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|Jung at the University: an Academic Challenge|
|Congresses - 2004 Barcelona|
|Written by Denise Ramos|
Ever since its establishment, the Academic Sub-Committee has worked to develop a greater awareness within our community of the importance academic professionals have in the growth and development of Analytical Psychology. In this sense, over the past six years the subcommittee has:
Furthermore, during this time, we have had the opportunity to observe great resistance on behalf of some universities to include Analytical Psychology in their curriculum. And some of our members have often encountered difficulties in working within the university environment.
As a result, our academic and scientific research capability is still quite small when compared to other sciences. To address these issues, four emminent colleagues are present here today: Doctor David Rosen, Doctor Jorg Rashe, Doctor Mariolina Graziosi and Doctor Michael Vannoy Adams.
If The University Won’t Have Jungians, Then How Might Jungians Have The University?
Michael Vannoy Adams
Because I believe that the proper name “Jung” tends to privilege an individual over a discipline and even implicitly to countenance a personality cult, I shall not be talking about Jung at the university. Instead, I shall talk about Jungians and Jungian psychology at the university. I am personally much more interested in Jungian studies than “Jung studies.” If I may say so, thank God I am a Jungian and not Jung.
The absence of Jungians and Jungian psychology at the university is conspicuous. It is not at all immediately obvious to academics that Jungians and Jungian psychology belong at the university. It would never independently occur to a psychology department in a major university to propose a position specifically for a Jungian. The positions that Jungians occupy as academics at Texas A&M and Essex are exceptions that prove the rule. Jungians were not appointed to positions that already existed at those universities. Two new, special positions dedicated explicitly and exclusively to Jungian psychology had to be established. Jungians and Jungian psychology would not be at Texas A&M and Essex had not an individual and a Jungian institute donated considerable sums of money to those universities for that opportunity. (Does this experience recommend the active solicitation of philanthropy as an effective strategy and tactic to increase the presence of Jungians and Jungian psychology at other universities?)
Since 1986, I have held a variety of positions at the New School University (formerly the New School for Social Research) in New York City. I have been associate provost of the university and director of a psychoanalytic studies program that I personally designed quite specifically to include Jungian courses on an equal basis with other psychoanalytic courses, and I have taught both graduate and undergraduate courses in Jungian studies and other psychoanalytic studies. Not everyone at the New School University appreciated a psychoanalytic studies program that included courses on Jung, Jungians, and post-Jungians. Eventually, I was replaced as director of the program, and the program was redesigned effectively to exclude Jungian studies. Sadly, the program is now defunct. Currently, at the New School University I teach such undergraduate courses as “Dream Interpretation,” “Psychoanalyzing Greek and Roman Mythology,” “Psychoanalyzing Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Mythology,” “Fantasy and the Unconscious,” and “Psychoanalysis as a Way of Knowing.”
One other faculty member teaches Jungian psychology at the New School University. He teaches such graduate courses as “Freud and Jung,” “The Individuation Process: The Analytic Psychology of C.G. Jung,” and “Seminar on Selected Problems in the Psychology of C.G. Jung.” Over the years, he has also supervised a number of Jungian research projects in the clinical psychology program, including the doctoral dissertations of two Jungian analysts who are colleagues of mine in the Jungian Psychoanalytic Association. He is not a Jungian analyst, but is a real rarity – a professor with tenure who regularly teaches Jungian courses and supervises Jungian research projects in the clinical psychology program of a university.
Rather than simply report on the amount and kind of Jungian studies at the New School University, I propose to inquire into and reflect on what the negative consequences are for the profession of Jungian analysis that there is no significant Jungian presence at universities. I shall then suggest some possible ways that, even if the university will not have Jungians, Jungians might have the university.
The most recent issue of a Jungian journal contains two references to Jungians and the academy. Wolfgang Giegerich notes that “Jung’s work did not attract and inspire great minds” (as Freud’s work did) and “academically stayed a nonentity” (Giegerich 2004: 41-2). Greg Mogenson describes Jungians as “the tadpoles in the backwater.” According to this metaphor, Jungians are undeveloped creatures in an isolated place. Jungians are not mature, and they are not in the mainstream. “And the tadpoles in the backwater,” Mogenson exclaims, “wonder why academics and other makers of the modern mind have so little interest in Jungian psychology!” (Mogenson 2004: 71)
It is inaccurate to say that academics and other makers of the modern mind have little interest in Jungian psychology. They have no interest in it: zero. If I were asked to name an internationally eminent academic with a serious interest in Jungian psychology as a vital contemporary field of study, I could not name a single one. I do not mean simply an academic with tenure, publications, a respectable reputation, and curiosity about Jung. I mean an academic with real distinction in any discipline – but perhaps especially in psychology. What major, even famous, academic in any discipline ever so much as mentions Jungian psychology or any Jungians after Jung? None.
