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Double success for perspectives on Carl Jung

  • Date

    Wed 16 Dec 20

Essex experts have enjoyed a double success at an international awards programme.

Two friends from our Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies have been recognised for new perspectives informed by the life and work of Carl Jung.

Dr Mark Saban was the joint winner of the Best Book award from the International Association for Jungian Studies (IAJS) Awards Program, for his book ‘Two Souls Alas’ : Jung’s Two Personalities and the Making Of Analytical Psychology.

At the same awards, Dr Kevin Lu won the Scholarship Award for Best Article published in 2019 in the International Journal of Jungian Studies for his paper, Racial Hybridity: Jungian and Post-Jungian Perspectives.

To be recognised by this association is particularly poignant for the winners – they first met organising an IAJS conference in 2011, developing a friendship that has continued to today.

Dr Mark Saban said: “I find it particularly gratifying to receive this award because it was on the IAJS email list that I first began to develop and express my own ideas about Jung’s psychology. This was long before I even dared to imagine the possibility of becoming an academic myself. Without the IAJS I doubt I would be where I am now.”

Dr Saban’s book reflects on the impact of Jung’s own childhood experiences. Two Souls Alas suggests the young Jung’s feeling that he had two personalities, “not only informs basic principles behind the development of Jung’s psychological model but underscores the theory and practice of analytical psychology as a whole.”

Dr Saban said: “With this book, I wanted to explain - and offer a critical encounter with - what I saw as an endemic one-sidedness within Jungian psychology. I wanted to do so using specifically Jungian tools. “Two Souls Alas represents then an internal critique of analytical psychology, but one that is intended to point forward and open up new ways for Jungian psychology to stay alive in the 21st century.”

Dr Kevin Lu’s winning paper offers a personal perspective.

Dr Lu said: “The aim of my paper was to reflect on my experience of being a new father to multiracial children, how the racial discrimination my wife and I have experienced might shape the way we raise our kids and what we might do to prevent projecting our own narratives onto theirs.

“I used my personal experience as a springboard to exploring and theorising what analytical psychology, as a discipline, could say about racial hybridity and one of the methods I used in the paper - autoethnography - serves as a tool that can help the discipline shine a light on its own methodological assumptions of what constitutes research.

“The IAJS is highly-regarded amongst academics and therapists, so to be recognised in this way is a real achievement and honour. I am already planning two follow up papers and my approach has been enriched by my involvement with the University’s Tackling Racism Working Group. As a group, we are doing some really important work, to ensure our University’s values are expressed in every facet of life at Essex. This win is really a win for all involved in this vital work.”

Established in 2003, The International Association for Jungian Studies is a global membership association dedicated to the exploration and exchange of views about all aspects of the broader cultural legacy of Carl Jung’s work and the history of analytical psychology.