Frantz Fanon and revolutionary therapeutic praxis

An open seminar from the Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies

  • Wed 17 Mar 21

    17:00 - 18:30

  • Online

  • Event speaker

    Professor Erica Burman, University of Manchester

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars

  • Event organiser

    Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, Department of

  • Contact details

    Dr Kevin Lu

Join us for this fascinating talk with Professor Erica Burman


The political revolutionary Frantz Fanon remains a key intellectual figure in decolonisation debates and postcolonial studies. He was also a psychiatrist, continuing to practice, teach and explore new forms of community mental health and groupwork even in exile. In this talk, I explore Fanon’s adoption of and adaptations of Institutional Psychotherapy (psychothérapie institutionnelle) alongside his other commitments, to indicate how Fanon’s geopolitically-situated psychosocial analyses linking individual and social change can inform more politically engaged therapeutic practice. More specifically, Fanon’s observations on language and power highlight how histories and legacies of colonialism infuse everyday interaction, structuring both relationships and bodily experiences. I argue that his insistence on the need to engage with power and privilege, and the ethical-political responsibilities of the therapeutic practitioner in mobilising their own practice to acknowledge and challenge these, remain acutely relevant to current therapeutic practice in these times of intensified suffering, distress and social inequalities.

The Speaker

Erica Burman is Professor of Education at the University of Manchester, Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society (awarded an Honorary Lifetime Fellowship in 2016), and a Group Analyst. She is also known as a critical developmental psychologist and methodologist specialising in innovative and activist qualitative research. Erica co-founded the Discourse Unit (www.discourseunit.com ) a transinstitutional, transdisciplinary network researching the reproduction and transformation of language and subjectivity. Her research has focused on critical developmental and educational psychology, feminist and postcolonial theory, childhood studies, and critical mental health practice (particularly around gender and cultural issues). She currently leads the Knowledge, Power and Identity research strand of the Education and Psychology research group at Manchester Institute of Education, where she works as a core staff member on the Doctorate in Counselling Psychology. She is author of Developments: child, image, nation (Routledge, 2020), Fanon, education, action: child as method (Routledge, 2019), and Deconstructing Developmental Psychology (Routledge, 3rd edition, 2017).

Register your place

Entry is free and open to all but please register your place.

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