NATION ON THE COUCH Inside South Africa’s Mind

by Wahbie Long

Focusing in on the notion of the political unconscious, first proposed by cultural critic Frederic Jameson, and emphasizing a strongly psychoanalytic lens, Wahbie Long argues that we need to excavate even more closely and with renewed attention, the inner lives of South Africans, in order to come closer to understanding South Africa’s many pressing problems today. The book rethinks South Africa’s seemingly intractable ‘external’ problems by attending to complex inner and yet perhaps also collective states, including shame, envy and impasse.

“Wahbie Long diagnoses contemporary South Africa with an explanatory depth that most analyses resist. As with any diagnosis of a troubled state, it is sometimes difficult to hear. Yet it carries the release that comes with understanding, as if for the first time. Insisting that we practice a more materialist psychology, he reveals how – in often unexpected ways – deep inequality, including landlessness, lies right inside the inner ruptures and the compulsion to repeat that is the political unconscious of this country today”. – Sarah Nuttall, Director, WISER

The author will be in conversation with Garth Stevens, Achille Mbembe and Hlonipha Mokoena.

Wahbie Long, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and associate professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Cape Town. A Mandela Mellon fellow at Harvard University, he is a recipient of the Early Career Achievement Award from the Society for the History of Psychology.

Wednesday, 28th July 2021
6:15pm (SA time)
Please register for this Zoom event in advance of the meeting

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