Deborah Britzman (Emeritus)

York Research Chair in Pedagogy and Psycho-Social Transformation , Distinguished Research Professor, Psychoanalyst, Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Registered Psychotherapist

Ed.D. - University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA; M.Ed. - University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA; BA - University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA

Location(s) / Contact Info:

Winters College - WC
Keele Campus


RSS Feeds: googlescholar

Currently taking on work-study students, Graduate Assistants or Volunteers

Scholarly Interests

Britzman research concerns the histories of psychoanalysis with education. Known for her formulaton of "difficult knowledge", her studies of the emotional situation of teaching and learning now turn to questions of the historicity of social toleration, the notion of the social bond and mental health.Britzman was recently awarded a Tier 1 York Chair in Pedagogy and psychosocial transformations, a five year appointment.

Faculty & School/Dept

  • Faculty of Education
    • Faculty of Graduate Studies, Education -

    Selected Publications

    • Deborah Britzman (2024). When History Returns: Psychoanalytic Quests for Humane Learning. SUNY Press
    • Deborah Britzman (2017). Mrs. Klein and Paulo Freire: On the Pain of symbolization in the lifeworld of the mind. Educational Theory (67:1), 83-95.
    • Britzman, D. P. (2016). Melanie Klein: Early analysis, play and the question of freedom. Springer Press
    • Britzman, D. P. (2015). A Psychoanalyst in the Classroom. Albany: NY: SUNY Press
    • Britzman, D. (2011). Freud and Education. Routledge
    • Britzman, D.P. (2010). "On the madness of lecturing on gender. Journal of Gender and Education, 2(6), 633-646.
    • Britzman, D.P. (2010). "Psychoanalytic observations on ordinary, quiet, and painful resistance. International Journal of Leadership in Education, 13(3), 239-248.
    • Britzman, D.P. (2009). "The Poetics of supervision: A psychoanalytic thought experiment. Changing English, 16(4), 385-396.
    • Britzman, D. P. (2009). The Very Thought of Education: Psychoanalysis and the impossible professions. SUNY Press
    • Britzman, D. P. (2006). Novel Education: Psychoanalytic Studies on learning and not learning. Peter Lang
    • Britzman, D. P. (2003). Practice Makes Practice: Revised edition. SUNY Press
    • Britzman, D. P. (2003). After-Education: Anna Freud, Melanie Klein, and psychoanalytic histories of learning. SUNY Press
    • Britzman, D. P. (1998). Lost subjects, constested objects: toward a psychoanalytic inquiry of learning. SUNY Press

    Selected Presentations

    • Britzman (2011, July). "The Adolescent teacher: a psychoanalytic contribution to developing education. Presented at: Keynote to: Contemporary theory and Mathmatics, Manchester UK
    • Britzman (2011, July). "What is the Use of theory?". Presented at: Keynote to: Qualitative Summer Institute, Manchester, UK

    Research Projects

    The emotional world of teaching: A psychoanalytic inquiry

    Role: Principal Investigator

    Year Funded: 2011

    Duration: 3

    Funded by: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)

    The project is designed by four sites of inquiry: aesthetics, psychoanalytic theory, clinical discussions, images of mental health

    When History Returns

    Role: Other...

    Funded by: Other...

    Britzman's 14h book, currently in manuscript and supported by York Research Chair in Pedagogy and Psychosocial transformation


    Role: Other...

    Funded by: Other...

    "The psychoanalyst in the classroom: character studies of the human condition of education" (book length manuscript); and Melanie Klein and Education (long essay, 100 pages, currently underway.


    • Hans Loewald Memorial Reward, Internal Forum for Psychoanalytic Education - 2015
    • Fellow of Royal Society of Canada, Royal Society of Canada - Lifetime
    • Tier 1 York Chair, Pedagogy and psychosocial transformations - 2017-

    Service/Community Activities