A Brief Account of The International Association for Jungian Studies (IAJS): 2003-6
The International Association for Jungian Studies was founded by a Steering Group and the first elected Executive Committee (2003-6), consisting of the following persons:
Kristine Connidis (Canada), Terence Dawson (Singapore), Don Fredericksen (USA), Leslie Gardner (UK), Ien Hazebroek-Buijs (The Netherlands), Luke Hockley (UK), Lucy Huskinson (UK), Raya Jones (UK), Alberto Lima (Brazil), Renos Papadopoulos (UK), J.Craig Peery (USA), David Rosen (USA), Lee Robbins (USA), Susan Rowland (UK), Andrew Samuels (UK), Nick Stratton (UK), David Tacey (Australia).
All the above scholars are the founders of IAJS; its emergence into the academic and Jungian community was essentially the collective work of this group. The text below details some of the key events, debates, achievements and developments in the early years of IAJS. It was written by Susan Rowland (first Chair of the Executive Committee) in consultation with the other founders.
Getting Started: the Founders and the Membership: 2002-4
What connects the founders with each other and later the membership of IAJS is that they are all involved with Jungian scholarship, meaning research in the context of, or by standards acceptable to, the academy. Otherwise the founding group consists of IAAP analysts, academics, clinicians and students. It was this diverse quality of the delegates at the initial IAAP Academic Conference in July 2002, that produced, at the suggestion of Renos Papadopoulos and Andrew Samuels (IAAP analysts and university professors), a group to begin work by email on creating an association. This quickly became the 2002-3 Steering Group convened by Susan Rowland.
From that moment, IAJS was created by means of email and continues as an organisation primarily online, via email and website. It was therefore enabled to become a virtual community of Jungian scholars. However, the three key moments in the early history of the organisation are the three stunningly successful international academic conferences of Jungian Studies: that held at the University of Essex in 2002, where IAJS was first proposed, the joint conference of the IAAP/IAJS held at Texas A & M University 2005 where the members could meet in person for the first time, and the first IAJS independent conference held at the University of Greenwich (UK), 2006 (see more below).
From the very start two topics initiated IAJS and continue to be debated around within it. What are Jungian studies, how does it relate to established academic disciplines and what makes it scholarship? Secondly, what is the relation between clinical practitioners (analysts and therapists who may, or may not, have a university connection) and non-clinical academics and students? One of the special qualities of IAJS became apparent in early discussions of the nature of possible membership. Should a Jung related qualification be necessary for full membership? Should there be another category for students/trainees, those just entering the field? After a great deal of talking it over, it was decided that there would be no qualifications for membership. So therefore IAJS is a space where all those concerned with Jungian scholarship can meet on an equal basis. Unlike a clinical body, membership confers no right to practice and so the organisation becomes uniquely flexible and porous. At the first General Meeting held at the Texas A&M conference in 2005, it was noted that the majority of members present were clinicians, but analysts were a minority among them. IAJS is becoming a place where clinicians from various different orientations can meet each other, and with students and academics working entirely outside the practice of Jungian therapy.
Given the above it is notable that the founding group contains a higher proportion of non-clinicians than the resulting membership. Jung in the university is unpopular and Jungian researchers suffer isolation. It is arguable that academics such as Susan Rowland (Convenor then later Chair), David Tacey, Raya Jones (Website Coordinator), Terence Dawson, Luke Hockley, and Lee Robbins were quick to recognise the unique advantages of an international association that could facilitate scholarly exchange, for many of them for the first time.
The work of the Steering Group was to devise a Call for Membership, which would be followed by elections for the first Executive Committee. In turn this committee would draw up a constitution. The Steering Group also wanted to propose a founding conference for IAJS since the experience of Essex was held to be so positive in bringing Jungians from very different locations together. At one point there was a possibility of a first conference in Utah hosted by J. Craig Peery. However, thanks to the liaison work of Andrew Samuels and the generosity of David Rosen (who subsequently joined the Steering Group), the IAAP agreed to stage the 2005 academic conference in Texas as a joint event. Under the Program Chair of Denis Ramos (IAAP), IAJS representatives David Tacey, Susan Rowland, Shoji Muramoto, Lucy Huskinson, Ien Hazebroek-Buijs, and Alberto Lima helped to plan and organise the conference. Andrew Samuels took on the task of liasing or mediating between the two groups. This role became an important factor in the successful planning of the event. See the later section on IAJS and the IAAP.
