Jessica Benjamin

Jessica Benjamin has been a fellow at the NYIH since 1978, when she worked on organizing the conference "The Second Sex: Thirty Years Later." Although she began her scholarly life as a social theorist writing about feminism and psychoanalysis as well recognition theory, for the last 35 years she has been a practicing psychoanalyst in New York City and is a Clinical Professor at the New York University Postdoctoral Psychology program in Psychotherapy. She is known as a contributor to the development of relational psychoanalysis and its interrelation with feminism as well as the theory of intersubjectivity. She is the author of three books: The Bonds of Love (1988); Like Subjects, Love Objects (1995); and Shadow of the Other (1998). Her most frequently cited article is "Beyond Doer and Done to: an Intersubjective view of Thirdness" (Psa. Quarterly 2004). As a graduate student in Frankfurt Germany in the late sixties she studied critical social theory with an emphasis on its psychoanalytic and socialization theories. After completing her doctoral work (with R. Sennett at NYU) she spent several years in the field of infancy research. This philosophical and research background as well as her work as a psychoanalyst gave rise to her conceptualization of self and gender development and her focus on the complex problem of recognizing the other. In the last decase she turned her attention to recognition in relation to collective trauma, especially in the Middle East, where she helped found The Acknowledgment Project. She is currently completing her book, Beyond Doer and Done To-Recognition Theory, Intersubjectivity and the Third, considering the need for acknowledgment with reference not only to clinical practice but also collective trauma.


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