ON DEMAND The Psychological Effects of Racism

Recording of an online talk by the Freud Museum's Deputy Director, Ivan Ward.

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10 October - 16 November


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Ivan Ward

Ivan Ward’s work on race and racism has been coupled with that of Slavoj Zizek and Julia Kristeva in review. In this talk he uses his own experience and that of others to show how psychoanalytic theories can help us understand the experience and psychological effects of racism.

About his introduction to Joel Kovel’s White Racism (1988, UK edition)

Before offering some comments on Kovel’s case, I would also draw the reader’s attention to Ivan Ward’s Introduction to the 1988 British edition. Ward ruminates further on the psychoanalytic nature of racism and in particular the pervasive yet hidden role of phantasy in determining political behaviour. While occasionally rather densely technical, this Introduction is a valuable contribution in its own right, heralding developments in psychoanalytic thinking discussed later. (from Race, Racism and Psychology: Towards a Reflexive History by Graham Richards)

About his paper ‘Race and Racism: A reply to Sami Timimi’ (1997):

Slavoj Zizek and Ivan Ward, from different positions but with a shared concern, argue for the importance of recognising the contradictory and profound fantasies involved in these issues between self and other (Zizek, 1990, Ward, 1997). […] Kristeva, Zizek and Ward all share a more Freudian orientation than those who rely on British Object Relations. Ward, from this theoretical stance, wishes to place a more oedipal scenario with the Father, authority, power and threat at the centre of the analysis. For Ward, this would open up a more fruitful arena of complexity. … (Amal Treacher (2000) ‘Ethnicity, psychoanalysis and cultural studies: a review essay’ Free Associations, 7(4):113-126)

Ivan Ward is Head of Learning Emeritus at the Freud Museum London.


10 October
16 November
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