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Prof Claudia Lapping
UCL Institute of Education
20 Bedford Way
Prof Claudia Lapping profile picture
  • Professor of Psychosocial Studies and Education
  • IOE - Culture, Communication & Media
  • UCL Institute of Education

I've been at the IOE since 1999, when I started my PhD. I left briefly when I finished, in 2004, but came back in 2005, when I got a job as programme leader for the Foundation Degree: Working with Children, a work-based undergraduate programme for teaching assistants. Since then I've worked on a range of MA and doctoral programmes. I'm also co-facilitator of the Feminisms, Gender and Sexuality Research Seminar. Before I did my PhD I'd mostly been teaching English as a Foreign Language, and during my PhD I taught academic literacy, at SOAS and the IOE, and a module in Arts and Ideas on the undergraduate programme at London Contemporary Dance School. 

Around the time that I got my job on the Foundation Degree I also started psychoanalytic therapy, which had been an academic interest since I did my MA in Gender Studies,or even before that, when I first read Althusser's 'Ideology and the Ideological state Apparatuses', as an undergraduate. I've been in psychoanalysis most of the time since then, alongside continuing exploration of psychoanalysis in my research, moving from purely theoretical applications to exploring the possibility of developing psychoanalytically informed methods, for data production as well as analysis. More recently, in around 2017, I started volunteering in a community mental health drop in and then training in psychoanalysis. I'm currently completing the clinical training at the Site for Contemporary Psychoanalysis. 

Research Summary

I'm bothered by claims to objectivity and authority and in my research I have always been interested in looking at the social edges of knowledge and in finding ways to trouble or unsettle bodies of academic and professional knowledge. 

In my PhD I did this by looking at the way the currulum of undergraduate modules in American Literature and Political theory constituted in/exclusions in relation to class and gender - the way that these disciplines constitue limits to what counts as legitiimate knowledge, what can or can't be said. This was an empirical, ethnographic-ish study of university classrooms, drawing on frameworks from the sociology of knowledge, feminist theory and psychoanalysis. 

After that I did a project interviewing academics about their research, beginning to develop a more free associative approach, in order to explore unconscious relations to research methodologies. My ongoing interest in psychoanalysis, I think, also relates to my interest in troubling or unsettling established or legitimised bodies of knowledge - I'm interested in how this process happens, how knowledge gets stuck or unsettled, probably at the same time, at the level of an institution and at the level of the individualised subjectivities. 

More recent projects have explored teaching assistants' relations to practices of pay and remuneration, experimenting with a range of approaches to free associative interviews; and the ways in which theorisations of 'time' and temporality can help us to understand contemporary conditions of work and subjectivity. In my recent writing I've also been exploring psychoanalytic theories of gender and the body, and experimenting with ways of punctuating a line of argument, maybe, something like that, in my writing. 

Teaching Summary

  • Doctoral Training Programme: 'Psychosocial Methodologies', 'Epistemology in Empirical Methodology' and 'Reflexivity Workshop', 'Doctoral Writing: Early Stages' and 'Thesis Writing: Later Stages'.
  • MA in Education: Contributions to core modules and to 'Feminist Approaches to Knowledge and Pedagogy: Doing education Differently?'
  • Doctoral supervision

01-OCT-2016 Reader in Psychosocial Studies and Education Culture, Communication and Media UCL Institute of Education, United Kingdom
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