Critical Discourse in the Academy - Seminar 2

Critical Discourse in the Academy - Seminar 2

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Ellen Wilkinson AG3/4

University of Manchester


M15 6JA

United Kingdom

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The second seminar for our new Seminar Series is upcoming!!

Critical Discourses in the Academy: Foucault and Lacan - approaches to discourse analysis

Through this student-led seminar series on critical theory and discourse analysis we are hoping to build on a number of theoretical and methodological interests of students, postgraduate researchers and academic staff. These seminars will create a space for expanding theoretical knowledge, critical approaches to discourse analysis and exchanging of ideas between established researchers and academics, and postgraduate researchers and students.

We are very excited to have presenting at the seminar series Professor Derek Hook (Duquesne University), Professor Michael Miller (Upstate Medical University, State University of New York) and PhD researcher from the University of Manchester - William Simms.

This is a wonderful opportunity to engage with work incorporating a range of approaches to discourse analysis, psychoanalysis and critical psychology.

Please read below for more information about the speakers.

Professor Derek Hook:

Derek Hook is a scholar and a practitioner of psychoanalysis with expertise in the area of critical psychology and psychosocial studies. His research interests essentially converge on the theme of ‘the psychic life of power', and his publications tend to take up either psychoanalytic, postcolonial or discourse analytic perspectives on facets of contemporary post-apartheid South Africa. His lecturing over recent years has reflected this diverse set of interests; he has offered classes and seminars on: Frantz Fanon and formations of (post)colonial racism; Steve Biko and Black Consciousness; Freud's mass psychology; discourse analysis and psychoanalysis as critical reading methodologies; Slavoj Žižek and the role of fantasy and jouissance in ideology.

Derek is currently completing a book exploring the psychosocial dimensions of Lacanian psychoanalysis, tentatively entitled ‘Five Moments in Lacan'. His most recent work has taken a biographical turn. It aims to explore, via various psychosocial perspective and the techniques of narrative non-fiction, what the life of Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe, the great Pan-Africanist intellectual and opponent of apartheid, means for today's South Africa.

Derek began his academic career as a lecturer in psychology at the University of the Witwatersrand in 1999. In 2004 he took up a post at the London School of Economics, where he lectured in Social Psychology until 2011. This was followed by three years in the Department of Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck College. Between 2007 and 2013 Derek was a trainee in the psychoanalytic training programme of the Centre for Freudian Analysis and Research in London. He won an Independent Social Research Foundation Fellowship grant in 2013 for a project entitled ‘Post-apartheid libidinal economy'. In the same year he received a Mellon Award and became an Invited Distinguised Scholar at the University of Pretoria, where he is an Extraordinary Professor in Psychology.

Professor Michael Miller

Clinical Interests:

Anxiety disorders, mood disorders, complex trauma effects, sexuality. Dr. Miller's treatment approach is informed by psychodynamic/psychoanalytic and existential-phenomenological theory.

Research Interests:

Dr. Miller's research has focused on the clinical implications of language, as well as contemporary clinical applications of psychoanalytic and psychodynamic theory. He is particularly interested in the work of Jacques Lacan. He is the author of Lacanian Psychotherapy: Theory and Practical Applications (Routledge, 2011).

William Simms

My research is primarily concerned with the concept of obscenity in relation to modernist literature, specifically legal attempts to censor texts. Intersections between literary and legal discourse, theory and praxis of transgression, and literature's potential as resistance to power formations all play a role in my research. Possible side ventures would include: literature and terrorism, literature as transformative experience, and the relation between law and literature in Greek Tragic drama.

All speakers will present their research and perspectives on engaging with and the interaction of Foucauldian and Lacanian approaches to discourse analysis. Following the presentations there will be space for discussions on learning and understanding of the different theoretical approaches, discourse analysis and critical methodologies.