In March 2003 the IAJS call for Membership went out on email to university and academic lists plus those of Jungian analysts and therapists. Don Williams (IAAP, USA) gave very valuable assistance at this stage in the gestation of the organisation. Not only did he send out the Call for Members through the IAAP lists, he also posted a page for IAJS from his influential cgjungpage website until we were ready to fund our own domain. He also supplied email discussion software and helped Ien Hazebroek-Buijs, list moderator for two years, set up the initial list. Also during this period IAJS acquired its Journal. One of the most respected and long lasting Jungian Journals, Harvest became Harvest: International Journal for Jungian Studies, official Journal of both the C.G. Jung Club, London and IAJS. The editor, Renos Papadopoulos was responsible for conferring this lasting benefit on IAJS by providing an vital source of scholarly learning and publication. IAJS members have made good use of the journal both as subscribers and as new contributors.
During the later months of 2003, Susan Rowland, the Convenor, ran an election for committee members. By January 2004 the first Executive Committee consisted of Susan Rowland (Chair), Leslie Gardner (Membership Secretary), Andrew Samuels (IAAP Liaison), Renos Papadopoulos (Harvest editor), Lucy Huskinson (Hon. Sec.), Ien Hazebroek-Buijs (Treasurer and List moderator), Raya Jones (Website Coordinator), Alberto Lima, David Tacey and Don Fredericksen. Special mention should be made of the dedicated contribution of Leslie Gardner to the formation of IAJS by enabling the organisation to operate internationally using credit cards. Leslie takes IAJS monies, which are entirely made up of membership subscriptions. It was decided to have four membership rates, kept the same throughout 2003-6 to encourage the build up of membership: Faculty/Analyst in UK, Europe, North America, Australia: $42, Students/Candidates: $21, Faculty/Analysts ROW $21, Students/Candidates: $10.50. The differential was meant to encourage international membership. By 2006, although the majority of members were from the United States, there were also a significant number of members from Brazil, Mexico, Spain, Japan, Australia, Switzerland, as well as the UK.
The Nature of IAJS: the Constitution
During the early months of 2004, a sub-group of the first IAJS Executive Committee consisting of Andrew Samuels, Alberto Lima and Don Fredericksen wrote the constitution in consultation with the other members. Clearly this required firming up ideas about the nature of the organisation. It was decided to prioritise plurality and openness, meaning welcoming Jungian work from any orientation, and encouraging scholarship prepared to take risks with established disciplinary parameters. So that the fundamental questioning of the relationship between theory and practice (sometimes staged as that between academics and practitioners), would be at the heart of IAJS, both in the furthering of debate between clinicians and non-clinicians, and in the academic world’s growing appreciation of arts practice as a legitimate form of research. Essentially, this defined IAJS as an entity determined by debates about the notion of Jungian studies, rather than prescriptions. It is a scholarly body that facilitates rather than authorises Jungian scholarship.
Key elements of the constitution show IAJS as dedicated to promoting scholarship relating Analytical Psychology (Jungian studies) to the arts and humanities (including the history, criticism, theory and aesthetics of the fine arts, literature, theatre, the still and moving image, and dance and bodywork), religious studies, the social sciences, psychology, philosophy, medicine, science (including the history and philosophy of science) as well as clinical, methodological and theoretical research. There is a further emphasis on practice-based research in education, culture, therapy and the arts and the desire to include practitioners in these fields as members. See the 2006 conference for the association developing its interest in arts practice related to Jungian research. Finally the constitution mandates the association to function as a multi-disciplinary body dedicated to the exploration and exchange of views about all aspects of the broader cultural legacy of Jung’s work, including the history of Analytical Psychology itself.
