BiographyGail Lewis is an author, academic and psychoanalytic psychotherapist. Her political subjectivity was formed in the intensities of black feminist and anti-racist struggle and through a socialist, anti-imperialist lens. She was a member of the Brixton Black Women's Group and one of the founder members of the Organisation of Women of African and Asian Descent, Britain’s first national organisation for black and other women of colour. She organises her thinking through the category ‘experience’ which she conceives as a vector of both the felt senses and an analytic in the production of meaning and knowing otherwise. She is currently writing a book on Black feminism in Britain and has written on feminism, intersectionality, the welfare state and citizenship, psychoanalysis and Black feminism, and the psychosocial dynamics of racialised-gendered experience.
Her publications include ‘Race, Gender and Social Welfare: encounters in a postcolonial society’ (2000), Polity Press; ‘Citizenship: personal lives and social policy’ (2004), ed. Polity Press; ‘Birthing Racial Difference: conversations with my mother and others’ (2009)Studies in the Maternal; ‘Where Might I Find You’: Popular Music and the Internal Space of the Father’, Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society (2012); ‘In the Absence of Truth, At Least Not the Lie: travels towards self, other, relatedness’, BPS, Psychology of Women Section Review (Spring, 2012); ‘Questions of Presence’, (2017)?Feminist Review, Issue 117; ‘Black Feminism and the Challenge of Object Use’ (2020) Feminist Review 126 (1). ‘Unsafe Travel: experiencing intersectionality and feminist displacements’ (2013) Signs: journal of women in culture and society.
She works with creative practitioners in the visual and performance arts to explore, disrupt and offer alternatives to the violent and violating representations of black and queer lives. She, along with Barby Asante, Foluke Taylor and others, recorded a reading of M. NourbeSe Philip’s essay ‘Caribana: African Roots and Continuities’ for the podcast Dipsaus (first available to coincide with the on-line version of London’s annual Nottinghill Carnival in 2020). She also participated in NourbeSe Philips Zong! Global 2020. She has been in conversation with Foluke Taylor, discussing ‘Black Feminisms in the Consulting Room’ as part of Confer’s module Women on the Couch (2020); and with Lara Sheehi, discussing decolonising psychotherapeutic practice, as part of the Couched podcast series. She believes that intergenerational conversations, as part of process of ancestral connection and guidance, are among the most urgent in these times. She is a season ticket holder for Arsenal soccer club.