Event Postponed



Against the Psychologization of Resilience:
Towards an Onto-Political Theorization of the Concept and its Implications for Higher Education

Date of event: Monday, March 30th, 2020 Postponed

Location of event: Ponderosa Commons Oak House – Ballroom (Level 1000)

Time of event: 1-3pm

Dr. Michalinos Zembylas
Open University of Cyprus
Faculty of Education International Research Visiting Fellow


This talk has two goals: (1) to analyze the consequences of psychologizing resilience in higher education and (2) to describe the tenets of a critical approach of resilience in higher education and how they might be productive in addressing race/racism, inequality and social change. It is argued that the psychologization of resilience in higher education may aid the self-surveillance of the student which normalizes the ongoing oppression of already disadvantaged groups of students; the combination of neoliberal governmentality and psychologization frames resilience in essentialized and individualized ways that have many theoretical and political limitations. The analysis suggests a critical approach that advocates an onto-political mode of resilience in higher education—one that takes into consideration power imbalances and discrimination within our society. To illustrate the potential of this approach, Zembylas takes on Black resilience neoliberalism theory and how it can be critiqued and reframed.