Sheldon George

Professor and Chair, English
  • English
Sheldon George photo

C310N

(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 anti-bellum to contemporary American literature, including Toni Morrison and American Literature, 19th Century Boston Writers, Modernism and the Harlem Renaissance, 20th Century U.S. Fiction, Intro to Theory, and Race and Gender in Psychoanalytic Theory. 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 (Forthcoming from Routledge).

What I Teach

  • ENGL 162 American Literature from 1865 – 1920
  • ENGL 172 20th Century U.S. Fiction
  • ENGL 178 Multicultural Themes in Modern American Literature
  • ENGL 199 Approaches to Literature
  • ENGL 200 Introduction to Theory
  • ENGL 220 African American Autobiographies
  • ENGL 235 Identity and Race in the American Literary Imagination: 1820-1890
  • ENGL 275 American Modernism and the Harlem Renaissance
  • ENGL 317/517 Toni Morrison and American Literature
  • ENGL 327/527 Race and Gender in Psychoanalytic Discourse
  • ENGL 405 Contemporary Critical Theory

Publications

Books

Lacan and Race: Racism, Identity and Psychoanalytic Theory. Co-editor with Derek Hook. Routledge Press. Under Contract for 2020 publication.

Reading Contemporary African American and Black British 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

Co-editor with Derek Hook. Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society. Special Issue on "Lacanian Psychoanalysis: Interventions in Culture and Politics." Sept. 2018, Vol. 23, Issue 3.
https://rd.springer.com/journal/41282/23/3/page/1

Co-editor with Annie Stopford. Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society. Special Issue on "Psychoanalysis, African Americans and Inequality." Dec 2014, Vol. 19 Issue 4.
https://rd.springer.com/journal/41282/19/4/page/1

Selected Journal Articles and Book Chapter

"Introduction: Narrative Theory and Contemporary Black Women Writers." Reading Contemporary African American and Black British 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 African American and Black British Women Writers: Narrative, Race, Ethics. Co-editor with Jean Wyatt. 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

Co-author with Annie Stopford. "Introduction." Special Issue on "Psychoanalysis, African Americans and Inequality." Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society. Dec 2014, Vol. 19 Issue 4, p333-336.
https://rd.springer.com/article/10.1057/pcs.2014.33

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.
https://read.dukeupress.edu/pedagogy/article-abstract/12/2/319/50619/The-Performed-Self-in-College-WritingFrom-Personal

"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

"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, 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.
Audio: 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

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

Roundtable Book Discussant: "A Conversation on Trauma and Race." Conference on Transformations. Association for the Psychoanalysis of Culture & Society. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University, October 2018.

Symposium Speaker with Respondent. "Racial Violence and the Fabrication of African American Identity." The Five College Psychoanalytic Studies Seminar. Amherst College, March 2018.

Panelist. "African American Folklore and Lacanian Jouissance: Hurston's Portrayal of High John de Conquer." Panel on "Psychoanalytic Insecurities." MLA Conference on "States of Insecurity." New York City: Sheraton New York Times Square, Jan. 2018.

Symposium Speaker with Respondent. "Racism, Jouissance and Lacanian Theory." Psychology and the Other Conference. Boston, MA: Lesley University, Oct. 2017.

Lecturer. "Social Trauma in the Mediation of African American Identity." Boston Lacan Reading Group. Somerville, MA: Somerville Library, June 2017.

Lecturer. "Trauma and Race: A Discussion of Racial Identity and Lacanian Psychoanalytic Theory." Co-sponsored by Psychosocial Work Group at the Psychology and the Other Institute, Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis, and Psychoanalytic Studies Program at Boston College. Boston College, February 2017.

Lecturer. "Race Today: Alterity and Jouissance in the Michael Dunn and George Zimmerman cases." University of Vermont, November 2014.