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The 'real' of racializing embodiment

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Manganyi's ([1981]) analysis of racializing embodiment represents an important, historically neglected contribution to psychoanalytic social psychology. Influenced as much by Fanon's anti-colonial and psycho-existential concerns as by phenomenology and the imperatives of the Black Consciousness struggle against apartheid, Manganyi's work represents an unusually politically committed form of social psychology. I introduce and elaborate upon Manganyi's single most important essay on racializing embodiment, drawing attention to his assertion that racism - in all its recalcitrance and tenacity - needs be linked to a psycho-existential problematic, namely that of the disjunctive pairing of body and ego. I critically elaborate upon Manganyi's argument in relation to similar conceptualizations of racism (the Manichean dynamics of colonialism, notions of differential embodiment, epidermalization and the psychosomatics of racism) and in reference to Slavo Zizek's Lacanian psychoanalytic theorization of similar issues (particularly the notions of the theft of enjoyment and the bodily real).

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