Introduction

This introductory seminar provides students with an overview of critical psychology as radical praxis through a review of key theoretical resources for, and practical application of, critical psychology. Some familiarity with mainstream psychology is assumed but not required. See info on the four sessions that make up the seminar for more details.

Learning Outcomes

1. Know what critical psychology is and what it is not.
2. Be aware of the most influential critical psychologists and some of their contributions.
3. Be familiar with a number of key theoretical resources for critical psychology.
4. Be acquainted with some of the practical applications of critical psychology.

 

Instructor 

Robert K. Beshara is the author of Decolonial psychoanalysis: Towards critical Islamophobia studies. He runs the Critical Psychology website (www.criticalpsychology.org), and he works as an Assistant Professor of Psychology and Humanities at Northern New Mexico College. For more information, please visit: www.robertbeshara.com

Modules

Here is the course outline:

1. Session 1: Critical Psychology as Radical Praxis

In the first session, we will address the following questions: What is critical psychology and how does it relate to mainstream psychology? Why conceive of critical psychology as radical praxis? What is the history of critical psychology? Who are the most influential critical psychologists, and what are their contributions? What is the relationship between critical psychology and other praxis-oriented projects like liberation psychology and psychosocial studies? Finally, what are the key theoretical resources for, and practical application of, critical psychology?

2. Session 2: Theoretical Resources p. 1

In this session, we will review three theoretical resources for critical psychology: Marxism / anarchism, feminism, and psychoanalysis. We will unpack the critical theorists’ original ideas and how they have been taken up by critical psychologists.

3. Session 3: Theoretical Resources p. 2

In this session, we will survey three other theoretical resources for critical psychology: poststructuralism, critical race psychology, and postcolonialism / decoloniality. Similar to the previous session, we will analyze the critical theorists’ original ideas and how they have been taken up by critical psychologists.

4. Session 4: Practical Applications

In the final session, we will look at some practical application of critical psychology in terms of teaching to transgress, radical qualitative research, democratic psychiatry, law, activism, and ecology.