Dr Magda Schmukalla

Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies
Dr Magda Schmukalla



I am a transdisciplinary researcher in the Social Sciences. My research brings together critical theory, psychoanalysis, feminist/new materialist theory and art. I experiment with artistic, self-reflective and ethnographic methods in order to construct psychosocial theories that are able to acknowledge sensual, repressed, fluid or unstable realities. I focus particularly on the critical and epistemological potential of liminal experiences such as experiences of political transitions, migration, pregnancy and artistic production. I have been awarded an ESRC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship to publish a book on my theory of post-communist thresholds (Communist Ghosts, 2021, Palgrave). The book examines how we can imagine and speak about new and better worlds if we work through experiences that are shaped by the breakdown of Soviet-type communism. And I am a co-initiator of a network of artists, curators and social theorists who explore how recent encounters with ruptures in neoliberal routines, such as the Covid 19 pandemic or climate change, have revived and rearranged desires and fears associated with communism ( I welcome proposals for PhDs on topics related to my research interests: • Contemporary art • Aesthetic epistemologies • Threshold experiences and experiences of rupture • Transgenerational trauma • Post-communist and communist experiences • Posthumanism • Quantum Physics and its application in psychosocial studies • Psychoanalysis and art • Decoloniality • Transnational Feminism


  • PhD Psychosocial Studies Birkbeck College, (2017)


University of Essex

  • Fixed-term teacher, Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Essex (1/10/2021 - 31/12/2022)

Other academic

  • Associate Lecturer, Psychosocial Studies, Birkbeck College (1/10/2016 - 31/8/2022)

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • The Psychosocial Imagination (PA134)

  • Long Essay (PA213)

  • Dissertation (PA254)

  • Dissertation (Childhood Studies) (PA333)

  • Current Debates in Psychosocial Studies (PA407)

  • Research Skills and Methods in Depth Psychology (PA915)

  • Psychoanalysis and the Psychosocial (PA942)

  • Dissertation (PA987)

  • Topics in Critical Race and Transnational Feminisms (PA993)

  • Dissertation: Gender and Sexuality Studies (PA994)

  • Popular Film, Literature and Television: A Psychosocial Approach (PA108)

  • Research Methods and Dissertation (PA981)


Journal articles (1)

Schmukalla, M-A., (2022). Memory as a Wound in Words. On transgenerational trauma, ethical memory and artistic speech. Feminist Theory: an international interdisciplinary journal, 146470012211199-146470012211199

Books (1)

Schmukalla, M., (2021). Communist Ghosts Post-Communist Thresholds, Critical Aesthetics and the Undoing of Modern Europe. Springer International Publishing. 9783030837297

Book chapters (1)

Schmukalla, M., (2023). Living Prior Being Abortions and the Knowledge of Enigmas. In: The Palgrave Handbook of Psychosocial Studies. Editors: Frosh, S., Vyrgioti, M. and Walsh, J., . Palgrave Macmillan. 1- 15. 978-3-030-61510-9



5A.116, Colchester Campus