Psychology: Posts

January Author of the Month: David Pavón-Cuéllar

David Pavón-Cuéllar, author of Marxism and Psychoanalysis, is our Routledge Psychology Author of the Month for January! Read our exclusive interview and learn more about his fantastic new book!

"Some attendees asked me if I planned to write something about Marxism and psychoanalysis. I liked the idea! I began with some papers, and finally I decided to write the book, but focusing on the way in which Marxism and psychoanalysis relate to psychology."

The book explores how Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud and their followers have approached or attacked, have fought against or submitted to, the modern discipline of psychology. The first five chapters are devoted, respectively, to Marx, Freud, psychoanalysis, Marxism and Marxist psychological models, while the last three chapters focus on Marxist-Freudian theories and critiques of psychology.

This book is the outcome of a seminar on Marxism and psychoanalysis held between 2012 and 2016 at the Faculty of Philosophy of my university, the Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, in Morelia, Mexico. The book also resulted from courses or lectures given at other universities in Mexico, as well as in Chile, Brazil and Germany. Some attendees asked me if I planned to write something about Marxism and psychoanalysis. I liked the idea! I began with some papers, and finally I decided to write the book, but focusing on the way in which Marxism and psychoanalysis relate to psychology.

My decision resulted from several reasons, including my adherence to critical psychological perspectives, my suspicions about the ideological functions fulfilled by psychology in capitalism, my political-intellectual commitment with Marxism, my agreement with the Marxist conceptions of science and society, and my previous work on subjects such as Freud’s theory of society, the Freudian left, Freudo-Marxism, Jacques Lacan’s reading of Marx and the Lacanian political ideas.

The writing and publishing of this book coincides with both the disenchantment with postmodern illusions, such as the beliefs in the end of ideology and the end of history, and the return of Marxism, of politicization and of radical critique into the academic scene. All this also expresses itself through the book. Its historical context is, not by chance, a time of crisis, aggravation of inequalities, radicalization and polarization of political options, and reactivation of social conflicts and class struggle. Such circumstances cannot not affect the discipline and subject-matter of psychology.

The symposium “Marx, Lacan and a Third Thing” at the University of Ghent (Belgium, January 2017), the permanent seminar on Marxism and psychoanalysis at my university with two sessions every week (Mexico, June 2017), the Discourse Unit Global Network Conference (United Kingdom, June 2017), and the 17th Biennial Conference of the International Society for Theoretical Psychology (Japan, August 2017).

I’m preparing two books, one on Lacan’s reading of Marx (in French) and another one about the critical psychological ideas implicitly proposed by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (co-authored with Mihalis Mentinis, in Spanish). I would also like to edit a book on Marxism, psychoanalysis and critical psychology. I’m working on this.

David Pavón-Cuéllar holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Rouen (France) and a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain). He is Professor of Social Psychology, Psychoanalysis and Marxism in the Faculties of Psychology and Philosophy at the State University of Michoacán (Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, Morelia, Mexico). He has taught Psychoanalysis at the University of Paris VIII (France). He is the author of the books Elementos políticos de marxismo lacaniano (Mexico, Paradiso, 2014); From the Conscious Interior to an Exterior Unconscious: Lacan, Discourse Analysis and Social Psychology (London, Karnac, 2010); Marxisme lacanien (Paris, Psychophores, 2009); and co-editor, with Nadir Lara, of De la pulsión de muerte a la represión de estado: marxismo y psicoanálisis ante la violencia estructural del capitalismo (Mexico, Porrúa, 2016), and, with Ian Parker, of Lacan, Discourse, Event: New Psychoanalytic Approaches to Textual Indeterminacy (London & New York, Routledge, 2013). He has published around eighty articles and book chapters on discourse analysis, critical psychology, Lacanian psychoanalysis and Marxist theory. His work has been translated into English, Portuguese, French, German, Russian and Greek. He is a member of the Discourse Unit and belongs to the Editorial Boards of journals such as Annual Review of Critical PsychologyPsychotherapy and Politics InternationalTeoría y Crítica de la Psicología and Revista Marxismos: Educación, Política y Sociedad.

Marxism and Psychoanalysis: In or against Psychology?

  • Marxism and Psychoanalysis

    In or against Psychology?

    By David Pavon-Cuellar

    The methods developed by Freud and Marx have enabled a range of scholars to critically reflect upon the ideological underpinnings of modern and now postmodern or hypermodern western societies. In this intriguing book, the discipline of psychology itself is screened through the twin dynamics of…

    Paperback – 2017-01-09
    Concepts for Critical Psychology

Other books by David Pavón-Cuéllar

David Pavón-Cuéllar

Concepts for Critical Psychology Series

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. 

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