What are academics interested in? They are interested in ideas. In contrast, James Hillman says, “it seems that Jungians are not interested in ideas.” Or, to be more exact, it seems that many Jungians are not interested in any ideas except Jung’s ideas. According to Hillman, many Jungians believe that “they have all the ideas they need; Jung gave them the ideas, all they need do is apply them.” Hillman says of such Jungians: “They are satisfied.” Many Jungians, he says, “simply live off Jung’s ideas.” (Hillman 1983: 35-6)
Jungians tend to be interested in ideas other than Jung’s only when those other ideas seem to confirm Jung’s ideas. Such Jungians are ever eager opportunistically to appropriate any ideas that apparently provide such confirmation. For those Jungians, the epitome of a perfect new idea is really a very old idea that they proudly believe Jung already discovered years ago and academics only now have independently and tardily rediscovered. (Those Jungians conveniently disregard any new ideas that refute Jung’s old ideas.) This is all an attempt to defend Jung’s ideas so that Jungians can complacently continue to apply them – I would emphasize, uncritically.
Before I began to write these remarks, I took a word association test. It was a one-word word association test. When I associated to the word “university,” the word that occurred to me was “criticism.” Criticism seems to me most accurately to define the activity that universities exist to provide. The title of a famous book in the philosophy of science is Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge. (Lakatos and Musgrave 1970) If the end of universities is the growth of knowledge, then criticism is the means to that end. “Criticism” is not, however, a word that I immediately associate with “Jungians.” In fact, in my new book The Fantasy Principle: Psychoanalysis of the Imagination, I criticize Jungians for not being critical:
If Jungians could use some controversy, perhaps they could also use a new term. In addition to all of the introverts and extraverts, perhaps there should be at least a few “controverts.”
My new book The Fantasy Principle includes a discussion of the “critic” as an internal object, personification, subpersonality, or archetypal image. I note that, to the extent that the unconscious exists to offer to the ego constructive criticism (and, I would add, deconstructive criticism), “for Jung, the entire unconscious is, at least functionally, the ‘critic!’” (Adams 2004, 47) From a Jungian perspective, the function of the unconscious is to criticize the attitudes of the ego in an effort to increase consciousness. This is the purpose that criticism serves in any sincere, authentic Jungian analysis. If the ego is receptive rather than defensive, criticism from the unconscious presents an opportunity for an increase in consciousness. In contrast, criticism serves no such apparent purpose in the profession of Jungian analysis. Criticism is simply not integral to the profession of Jungian analysis. If, however, criticism were a dominant value and a regular, systematic activity in the profession of Jungian analysis, it could, as criticism is at the university, be the means to an end – the growth of knowledge.
The absence of Jungians and Jungian psychology at universities deprives Jungians of the opportunity to participate in and contribute to the continuous process of criticism. This continuous process of criticism is vital to the growth of knowledge because it defines trends in traditions of ideas in and across the various disciplines at the university. Jungians have no intimate access to these trends in traditions of ideas. Is there any way for Jungians to make up for what they miss out on by not being at the university? If the university will not have Jungians, might Jungians still, in some significant sense, have the university?
As I have mentioned, I am a member of the Jungian Psychoanalytic Association. During this past year, JPA members engaged in an intense discussion about principles of analytic training. In response to my voicing a concern that, in spite of the best of intentions, the JPA might at some point begin to repeat errors that other training programs have committed in the past, two of my colleagues cautioned me that if I remained backward-looking, continued frequently to refer to the past, then I – and perhaps the JPA, too – would, like Lot’s wife, turn into a pillar of salt. When I replied, I mentioned that I know a professor who is writing a book about the image of Lot’s wife in literature, art, and culture. I said that if members of the JPA happened to have any interest in analyzing the psychology of “looking back,” I would be happy to invite him to give a talk to the JPA on that topic with special reference to the research that he has conducted on Lot’s wife. This particular academic is not at all a Jungian, and that is the wonderful irony of it, for he has, in a sense, conducted “Jungian” research and does it much better than Jungians know how to do it – and he is hardly exceptional in that ability.
Some of the very best “Jungians” are non-Jungian academics. For example, I think of a major academic like Michael Walzer, who analyzes the image of “exodus and revolution” in a beautiful book by that name. What interest him are the social and political applications, historically, of that image in the cause of liberation from oppression. Walzer documents the history of the image of a chosen people enslaved in Egypt, freed by belief in one god, and led by a prophet through a wilderness to a promised land. Walzer never so much as mentions Jung, but “exodus and revolution” is what Jungians would call an archetypal image – and, in effect, that is exactly how Walzer regards the image. At the very end of the book, Walzer states three points:
Although Walzer historicizes the image of “exodus and revolution” (he demonstrates how many different individuals and groups throughout history have appropriated the image and applied it to serve their own particular social and political purposes), his conclusion is, in effect, that the reason the image is capable of virtually infinite extension and such recurrent historical application, is that it is, in a sense, “archetypal” (everywhere is “Egypt,” somewhere there is a “promised land,” the way is always a “wilderness,” and so forth).
