Sonu Shamdasani

The next recipient of the IAJS annual C. G. Jung Award is Sonu Shamdasani

Sonu Shamdasani will be honored as the next recipient of the IAJS annual C. G. Jung Award and will give his C. G. Jung Memorial Keynote Address at the IAJS online conference, Jung and Duality, December 6-8, 2024. Please join us in congratulating him for his notable achievements.

On behalf of the Board of Directors of IAJS, we extend our congratulations, appreciation, and gratitude to Sonu for his noteworthy contributions to the field. In giving this award to Dr. Shamdasani, the IAJS recognizes the impressive contribution he has made to the field of Jungian and post-Jungian studies. His scholarly contributions have brought unprecedented opportunities for accurate, original source material for academics and clinicians interested in Jungian psychology. Additionally, his insights into and interpretation of the writings and thoughts of C. G. Jung, as well as the relationship he has built with the Jung family, have elevated the works by C. G. Jung and the field of analytical psychology to even greater prominence and stature.

 Brief Biography of Dr. Sonu Shamdasani:

Sonu Shamdasani (MSc, PhD) is a London-based author, editor-in-chief, and professor at University College London. A significant portion of his research and writings focus on Carl Gustav Jung (1875–1961) and cover the history of psychiatry and psychology from the mid-nineteenth century to current times.

Sonu Shamdasani edited the first publication of Jung’s major work: Liber Novus, The Red Book. Although its title had been well known for years, it was not until its publication in 2009 that its contents were revealed to the public and practicing psychotherapists and other scholars.

Education and Academic Career

Sonu gained his BA from Bristol University in 1984, followed by an MSc in the History of Science and Medicine at University College London/Imperial College London. Later, he was awarded a PhD in the History of Medicine from the University College London’s Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine. He then became a professor at the Institute.

In a 2009 interview with the Times of India, Shamdasani gave this brief biographical note:

“I am a Sindhi, I was born in Singapore and grew up in England. I first encountered Jung when I was travelling in India in my teens, looking for a guru. The first work of his that I came across was his commentary to The Secret of the Golden Flower, which was my first introduction to psychology. I then saw the text as promising the possibility of a mediation between Eastern mysticism and Western rationality. . . This led me to the studying the history of psychology.”

In 2003, Dr. Shamdasani founded, along with Stephen Martin, the Philemon Foundation, which sought to publish all of Jung’s works. Although Jung’s Collected Works had been published in twenty volumes, there were manuscripts and other works by Jung that remained unpublished. Dr. Shamdasani commenced and continues now his labors at Philemon as the foundation’s General Editor.

Currently, Dr. Shamdasani serves as a professor in the School of European Languages, Culture, and Society (SELCS) at University College London, and is also Director of the UCL Centre for the History of Psychological Disciplines.

The Red Book

By 2000, Dr. Shamdasani had arranged to begin work editing Jung’s The Red Book. In 2003, he stepped in as Editor of the Philemon Foundation’s successful project to publish, in 2009, this much awaited volume. Although Jung had worked on the writing and the designs for it between 1914 and 1930, he did not then have it published. In 1959, Jung added a short Epilogue to The Red Book, commenting on his ‘confrontation with the unconscious’ that started prior to World War I: “It could have developed into [madness] had I not been able to hold the overpowering force of the original experiences. … I knew of nothing better than to write them down… and to paint the images that appeared when reliving it all—as well as I could.”

Dr. Shamdasani describes Jung’s unusual work as “the book that stands at the center of his oeuvre” which “has long been recognized as the key to comprehending” Jung. The Red Book “was at the center of Jung’s self-experimentation. Earlier Dr. Shamdasani had stated:

“If one does not place Jung’s confrontation with the unconscious in a proper perspective, or understand the significance of The Red Book, one is in no place to understand fully Jung’s intellectual development from 1913 onwards, and not only that, but his life as well: it was his inner life which dictated his movements in the world. … For Jung’s work on his fantasies in The Black Books and The Red Book formed the core of his later work, as he himself contended. The Red Book is at the center of Jung’s life and work.

Selected bibliography

Author

  • Cult Fictions: C. G. Jung and the Founding of Analytical Psychology (London: Routledge, 1998).
  • Jung and the Making of Modern Psychology: The Dream of a Science (Cambridge University Press, 2003).
  • Jung Stripped Bare by His Biographers, Even (London: Karnac Books, 2004).
  • C. G. Jung. A biography in Books (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2012).

Co-author

  • Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen & Shamdasani, Le Dossier Freud. Enquête sur l’histoire de la psychoanalyse (Paris: Les empêcheurs de penser en rond/Le Seuil, 2006).
  • Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen & Shamdasani, The Freud Files: An Inquiry into the History of Psychoanalysis (Cambridge University Press, 2012).
  • James Hillman & Shamdasani, Lament of the Dead. Psychology After Jung’s Red Book (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2013).

Editor

  • C. G. Jung, The Psychology of Kundalini Yoga. Notes of the Seminar Given in 1932 by C. G. Jung (Bollingen/Princeton University, 1996), Introduction by Shamdasani.
  • C. G. Jung, The Red Book. Liber Novus (Philemon Series & New York/London: W. W. Norton & Company, 2009), Introduction by Shamdasani.
  • C. G. Jung, History of Modern Psychology: Lectures Delivered at the ETH Zurich, Volume 1, 1933–1934 (Philemon Series & Princeton University Press, 2018).
  • C. G. Jung, The Black Books of C.G. Jung (1913–1932) (Stiftung der Werke von C. G. Jung & W. W. Norton & Company, 2020). 

There is still time to submit a proposal to give a presentation at the conference. Conference registration details will be posted soon.

Respectfully yours,

Marybeth Carter, Chair, IAJS