Jessica Benjamin is one of the most important and influential psychoanalysts of the last 4 decades. She is one of the founders of relational psychoanalysis, a movement that has by now expanded over the globe and was also one of the first to introduce feminism and gender studies into psychoanalytic thought. Jessica Benjamin is the most known and quoted representative of these two movements within world psychoanalysis and beyond, in philosophy, gender/women’s studies, and cultural studies department everywhere.
The publication of her book, "Bonds of Love" (1989) was nothing short of a revolution. Psychoanalysis was until then a field immune to a changing world, to the unrest of the 60s, to the feminist and queer liberation movements, to the new philosophies of the Frankfurt School in Germany and post-structuralism in France. The book was a game changer. It called psychoanalysis to doubt its most basic premises on the human condition. It read Freud through a feminist framework, and through Hegel, forever tipping our perspective on infancy, gender, and the interplay of power and dependence that drives human relationships from the start.
This volume marks the 25th anniversary of Benjamin’s work. Pulling together 15 international scholars, it looks back on the book's first impact, as well as on its continued relevance to psychoanalysis and gender studies today. Chapters offer theoretical deliberations and elaborations of the book's original themes as well as reflecting on it from more intimate angles, as a source of personal and professional inspiration for feminists and clinicians around the world.
This book was originally published as a special issue of Studies in Gender and Sexuality.
1. Introduction: The Bonds of Love at 252. The Racialization of the Mind in Intimate Spaces: The ‘‘Nanny’’ and the Failure of Recognition3. Loosening the Bonds: Psychoanalysis, Feminism, and the Problem of the Group4. Reading Jessica5. Revisiting The Bonds of Love6. The Cat Ate Our Tongue—But We Got It Back: Benjamin’s Journey From Domination to Surrender7. Intersubjectivity and French Psychoanalysis: A Misunderstanding?8. The Bonds of Love: Looking Backward9. The Benjamin Chreode10. Bondless Love11. What’s Love Got to Do with It? Sexuality, Shame, and the Use of the Other12. Beyond Intersubjectivity: Science, the Real World, and the Third in Psychoanalysis13. ‘‘Here I Am!’’—Irreducible Invocation of the Other14. A Day at the Zoo Through the Lens of Jessica Benjamin’s Bonds of Love