Another example of a “Jungian” project accomplished by academics who are in no sense Jungians is the lovely book The Medusa Reader (Garber and Vickers 2003). This is an interdisciplinary case book on the image of Medusa from Homer to Gianni Versace. Among the seventy-three selections included in the book by the editors Marjorie Garber and Nancy J. Vickers are commentaries by three different psychoanalysts – Freud, Ferenczi, and (one Jungian) Erich Neumann. When Jungians have attempted similar projects, they have tended to be reductive in the extreme. For example, in The Great Mother, Neumann reduces a multiplicity of images of different women to the ostensible unity of “woman” (or reduces many images of a vast variety of females to one putatively eternal essence, the “feminine”). In contrast, The Medusa Reader is a marvel of differentiation. Rather than indulge in an essentialist reduction that would obliterate differences among the various instances of the image of Medusa, Garber and Vickers respect those differences and document them historically.
Consider also the “Implicit Association Test.” (Nosek, Banaji, and Greenwald, 2002, 2004) I first heard of this test two years ago from a psychologist at the New School University. What immediately interested me most about the Implicit Association Test was the apparent similarity between it and Jung’s Word Association Test. Could it be, I wondered, that Jung’s Word Association Test had been the inspiration for the Implicit Association Test? The Implicit Association Test was developed by three social psychologists (none of them psychoanalysts) in order to measure implicit attitudes. “The word ‘implicit, ’” the three social psychologists say, “is used because these powerful attitudes are sometimes hidden from public view, and even from conscious awareness.” (Nosek, Banaji, and Greenwald 2004, 1) As they define “implicit,” it is, in at least some dimensions, virtually synonymous with “unconscious.” The Implicit Association Test might just as easily have been named the “Unconscious Association Test.” There are, however, significant differences between the Word Association Test and the Implicit Association Test. For example, the Implicit Association Test does not use only words. It uses a combination of words and pictures. Also, it does not, as the Word Association Test does, ask subjects to respond, as quickly as possible, with the first word that comes to mind. Rather, it pairs pictures (for example, white and black persons) with words (for example, negative and positive expressions) and forces subjects to respond in ways that measure implicit attitudes about certain sensitive topics – including important social issues such as age, gender, race, the 2004 American presidential election, presidential popularity, sexuality, Arabs and Muslims, weight, religion, disability, Native Americans, Asian Americans, weapons, and skin-tone.
Jungians could also benefit from academics who address issues that have no immediate or apparent relation to Jungian psychology. Jungians would have an opportunity to become much better informed about contemporary ideas. For example, consider the philosopher Jacques Derrida’s idea of “deconstruction.” Ten years ago, I wrote a letter to a Jungian publication in an effort to rectify a misstatement about deconstruction. In a previous issue of the publication, a Jungian analyst had incorrectly asserted that deconstruction “has been carried into psychoanalysis, especially by some followers of Jacques Lacan.” (Young-Eisendrath 1995, 5) For me, it was embarrassing that a Jungian would confuse the contributions of Derrida and Lacan. Lacanian analysis has nothing whatsoever to do with deconstruction.
The Jungian defined deconstruction as follows: “Deconstruction is a skeptical philosophy of doubt and criticism of established methods and theories in many disciplines.” Then, she also said: “I see little resonsance between Jung and deconstruction.” (Young-Eisendrath 1995, 5) This is, to me, a provocative and potentially extremely important question. For twenty years, I have wondered what relation there might be between Jung’s idea of “compensation” and Derrida’s idea of “deconstruction.” I have suspected that, rather than say that the unconscious tries to compensate the attitudes of the ego, it would be more accurate to say that the unconscious tries to deconstruct the attitudes of the ego. “Compensation,” as Jung employs the idea, implies that something from the unconscious is (or might be) added to the ego. “Deconstruction” implies nothing of the sort. Rather, it implies that things (identifications, fixations, associations – or, perhaps Derrida would say, assumptions) are continually subtracted from the ego by the unconscious, which is perpetually problematizing the attitudes of the ego without providing any of those favorite Jungian reassurances such as “balance,” “wholeness,” and so forth. Because of what I know about deconstruction as a result of my personal experience at the university, my notion about how the unconscious functions in relation to the ego is now, I acknowledge, more Derridean than Jungian, more deconstructive than compensatory. In my letter to the Jungian publication ten years ago, I said: “I hope that some Jungians will study deconstruction seriously and decide for themselves whether it has anything positive to offer them, both theoretically and practically.” (Adams, 1995, 7)
I believe that Jungians have much more to gain from the university than the university has to gain from Jungians. If that is true, then in order for Jungians to “have” the university, they are going to have to reach out to academics – and not only to those who are sympathetic to Jungian psychology but also to those who are indifferent or even antagonistic – and invite them into the Jungian scene, bring them literally and physically and psychically into it, in a variety of creative, innovative ways, in order for Jungians to have an opportunity to mingle with them, listen to them and speak to them, share with them, and, I would emphasize, learn from them. I can imagine Jungian institutes appointing academics as “fellows,” establishing guest lecture series for important academics, holding conferences on special themes with academics from various disciplines, asking academics to offer courses for candidates at Jungian institutes – and just in general opening up radically to academics in a way that would be both incredibly exciting, enriching, and, of course, disturbing – for to open up and reach out would mean for Jungians to emerge from the isolation that they have defensively indulged in for many years, participate in and contribute to a discourse of real criticism, and actively engage in a dynamic exchange with academics – and, most importantly, with other, different, and new ideas.
