Dr Rachel Jane Liebert
Senior Lecturer, Psychology
Mental Health and Social Change
Teaching and supervising on the Clinical & Community Psychology programme; Supporting school and institutional efforts towards anti-racism and decolonisation; Imaginative and collaborative research toward decolonising psychology; Joining with community activist projects in East London
In my research, teaching, activism and art I seek to breach the genocidal legacies of my settler and intellectual ancestors. I am committed to (a) decolonising psychology – that is, both interrupting the coloniality of our discipline and doing a psychology that joins with de-and anti-colonial social movements. My current project is around engaging White bodies as a way of learning from colonising ancestors about what not to do i.e. how to dismantle White supremacy and do whiteness differently. I am also collaborating with a Kaupapa Māori research centre, Whāriki, on research in support of decolonising initiatives in Aotearoa New Zealand (where I am from).
My research is guided by decolonizing and feminist studies, mapping the circulation of psy within politics of terror and experimenting with participatory and creative methodologies. Most recently, this has involved sketching the connections between paranoia and white supremacy, and between imagination and the otherworldly. In doing so I am developing a concept of 'psycurity' that directs attention to a war on imagination within neocolonial security states. I also have a strong commitment to collaborating with artists and communities for social change, which in the past has included working on projects challenging police brutality, educational injustice, the privatisation of sex, and the securitisation of madness. In 2016 my/our work was recognised by the International Association of Qualitative Inquiry for its “outstanding” experimentation with method. I have manuscript in print for Routledge’s Concepts for Critical Psychology book series entitled, ‘Psycurity: Colonialism, Paranoia, and the War on Imagination’, and am working with Dr Stephanie Davis and Dr Tehseen Noorani on a public engagement project to explore decolonisation as a mode of healing.
Most Recent Research
The circulation of paranoia within White supremacy; the ‘war on imagination’ within White supremacy; whiteness as a ‘re/fusal of feeling’; embodied/inspirited/‘more-than-human’ methods for decolonising Psychology; experimenting with form, performativity and artistic collabs.
Psycurity: Colonialism, Paranoia and the War on Imagination
Liebert, R.J.. 2019. Routledge: London & New York.
Clinical & Community Psychology as well as guest lectures for other programmes on whiteness, decoloniality, participatory action research, reflexivity and research ethics.