Sheldon George

Professor and Department Chair
  • English
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(617) 521-2211

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Education

  • Ph.D., English, Boston College
  • B.A., English, The City College of New York

About Me

Sheldon George is Professor of English and a scholar of American and African American literature. He teaches courses that span antebellum to contemporary American literature, including Intro to Theory, Toni Morrison Seminar, 19th Century Boston Writers, Literature of the Jazz Age, and Psychoanalysis, Race and Sexuality. He received the Dean’s Award for Exceptional Teaching in 2010 and the Provost’s Award for Student Centeredness in Graduate Teaching in 2018.

Professor George’s scholarship focuses heavily on literary and cultural theory, with a particular emphasis on Lacanian psychoanalysis. His recent publications include a number of essays on Toni Morrison, analyses of American slavery’s continued traumatic effects, and articles on American Realism and Modernism. Professor George’s book Trauma and Race: A Lacanian Study of African American Racial Identity was published in 2016 by Baylor University Press. He is coeditor, with Jean Wyatt, of Reading Contemporary Black British and African American Women Writers: Race, Ethics, Narrative Form (Routledge 2020) and coeditor, with Derek Hook, of Lacan and Race: Racism, Identity and Psychoanalytic Theory (Routledge 2021).

What I Teach

  • BOS 101 19th Century Boston Writers
  • ENGL 162 Constituting Americans: US Literature 1865-1900
  • ENGL 176 African American Fiction
  • ENGL 178 Intersectional Identities in US Literature
  • ENGL 200 Introduction to Theory
  • ENGL 235 Identity and Race in American Literature
  • ENGL 275 Literature of the Jazz Age
  • ENGL 317/517 Toni Morrison Seminar
  • ENGL 327/527 Psychoanalysis, Race and Sexuality

Publications

Books

Lacan and Race: Racism, Identity and Psychoanalytic Theory. Ed. by Sheldon George and Derek Hook. Routledge Press, 2021. https://www.amazon.com/Lacan-Race-Identity-Psychoanalytic-Psychology/dp/0367345978

Reading Contemporary Black British and African American Women Writers: Narrative, Race, Ethics. Ed. by Jean Wyatt and Sheldon George. Routledge Press, 2020. https://www.routledge.com/Reading-Contemporary-Black-British-and-African-American-Women-Writers/Wyatt-George/p/book/9780367189280

Trauma and Race: A Lacanian Analysis of African-American Identity. Texas: Baylor UP, 2016. https://www.baylorpress.com/9781602587342/trauma-and-race/

Journal Special Issues:

Issue on "Lacanian Psychoanalysis: Interventions in Culture and Politics." Ed. by Sheldon George and Derek Hook. Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society. Sept. 2018, Vol. 23, Issue 3. https://rd.springer.com/journal/41282/23/3/page/1

Issue on "Psychoanalysis, African Americans and Inequality." Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society. Ed. by Annie Stopford and Sheldon George. Dec 2014, Vol. 19, Issue 4. https://rd.springer.com/journal/41282/19/4/page/1

Selected Journal Articles and Book Chapter

"The Lacanian subject of race: sexuation, the drive, and racial subjectivity." Lacan and Race: Racism, Identity and Psychoanalytic Theory. Ed. by Sheldon George and Derek Hook. Routledge Press, 2021. https://www.amazon.com/Lacan-Race-Identity-Psychoanalytic-Psychology/dp/0367345978

Co-author with Derek Hook. "Introduction: theorizing race, racism, and racial identification." Lacan and Race: Racism, Identity and Psychoanalytic Theory. Ed. by Sheldon George and Derek Hook. Routledge Press, 2021. https://www.amazon.com/Lacan-Race-Identity-Psychoanalytic-Psychology/dp/0367345978

Co-author with Jean Wyatt. "Introduction: Narrative Theory and Contemporary Black Women Writers." Reading Contemporary Black British and African American Women Writers: Narrative, Race, Ethics. Ed. by Jean Wyatt and Sheldon George. Routledge Press, 2020. https://www.routledge.com/Reading-Contemporary-Black-British-and-African-American-Women-Writers/Wyatt-George/p/book/9780367189280

"Narrating the Raced Subject: Toni Morrison's Jazz and the Literature of Modernism." Reading Contemporary Black British and African American Women Writers: Narrative, Race, Ethics. Ed. by Jean Wyatt and Sheldon George. Routledge Press, 2020. https://www.routledge.com/Reading-Contemporary-Black-British-and-African-American-Women-Writers/Wyatt-George/p/book/9780367189280

"Jouissance and Discontent: A Meeting of Race, Psychoanalysis and American Slavery." Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society. Special Issue on "Lacanian Psychoanalysis: Interventions in Culture and Politics." Sept. 2018, Vol. 23, Issue 3, p.267-289. https://rd.springer.com/article/10.1057/s41282-018-0105-0

Reprinted in: Race, Rage, and Resistance: Philosophy, Psychology and the Perils of Individualism. Edited by David M. Goodman, Eric Severson and Heather Macdonald. Routledge Press, 2019. https://www.routledge.com/Race-Rage-and-Resistance-Philosophy-Psychology-and-the-Perils-of-Individualism/Goodman-Severson-Macdonald-Goodman/p/book/9780367217822