Scholarship of the Soul: Teaching and Researching Analytical & Positive Psychology
David H. Rosen
Based on the personal experience of feeling that Carl Jung saved his life, Frank N. McMillan endowed the first Professorship in Analytical Psychology in the world.1 He went from a sense of meaninglessness to a life full of meaning and purpose. McMillan was wise to outline a mandate for teaching Jung’s psychology to undergraduates (“Psychology of Self”) on an annual basis and to graduate students every two years (“Analytical Psychology”). (Course syllabi are available on request). In these courses after studying Freudian and Jungian psychology, students are asked to write a paper and give a presentation about their own personal myth and individuation process. In other words, they apply what they have learned to themselves and discern their purpose and meaning for being and how they will serve others based on their authentic selves. A “Psychology of Religion” course has also been developed and is taught annually. In this course, after studying the psychology of religion from various points of view, students are asked to write a paper and give a presentation on their own religious experience (or lack there of) and how they understand it psychologically.
McMillan also wanted his professorship to be used to carry out research to establish a basic science of analytical psychology as well as to study the clinical value of Jung’s psychology. Over the years I have worked with numerous students (graduate and undergraduate) as well as other faculty to carry out a variety of research projects, which have helped to realize McMillan’s intention. (I’ve referenced a wide range of research publications involving Analytical and Positive Psychology, Spirituality, Well-Being and Healing, below in Notes 222.) Fortunately, Frank McMillan’s vision of the need for analytical psychology to provide light in the dark halls of academic psychology has been developed at other universities. There are two other similar professorships: one endowed by the London Society of Analytical Psychology at the University of Essex in England, which is held jointly by Renos Papadopoulos and Andrew Samuels, and the other endowed by Marion Woodman at the University of Toronto, which is held by Ann Yeoman. Hopefully there will be many more of these professorships in analytical psychology established in other countries around the world. It would be most fitting for one of these to be located in Zürich, Switzerland, at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule.
Carolyn Grant Fay, Honorary Member of the IAAP, who knew and admired Frank McMillan, endowed the Fay Lecture and Book Series in Analytical Psychology at Texas A&M University, which has extended scholarly work by Jungian analysts throughout the world. Verena Kast, the first lecturer and author in the Fay Series, focused on “Joy, Inspiration, and Hope”, 17 neglected but healing emotions in psychology. Her superb and pioneering work helps to integrate analytical psychology with the now well-established field of positive psychology.18 There are now ten more published volumes in the Fay Book Series and four titles forthcoming:
Ten Other Volumes
Four Forthcoming Volumes
Signifying the growth and development of Analytical Psychology in the Academy, an historic First International Academic Conference of Analytical Psychology sponsored by the IAAP was held at the University of Essex in Colchester, United Kingdom, July 5-7, 2002. Evolving out of that conference a new organization, the International Association for Jungian Studies (IAJS), was established in 2003. Building on the success of the First International Academic Conference, a Second International Academic Conference of Analytical Psychology and Jungian Studies, co-sponsored by the IAAP, the IAJS, and the Psychology Department at Texas A&M University will be held July 7-10, 2005 at Texas A&M. The theme of the Conference is “Current Connections: Creative Dialogues.”
In conclusion, Frank McMillan and Carolyn Fay have sown the seeds for Jung’s psychology to grow and develop in academia. Their actions and those of the Circle of Friends of Analytical Psychology (a grass roots endowment at Texas A&M supporting graduate students) have led to almost twenty years of teaching and researching of analytical and positive psychology at Texas A&M University. I thank and honor these two humble and gracious individuals as well as the nearly two hundred members of the Circle of Friends of Analytical Psychology.
Notes and References