Finding a Cultural Zeitgeist Between Bordered and Borderless Worlds

Presented by Sulagna Sengupta 8am-9:30am PST, 28th July 2024

Please join us for the upcoming IAJS Online Zoom seminar with Sulagna Sengupta presenting:

Finding a Cultural Zeitgeist

Between Bordered and Borderless Worlds

July 28, 2024, with Sulagna Sengupta

1.5-hour Zoom beginning at 8 am PST.

Moderated by Gustavo Beck

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About the Seminar: 

Art in a living tradition calls for concerted effort, writes artist and philosopher K.G. Subramanyan (1924-2016), whose sculptures, murals and paintings reflect cubist influences in indigenous folk motifs. Subramanyan straddled genres, experimenting with mediums, while searching for artistic truth. A similar polyvalent quality of inquiry is found in Israeli scholar David Shulman’s work, whose mastery over languages, Islamic, Judaic and Hindu traditions, anthropological fieldwork and political activism, evoke notions of a cultural zeitgeist, that is panoptic. It takes Shulman, scholar extraordinaire, concerted effort to access alien traditions, which he does, instead of letting his work remain confined to the familiar and the known. Shulman catalyzes a mode of inquiry that is comparative, dialogical and Archimedean, which nearly a century ago, Jung found for himself, in his confrontations with the unconscious.

This seminar looks at conversations between borders, the social, political and spiritual impulses around which the psyche is shaped, as it forms and unforms constantly. Finding a cultural zeitgeist involves heroic attempts in befriending the strange and the absurd. The seminar will offer glimpses of cultural zeitgeists catalyzed across borders, their significance for depth work, and how pioneers and thinkers have invested in such explorations across ages, confronting the unknown and building new gestalts. 

About the speaker: 

Sulagna Sengupta did her graduate studies in literature at Rabindranath Tagore’s world university in Santiniketan, postgraduate education at Jadavpur University, Kolkata, and research internship in an Indo-Dutch development project (IDPAD), working in the squatter settlements of New Delhi. Her first career was in international development. Sulagna is currently completing her PhD on The Ramayana at the Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Essex, U.K. She is the author of two books, ‘Jung in India’ (2013), revised edition (2024), and Animus, Psyche and Culture: A Jungian Revision (2023). Sulagna publishes regularly and lectures worldwide. Her most recent article is in Cahiers jungiens de psychanalyse, titled Carl Gustav Jung and India: More than a Hundred Years Later (July 2024). Her website is

Select references:

Shulman, D., 2008. Spring, Heat, Rains – A South Indian Diary, University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

K.G. Subramanyan, 2024. The Living Tradition: Perspectives on Modern Indian Art, Seagull Books, Kolkata, India.

Jung, C.G., Shamdasani, S. (edited), 2009. The Red Book – Liver Novus (Philemon), W.W. Norton & Company, USA.

Tagore, R. 2003. Crisis in Civilization and other Essays, Rupa Publishing, India.

Ghosh, A. 2021. The Nutmeg’s Curse: Parables for a Planet in Crisis, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, USA.

Mueller. M. (Translation), 1879. The Upanishads in The Sacred Books of the East, Clarendon Press, London.

Sengupta, S. 2013. Jung in India, Spring Journal Publications, USA.

Kay O’Neil, M. & Akhtar, (edited) S. 2009. On Freud’s “The Future of an Illusion”, International Psychoanalytic Association, Karnac Books, London, 

Please note that this seminar will not be recorded. If you have any questions, please email Gustavo Beck at

Looking forward to your participation. 

Warm regards, 

Gustavo Beck.