Co-author with Derek Hook. "Introduction: Lacanian Praxis and Social Intervention." Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society. Special Issue on "Lacanian Psychoanalysis: Interventions in Culture and Politics." Sept. 2018, Vol. 23, Issue 3, p235-243. https://rd.springer.com/article/10.1057/s41282-018-0103-2

Co-interviewer with Derek Hook. "The Deontology of a Political Psychoanalysis: An Interview With Patricia Gherovici." Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society. Special Issue on "Lacanian Psychoanalysis: Interventions in Culture and Politics." Sept. 2018, Vol. 23, Issue 3, p.350-359. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1057%2Fs41282-018-0073-4

"The Body that Race Built: Shame, Trauma and Lack in Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye and God Help the Child."Shame and Modern Writing. Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature series. Ed. Barry Sheils and Julie Walsh. Routledge UP, 2018. https://www.routledge.com/Shame-and-Modern-Writing/Sheils-Walsh/p/book/9781138067271

"From Alienation to Cynicism: Race and the Lacanian Unconscious." Special issue of Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society on "Psychoanalysis, African Americans and Inequality." Dec 2014, Vol. 19 Issue 4, p360-378. https://rd.springer.com/article/10.1057/pcs.2014.36

"Approaching the Thing of Slavery: A Lacanian Analysis of Toni Morrison's Beloved." African American Review 45.1-2 (Spring/Summer 2012): 115-130. https://www.jstor.org/stable/23783440?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

"The Performed Self in College Writing: From Personal Narratives to Argumentative and Research Essays." Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition and Culture 12.2 (Spring 2012): 319-341. http://pedagogy.dukejournals.org/content/12/2/319.full.pdf+html

"Realism's Racial Gaze and Stephen Crane's The Monster: A Lacanian Reading." Experiments in/of Realism: Spec. issue of Synthesis 3 (Winter 2011): 69-86. https://ejournals.epublishing.ekt.gr/index.php/synthesis/article/view/16920

Interviews

"Sheldon George, 'Trauma and Race: A Lacanian Study of African American Racial Identity.'" New Books in Psychoanalysis. New Books Network. Podcast interview by Tracy Morgan. February 3, 2021. https://newbooksnetwork.com/trauma-and-race

"RU106: Professor Sheldon George on Psychoanalysis, Trauma & Race." Rendering Unconscious podcast. Interview by Dr. Vanessa Sinclair. August, 8th, 2020. http://www.renderingunconscious.org/psychoanalysis/ru106-professor-sheldon-george-on-psychoanalysis-trauma-race/

"The Reign of One's Own Desire: An interview with Sheldon George on his book Trauma and Race: A Lacanian Study of African American Racial Identity." Interviewer Daniel Gaztambide. PublicSeminar.org. The New School Publishing Initiative. February 15, 2020. https://publicseminar.org/2020/01/the-reign-of-ones-own-desire/

"Trauma, Race, and African American Identity." Old Mole Variety Hour. KBOO Portland, Oregon 90.7 FM. Interviewer Janice Haaken. Nov. 28, 2016. http://kboo.fm/media/54224-trauma-race-and-african-american-identity

Presentations

Plenary and Keynotes

"Psychoanalysis, Race and American Slavery: Rereading Pleasure and Discontent in Freud and Lacan." Psychology and the Other Conference. Boston, MA: Boston College, Oct. 2019.

"Racialization and Sexuation: The Channels of Jouissance in the Lacanian Subject." Lack iii: Psychoanalysis and Separation. Worcester, Ma: Clark U, May 2019.

"Frantz Fanon and the Trauma of Race." Frantz Fanon: Concerning the Psychoanalysis and Cosmopolitanism of Violence. Coventry UK: Warwick University, March 2015.

Invited Talks

Invited Workshop Leader. "Race in Contemporary America: From Freud to Lacan." New Orleans-Birmingham Psychoanalytic Center. February 27, 2021.

Invited Public Lecture. "On the Pleasure of Hating." Co-presenter with Derek Hook. Boston College's Lynch School. September 17, 2020. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYkK912iUbY&feature=youtu.be&ab_channel=LynchSchoolofEducationandHumanDevelopment

Invited Speaker. Afropessimism, Lacanian Theory and the Myth of Race. Das Unbehagen. November 10th, 2020. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1W5cFmT2C0

Invited Speaker. "Race, Sexuality and the Other in Psychoanalysis." Psychoanalysis, (Trans)gender, and Sexuality [Livestream]. The Freud Museum London. London, UK. July, 2020. https://www.freud.org.uk/event/psychoanalysis-transgender-and-sexuality/

Invited Lecturer: "'And Learned That Way Her Sorrow': Beloved, Race and the Reader." Toni Morrison's Beloved. The Maine Humanities Council's 23rd Annual Winter Weekend. Brunswick, Maine: Bowdoin College, March, 2020.

Invited Discussant: "The White Gaze in Morrison's The Pieces I Am." Film Screening and Discussion of Toni Morrison's The Pieces I Am. UMass Boston. Boston MA, February 2020.

Invited Lecturer: "Racial Trauma and the Making of Black Identity in Contemporary America." Tampa Bay Psychoanalytic Society. Tampa, Florida, February 2020.

Invited Workshop Leader: "Lacan, Death, and the Mythic Structure of Race." Dallas Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology. Dallas, TX, May 2019.