This lecture examines the institution of Freudian psychoanalysis in an international frame, with reference to its inadequate engagement with urban poverty, as seen in the specific context of global cities in India. Using case studies, it will discuss literary and aesthetic representations of poverty in relation to India's psychoanalytic and psychiatric culture, as that culture is manifested in public attitudes toward the psychic life of the poor. The lecture presents research from the India chapter of Professor Mukherjee's third monograph, The Psychic Life of the Poor: A City Unseen in Mumbai, London, and New York.
Ankhi Mukherjee is Professor of English and World Literatures and a Fellow of Wadham College. Her first book is Aesthetic Hysteria: The Great Neurosis in Victorian Melodrama and Contemporary Fiction (Routledge, 2007). Her second monograph, What is a Classic? Postcolonial Rewriting and Invention of the Canon, published by Stanford University Press in 2014, won the British Academy Rose Mary Crawshay Prize in English Literature in 2015. Mukherjee has published on a wide range of topics in PMLA, MLQ, Contemporary Literature, Paragraph, Parallax and other peer-reviewed journals, and has co-edited A Concise Companion to Psychoanalysis, Literature, and Culture (Wiley-Blackwell, 2014). She is at work on two projects: her third monograph, The Psychic Life of the Poor: A City Unseen in Mumbai, London, and New York, which examines the relationship between psychoanalysis, race, and poverty in the context of global cities, and a collaborative volume, After Lacan, which she is editing for Cambridge University Press.