The Constitution was accepted by a vote of the membership and was posted on the new website, expertly run by Raya Jones: www.jungianstudies.org
The Nature of IAJS: Email Seminars
In these early years, IAJS has begun to offer email seminars to its members. From the first seminar in 2004, based on an academic Journal paper on archetypes by Raya Jones, the practice was established of asking three members to post responses to the reading of around 1000 words and only then opening the seminar to all the members. Pioneering this innovation were the respondents to Raya Jones’s paper, Frances Gray (academic), Anais Spitzer (doctoral candidate) and Nick Stratton (Education Consultant).Two seminars have followed the first one, both on a portion and a topic from Jung’s works. In September 2005, Alberto Lima organised a seminar on passages from the ‘Syzygy’ section from Aion CW9ii, which lead to a vigorous debate on Jung and gender. Excellent respondent texts were supplied by Sue Austin (analyst), John Beebe (analyst), and Paul Bishop (academic). As an example of the effectiveness of IAJS, Susan Rowland notes, that not only are extracts from the seminars appearing in the work of her postgraduate student members, but the short texts by Austin, Beebe and Bishop have now become set works on an undergraduate course. This is an example of IAJS reaching out beyond membership to invigorate teaching about Jung in the universities. It is likely to be repeated with material from the third seminar in 2006, arranged by Leslie Gardner and Nick Stratton on passages from Memories, Dreams, Reflections, and the topic, Jung and God. With fascinating responses by Murray Stein (analyst), David Tacey (academic) and Lucy Huskinson (scholar), many new members joined the association in order to benefit from their expertise.
IAJS and IAAP: The Joint Conference in Texas 2005 and Beyond
An important moment in the emergence of IAJS was the joint academic conference with the IAAP at Texas A&M University, July 2005. Such a collaboration between a large powerful well-established professional body as the IAAP and the new smaller and still forming IAJS, was a challenge on organisational, personal and psychological levels for all those on the program committee and who took part in organising the event.
From the point of view of the IAJS representatives, what became quickly apparent was the range of views about what constituted an academic conference, and ultimately the nature of Jungian studies in relation to clinical practice. IAJS, as an association just coming into being and dedicated to plurality, wanted a conference that was open to any form of Jungian scholarship that could defend itself as such. Within the IAAP representative there was an eventual sympathetic understanding of this view, but also two other viable notions.
One proposal was for a conference that would identify in advance key issues in the field and invite well-known researchers to give papers upon them. This would lead to a largely invited conference, with the advantage of the strong chance of achieving focused debate, the outcome of which might be presented as some kind of authoritative ‘move forward’. On the other hand, what might be gained in scholarly authority would have to be set alongside the loss of the possibility of discovering ‘new’ voices, new research and new areas of debate. In the end it is a choice between Analytical Psychology/Jungian studies as a defined area centring on clinical (particularly analysts), practice, and a different conception of an academic field; one of liminal borders, flexible and oriented towards a creative approach to knowledge making. A second related perspective on academia from the IAAP came out of discussions at the conference and is a narrow version of the first. It is to seek out the largely scientific body of research that might underpin or validate the essential premises of analytic practice for a sceptical modern age. Such research is likely to be focused upon neurology and psychology, perhaps seeking additional resources from philosophy..
As David Tacey, amongst others, has frequently pointed out, this is a positivist ‘modern’ attitude to knowledge that does not take into account recent developments in philosophy and the humanities under the term, ‘postmodern’, nor, of Jung’s own exploration of the limitations of such an approach in his willingness to admit the numinous into his picture of the world. Due in part to the hard work of Andrew Samuels, the Texas conference adopted the way of openness and brought together an astonishingly rich selection of clinical and academic papers. One of the things that came out of the Texas conference for IAJS, was an enormous respect for the IAAP in its tolerance of this new organisation and its fundamental resistance to identifying a centre (and hence creating a margin) of what Jungian studies are about. Although the dynamic relation between the two organisations was unsurprisingly hard to sustain, the existence of a significant number of analysts in the membership of IAJS, is evidence of the creative possibilities of continuing to work together where possible. At the time of writing, IAJS hopes to have another joint conference with the IAAP in the next few years.
