Dr. Thelma Foote “Democracy Goes Underground: The Harlem Riots…”

Dr. Thelma Foote
“Democracy Goes Underground: The Harlem Riots of 1935 and 1943, the Black Psyche, and the Founding of the Lafargue Psychiatric Clinic”
Thursday, February 1, 5 PM

Baker Center, rm 231 (http://www.ohio.edu/center/)
Ohio University, Athens, Ohio

This lecture is part of the public presentations by candidates for the OU African American Studies Department Chair (http://www.ohiou.edu/aas/)

Dr. Thelma Foote’s (http://www.sdu.dk/Hum/amstud/staff/thelmafoote.htm) presentation introduces her current investigation into the psychiatric practices applied to Harlem’s black underclass population from 1946 to 1948 at the Lafargue Clinic. To that end, it accomplishes the following five tasks. It locates the founding of the Lafargue Clinic within the historical context of the 1935 and 1943 Harlem Riots, and inventories that troubled era’s elite discourse on the black psyche. It provides a biographical sketch of Dr. Fredric Wertham, director of the Lafargue Clinic, and it poses some critical questions about the clinic’s model of psychiatric therapy. Finally, it suggests some ways in which an interrogation of the clinic’s psychiatric model and practices is related to several academic disciplines.


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