“Digging Up the Ground beneath Our Feet”

Exploring Psychoanalytic Contributions to Feminist Popular Education
Part of the Comparative Feminist Studies Series book series (CFS)


Sometimes in our teaching or organizing, there are strong emotional or angry outbursts, envy and competition, or deep sadness and tears. Sometimes jokes seem misplaced, energy is withdrawn, and dense silences prevail. How do these strong emotions, inexplicable frictions, and internal turmoil affect our capacity to think and work together? When colleagues can no longer speak, when the speaking as well as the silencing accuses, how are we to proceed? What helps us? What has helped us is becoming curious about how our engagements in classrooms, organizations, meetings, and political campaigning can defeat our best intentions. We believe that what is required is to surface unconscious compliances, dependencies, and refusals that inhibit learning and autonomy or psychical agency among and between us, and to reach toward the difficult knowledge that awaits us as educators and activists. To enable these more autonomous learning environments, we need persistently to explore the complex terrain of our intentions for socially just interactions—both in the world and with one another—and to grapple with the effects of our educational efforts and organizing struggles.


Group Dynamic Strong Feeling Psychoanalytic Theory Collective Learning Unconscious Process 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Linzi Manicom and Shirley Walters 2012

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