The Newsletter 68 Summer 2014

Unconscious Dominions

Julia Read

Reviewed publication:
Warwick Anderson, Deborah Jenson, and Richard C. Keller (eds.) 2011. Unconscious Dominions: Psychoanalysis, Colonial Trauma, and Global Sovereignties, Durham and London: Duke University Press, ISBN 978049792 (pb)

The cover of Unconscious Dominions deserves special mention. It displays a painting by Picabia titled Face of a man and head of a horned animal. It is appropriate to Freudianism: over a man’s image is superimposed an anxious animalistic creature, peering fearfully out at the world. This book is an attempt to explore how and in what ways the psychoanalytic subject – as a universalised ‘construct’ consisting of unconscious, ego and superego, which was created by Freudian psychoanalytic theories – is also a colonial creature.