Preface
[As] the mute outside that sustains all systematicity; as a maternal and still silent
ground that nourishes all foundations—she does not have to conform to the
codes theory has set up for itself.—Luce Irigaray, Speculum of the Other Woman
Freudinfamouslyreferredtowomen’ssexualityasa‘‘darkcontinent’’for
psychoanalysis.Within the continent of psychoanalysis made present by
Freud lay this other continent that remained concealed. The map of it
was yet to be drawn,orat least a sketchy map needed to be filled in. Not
quite absent, it was present only in concealment and mysteriousness.
This study takes Henry Morton Stanley’s metaphor for Africa and
Freud’s metaphor for women’s sexuality and considers what it means to
make colonialism and women the starting point of an investigation of
psychoanalysis. Dark Continents makes use of psychoanalytic theory to
perform this examination.What is at stake here is the status of psycho-
analysis.While at times it is the object of investigation, it is also the pre-
ferredtheoreticalmodeofanalysis.Readingpsychoanalysissymptomati-
callyallowsmetounderstanditasamasculinistandcolonialistdiscipline
that promoted an idea of Western subjectivity in opposition to a colo-
nized,feminine,andprimitiveother.Placingpsychoanalysisintheworld,
and understanding the problematic differentiations that psychoanalysis
failstoacknowledge,allowsmetoreconfigureitspolitics.Ifpsychoanaly-
sisatitsFreudianinceptionandinvariousotherincarnationspresentsthe
reader with a storyof subjectivity inWestern Europe, as I argue, placing
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