Psycurity: Colonialism, Paranoia, and the War on Imagination, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover


Colonialism, Paranoia, and the War on Imagination, 1st Edition

By Rachel Jane Liebert


166 pages

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Across the world, the rhetoric and violence of white supremacy is rising up. Yet, explanations for white supremacist attacks typically direct attention toward an unreasonable, paranoid state of mind, and away from the neocolonial security state that made them.

Offering a response to US expressions of white supremacy, Liebert reads paranoia as a dis-ease of coloniality by following its circulation within the ultimate place of reason, indeed a key arbitrator of it: Psychology. Through reflexivity, interviews, participant observation, scientific artefacts, and public art, this unique work seeks to argue for and experiment with unsettling the entwined coloniality of Psychology and the current political moment, joining with struggles for a world where it is not only white lives that matter. Tracing the spinning cogs and affective coils of the prodromal movement – a program of research that, capturing potential psychosis, illustrates the serpentine workings of a control society – Liebert argues that, within a context of psycurity, paranoia hides as reasonable suspicion, predicts the future, brands threatening bodies, and grows through fear, thereby seeping into the cracks of white supremacy, stabilizing it. Catching this argument as itself enacting psycurity, she then engages the more-than-human to search for paranoia’s decolonizing, otherworldly potential; one that may revive the psykhe – breath – of psychologies too.

Calling for psychologies to leave Psychology’s comfort zone and make space for imagination, this performative, interdisciplinary work will engage students, researchers, and activists from an array of disciplines who wish to examine a critical and creative response to present-day racism and fascism.

Table of Contents

1. Terrain Blood. Borders. Book. 2. Machine Terror. Reason. Prodrome. Smoke. 'America'. Serpent 3. Cogs Nets. Borderguards. Custody. Search. Fuel. 4. Coils Legacy. Psycurity. Supremacy. 5. Roots Wound. Cliff. Coatlicue. Borderland. Ecology. Beside-the-mind. 6. Compost Space-making. Re-turning. Magical ideation. 7. Serpent Otherworldly correspondence. War on imagination. Weaponless.

About the Author

Rachel Jane Liebert, from Aotearoa New Zealand,has a Psychology Lectureship at the University of East London and a Psychology PhD from the City University of New York. Seeking to breach the genocidal legacies of her settler and intellectual ancestry, she collaborates with decolonizing and feminist scholarship, art, and activism.

About the Series

Concepts for Critical Psychology

Disciplinary Boundaries Re-thought

Developments inside psychology that question the history of the discipline and the way it functions in society have led many psychologists to look outside the discipline for new ideas. This series draws on cutting edge critiques from just outside psychology in order to complement and question critical arguments emerging inside. The authors provide new perspectives on subjectivity from disciplinary debates and cultural phenomena adjacent to traditional studies of the individual.

The books in the series are useful for advanced level undergraduate and postgraduate students, researchers and lecturers in psychology and other related disciplines such as cultural studies, geography, literary theory, philosophy, psychotherapy, social work and sociology.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Social Psychology