Carolyn Laubender, Ph.D. is a feminist, queer, and psychoanalytic theorist. Carolyn's research and teaching focuses on the role that theories of childhood have played in defining and producing the modern 20th century self. In her current research project, The Child in Mind: Psychoanalysis, Politics, and the Clinic, she analyzes the writings of mid-century European child analysts in order to consider how the psychoanalytic clinic became a site of experimental political theorization and action. Taking inspiration from formative scholarship in childhood studies and psychoanalytic history, she contends that interwar and postwar European psychoanalysts became formidable political actors precisely through their clinical work with children. In this way, a sub-specialty performed largely by women, and designed for children, transformed the privatized space of the clinic into a proto-political laboratory where psychoanalysts mapped subjectivity—and especially race, gender, and sexuality—in concert with the changing geopolitics of Europe.
Carolyn is a Lecturer in the Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies at Essex University and the Director of the BA Programme in Childhood Studies. She completed a PhD in the Program in Literature at Duke University (2017), where she also earned certificates in Feminist Studies and College Teaching. Carolyn teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on childhood studies, psychoanalytic theory and history, gender and sexuality studies, and 20th century literature and film.