Natasha Distiller

Closed (1) Complicities: a model for subjectivity in the psychological humanities

Closed. This professor is continuing with Spring 2021 apprentices on this project; no new apprentices needed for Fall 2021.

This project is the writing of a book, to be part of the Palgrave series on the psychological humanities. The psychological humanities is a relatively new, interdisciplinary field, which seeks to enrich psychology with insights from the humanities. The book offers a model of the human subject as complicit in the systems that structure human society and the human psyche. It suggests that getting out of a mode of binary thinking (self/other; us/ them; good/bad) is a more realistic, and more helpful, way to understand human subjectivity. Since we cannot separate ourselves from the systems that precede and formulate us as subjects, we are always a part of these systems; we are always complicit in them even as we may resist or repudiate them. By definition, then, we are also complicit in each other’s personhood, as we cannot help but share systems, if unevenly and with very different socially marked experiences. The book argues that thinking of ourselves as complicit is a way out of the impasse of identity politics, and therefore helpful for the work of social justice, which is both systems work and intra-psychological work. In bringing together ways of thinking developed in the humanities with clinical psychotherapeutic practice, this book offers one interdisciplinary take on key questions of social and emotional efficacy in action-oriented psychotherapy work. It draws on transnational, feminist, psychotherapeutic, queer, and critical race theories.

I am looking for one research assistant to help me with finding research and popular cultural material for each chapter in the book. The task associated with this is online searching in the library system and on the internet. The assistant will need to be able to critically engage with what they find, assess if it is relevant, and make suggestions about where else to look., Staff Researcher

Qualifications: Enjoyment of online archival work; knowledge of the social media and online universe; interest in and knowledge about interdisciplinarity; some familiarity with the humanities; ideally some familiarity with the social sciences/ psychology as well.

Weekly Hours: 3-5 hrs

Off-Campus Research Site: Anywhere you can access the library system.