Pauli Badenhorst earned his dual Ph.D in Curriculum & Instruction and Comparative & International Education from The Pennsylvania State University. An educational anthropologist with prior qualifications in theology and applied linguistics, Pauli’s research investigates the psycho-affective dynamics informing socialization into racialized identity and embodiment, as well as the implications of such for schools and society. As a result, his work heavily draws from contemporary political psychoanalysis and post-structuralist theory. A teacher educator, he is also particularly focused on the design of holistic epistemological and pedagogical frames to inform antiracism and intersectional teaching, learning, and curriculum. Pauli is Assistant Professor of Teacher Education in the Department of Teaching & Learning at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. He lives with his wife, Yuseon, and their cats, Suntori and Ruka, near the Mexico-US border in Edinburg, Texas.
Antiracism Work as Emotional Storm: Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Language
This talk – grounded in Saldanha’s (2006) claim that race cannot be transcended, only understood and rearranged (p. 9) – launches from Bion’s (1979) provocative statement that, “When two personalities meet, an emotional storm is created” (p. 321). Drawing from data collected through intensive ethnographic research in an antiracist intervention conducted at a large US public university, it problematizes multicultural ideology’s transmissive approach to antiracism work in education through engaging psychoanalytic concepts like Lacan’s (2006) mirror stage, Fanon’s (2008) sociogeny, and Cheng’s (2001) racial melancholy. In the process, it highlights the need for a relational approach to antiracism work in education incorporative of emotion and embodiment, albeit an approach at constant risk of misrecognition, betrayal, and implosion due to the ontological instability of the very language upon which such work depends.
Bion, W. (1994). Clinical seminars and other works. Karnac.
Cheng, A. A. (2001). The melancholy of race: Psychoanalysis, assimilation, and hidden grief. Oxford University.
Fanon, F. (2008). Black skin, white masks (Trans. R. Philcox). Grove. (Original work published 1952)
Lacan, J. (2006). The mirror stage as formative of the I function. In J. Lacan (Ed.), Écrits (pp. 75-81) (Trans. B. Fink). W.W. Norton & Company. (Original work published 1937)
Saldanha, A. (2006). Reontologizing race: The machinic geography of race. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 24, 9-24.