Website and the Virtual Community
Since Raya Jones took over the running of the IAJS website in early 2004, it has been an important organ of the virtual community of IAJS. The website advertises relevant Jung conferences, publications by members and events featuring them. It also acts as an informal mode of publication by posting published and unpublished (after review) scholarly papers, notably many from the 2005 joint conference It has a private members section, with Jung-related special offers. The website also has an image gallery, currently hosting an exhibition organised by a member guest curator. IAJS plans that the website should play a major part in the 2006 conference in publishing abstracts and hosting the art exhibition, which is an integral part of its current sponsorship of Jungian research.
IAJS and Jungian Studies: 2006 Conference and Beyond
IAJS was fortunate in having in Lucy Huskinson, an enthusiastic and dedicated program committee Chair for its first independent conference in July 2006 entitled, ‘Psyche and Imagination’. Held at the world heritage site of The Old Royal Naval College, University of Greenwich, UK, this conference shows signs of bridging the gap between clinicians, scholars and artists to an unprecedented extent. Not only will an art exhibition (curated by artist member, Rachael Steel) be at the heart of the conference, but it will also feature the world premiere of the English version of An Oedipus, a play by Armando Rosa that constitutes practice based research into Jungian approaches to myth. The theme of myth runs through the whole event with items such as a plenary debate between Michael Vannoy Adams and Robert Segal, a discussion of the work of James Hillman, numerous papers demonstrating a multifaceted approach to myth, and a film show curated by Christopher Hauke. Crucially, the emphasis on myth arises out of the openness of the conference title and Call, and was not decided in advance. At the moment, IAJS is sticking to its principle of being a space where Jungian scholarship can be celebrated, tested, created and experimented with, and its boundaries can be continually re-negotiated. IAJS sees Jungian scholarship as an inter-connected network or web, with no centre and no margins. Such an ethos explicitly refuses to erect a hierarchy of disciplines for that would be to congeal knowledge in ways that go against Jung’s sense of the foundational creativity and mystery of the psyche.
Debates, Diversity and Achievements: The Future of IAJS from 2006
IAJS has brought together Jungian scholars from all over the world into a virtual community that debates online, shares research papers, comes together at international conferences and is beginning to work together on research projects. Since the 2005, three collaborative publications between members have begun and more are proposed. This is not to say that the formation of IAJS has been easy. For the moment it has succeeded in establishing principles of plurality, openness, and a creative attitude to research. To achieve such an ethos has meant working hard to cope with ‘differences’: be they the range of Jungian orientations amongst clinicians, the diverse approaches to knowledge amongst academics, the tension between maintaining professional standards of clinical or academic practice in dialogue with creative openness to the new, political differences between such a diverse membership and the sheer psychological struggle of being part of something that has not hitherto existed.
The Jungian world offers many examples of the pain of differences leading to splits and division, rather than debates and creative tension. IAJS occupies a unique space of being a web bringing together, yet not trying to unite, to respect rather than erode differences, amongst Jungians from all theoretical and professional groupings, as well as offering collegiality for academics researching Jung in isolation. This quality makes IAJS both potentially important and significantly fragile. It is important because its openness has the capacity to bring Jungians together to share research on an equal basis not possible elsewhere. It is fragile because IAJS does not have to exist: no one is unable to practice or conduct their research if IAJS were to be dissolved. And moreover, IAJS does not have to exist in its current form. Any organisation stressing plurality is vulnerable to congealing around a dominant group, to falling into stagnation and inertia, whether that dominance comes about intentionally or not. Additionally, an organisation enacting plurality as IAJS has done, being accessible by charging low fees and relying upon the goodwill and hard work of volunteers to keep it going, is vulnerable to running out of busy scholars prepared to devote so much effort to it.
So the future of IAJS is where it should be, with its members. So far the membership, in April 2006 standing at 375, has been positive, responsive and enthusiastic for the emergence of IAJS. It remains to be seen where the energy resulting from this unique experiment in Jungian studies will lead. This is an exciting time for The Jungians.