Senior Lecturer and Researcher
Dr Ross Truscott’s research takes as its central problem the institutional inheritances of postcolonial societies to grapple with the “psychic life of power” that institutional discourses entail. He draws on, and seeks to elaborate, a mode of psychoanalytic reading in dialogue with feminist, critical, and postcolonial theory. The aim is not to apply psychoanalysis, but to rethink it, and its methods, as it is brought into new encounters with the legacies of colonialism. While working within and across different psychoanalytic traditions, Ross is particularly interested in the work of Jean Laplanche and Frantz Fanon.
Ross is currently working on three projects. “On Universities” aims to rethink the tension between academic freedom and responsibility in the neoliberal university. “Postal Colonialism” brings postal histories into an encounter with postcolonial theory. “The Order of Empathy” is a book project that aims to think about the emergence into recent history of the injunction to put oneself into the position of others. As the book asks: “Under what historical and epistemological conditions—and under what sociopolitical and socioeconomic forces, too—did it become possible, and, for some, necessary, to issue so many orders to empathise? When it is said that we ought to have empathy, to what, precisely, does this commit us, and of what sort of an “us” is this order constitutive? How are race, class, gender, and sexuality inscribed in the developmental itineraries of empathy education? To what political ends has the injunction to empathise been set? How have these deployments changed? How has this order been responded to from the margins of empire?”
Ross’s publications can be accessed here:
The courses Ross has taught have focused on the following themes:
- Global apartheid (through the lens of, but also beyond, biopolitics)
- Gender and African history
- Race, gender and sexuality (in art, science and popular culture)
- Technology and subjectivity
- Institutions and intersubjectivity
- Critical university studies
- Psychoanalytic theory
- Critical social psychology.