Moses and Monotheism, which seeks broader claims about alterity, desire and authority within Muslim societies through a more detached, textual analysis.
The other tendency is a more postcolonial method of reading psychoanalysis as a heuristic for understanding the transition to modernity within Muslim societies. This method presents more localized and culturally specific applications of psychoanalytic frameworks to particular regions and time periods.
We will review the work of Fethi Benslama and his controversial theological interpretation, Psychoanalysis and the Challenge of Islam (2001) as well as more recent work that frames the encounter between Islam and psychoanalysis in explicitly postcolonial terms such as Omnia El Shakry’s The Arabic Freud (2017), the work of anthropologist Stefania Pandolfo and Bülent Somay’s work, The Psychopolitics of the Oriental Father (2014).
Joseph Massad’s chapter Psychoanalysis, “Islam, ” and the Other of Liberalism in his Islam and Liberalism (2015) is an excellent orientation to the topic. In it, Massad identifies some key conceptual tensions and political problems raised by psychoanalysis and Islam. While Massad does not close down the field as entirely problematic, he does convincingly show the way in which interventions have effectively reduced their analysis of Muslim subjectivity to ‘Islam’ and over-determined the phenomenon of Islamism and sought forms of imperialism under the banner of a particular western, and mostly French, cosmopolitanism.
Reading: Joseph Massad, Psychoanalysis, “Islam, ” and the Other of Liberalism
Daniel Tutt, Ph.D. is co-editor of Theologies and Ethics of Justice: New Directions in 21st Century Islamic Thought (IIIT press, 2019) and a member of the DC Lacanian Forum. His interest in the intersection of psychoanalysis and Islam began during his Ph.D. work with continental philosophers Alain Badiou and Slavoj Žižek at the European Graduate School. He has written more widely on continental philosophy and Islamic thought in publications such as the Journal of the Society for Contemporary Thought and the Islamicate World, the Islamic Monthly and other publications.
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