IAJS Origins

iajs-logo-2013IAJS: A Brief Historical Account of its Inception

In July 1995 Renos Papadopoulos and Andrew Samuels were appointed professors of Analytical Psychology at the Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies of the University of Essex. This was the first time that such a chair was established at a British University, and in a Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies, anywhere in the world. In 1998, at the XIV Congress of the International Association for Analytical Psychology (IAAP) in Florence, Andrew and Renos coordinated a meeting inviting everybody from the participants (who, of course, were IAAP members, i.e. practising analysts) who had any academic connection. The response was unpredictably overwhelming. The small room allotted was overfull. The purpose of the meeting was (a) to identify everybody who was involved in any way with academic teaching, supervision or research (b) to share information about each person’s academic activities, exchange experiences and learn from each other, (c) to identify gaps and needs as well as resources, (d) to coordinate future efforts as appropriate, and (d) to develop a data-base containing in a systematic way all this information. A strong wish was expressed by all participants of the meeting to remain connected.

At that Congress, Renos Papadopoulos was elected on the Executive Committee of the IAAP, and he proposed the establishment of an Academic Subcommittee within the IAAP (in addition to two other subcommittees: for ‘Publications’ and for ‘Developing Groups’). All three of his proposals were accepted and he became the first chair of the Academic Subcommittee – the other members were Christian Gaillard, Paul Kugler, and Denise Ramos. The general rationale for this new Subcommittee was ‘to assist the Executive Committee of the IAAP with matters pertaining to academic issues’.

The ‘Overall Aims’ were specified as follows:
To encourage and promote the interest and involvement of IAAP members in Academic /Research (A/R) matters.
To encourage and promote the interrelationship between the IAAP (its members as individuals as well as groups and / or sub-groups) and the A/R community at large.
To promote the A/R field in analytical psychology by encouraging innovative and creative developments.

The ‘Specific Objectives’ were:
To inform and advise the Executive Committee on matters pertaining to A/R issues, e.g. offering consultation to the Grants and Research Sub-committee.
To systematically collect information and create a data-base on (a) individual IAAP members involved in A/R activities, (b) existing relevant academic programmes at various levels (e.g. under- and post-graduate, extra-mural), (c) useful key texts used in such programmes, (d) existing relevant research projects (what is done; who is doing it; what methodology is used, etc).
To facilitate the exchange of the above information via (a) the IAAP Newsletter, (b) the IAAP Website, and (c) ad hoc networks.
To encourage and promote the setting up of relevant academic programmes and research projects.
To encourage the dissemination and translation of key A/R papers across the five IAAP Languages.
To consider the promotion of specialist A/R gatherings and exchange programmes.’
The establishment of this sub-committee was a major landmark in the relationship between analytical psychology and the academic world. For the first time there was an official recognition that Jungian analysis was not the only legitimate Jungian activity and academic activity was not necessarily contrary to Jungian thought. One of the many activities of this subcommittee was to organise another ‘Academic meeting’ at the following IAAP Congress, in 2001 in Cambridge (UK); that had an equally positive response.

Based on the last objective of this Subcommittee, Renos Papadopoulos proposed that the IAAP organises a specific international Conference that is devoted exclusively to academic Jungian matters. This proposal was accepted by the IAAP and Renos was appointed as chair of both the organising and programme committees of this Conference. The ‘aim of this groundbreaking Conference’ was ‘to foster the significant growth’ of ‘Analytical (Jungian) Psychology in University programmes throughout the world’ by promoting ‘the maximum exchange of ideas, projects, and existing practices concerning the interface between Analytical Psychology and the academic world’. Finally, the ‘First International Academic Conference of Analytical Psychology’ took place at the University of Essex (in Colchester, England) in July 2002; it was organised jointly by the IAAP and the Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Essex. The response was astonishing. 185 participants from 20 countries attended and there were 84 presentations (including the plenary ones), plus another dozen poster presentations. The IAAP assisted financially the Conference but at the end the loan was paid back and that was the first IAAP Conference that actually made a profit.

The feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Everybody valued the unprecedented opportunity that the conference offered academics, researchers, students, analysts, and therapists from all over the world to come together to present their work, share experiences and co-ordinate future developments. That was the first time that there was an active exchange between Analytical Psychology and the academy. De facto, the Conference activated into existence a new body of people who shared similar interests and concerns (i.e. academic Jungian psychology) – that was the body that consisted of two main sub-groups which were previously experiencing themselves as marginal and isolated from the mainstream of their professions: (a) IAAP members who were involved in academic programmes in a variety of different ways – from holding full academic posts to offering occasional lectures in University settings, and (b) professional academics teaching a variety of different subjects at Universities where they had been introducing a Jungian dimension at varying degrees. ‘Like an archetypal alchemical union, when those two groups got together they formed a very strong bond and expressed the firm desire to legitimise their union!’

Before the actual Conference, Renos suggested that a natural development of the conference would be to form a new organisation that would represent all those involved in Jungian academic work, both IAAP members and non IAAP members. Initially, some members of the IAAP Executive had misgivings about this suggestion and they even opposed it. Renos indicated the inevitability of this development and advised that the IAAP accepts the legitimacy of this new body and enters into a mutually enriching collaboration with it rather than deny its right to existence. Finally, sense prevailed and the IAAP accepted that this new body, the International Association for Jungian Studies, had the right to form itself, outside the IAAP jurisdiction.

The formation of the IAJS was the fulfilment of a dream of many IAAP members who valued their academic affiliation and academics who valued Jungian perspectives. The IAJS created a home for this two marginalised groups. In addition, there was also a very small group of people who had always combined both academic jobs with Jungian clinical/analytic practice. For this third group, this new home (IAJS) offered a unique possibility to bring together both of their own parts that were previously forced to be split off because no existing professional space could accommodate the other part, i.e. the Jungian analysts tended to frown down upon academic activities, dismissing them as privileging the ‘thinking function’, and academics tended to deride any Jungian leaning as mystical and non-academic. For example, Renos throughout his career he maintained both an academic position as well as a clinical practice. At the time of the formation of the IAJS, in 2002, Renos had already been an academic for 31 years and an IAAP analyst for 20 years. In the Department of Psychology of the University of Cape Town in the 70s he established (with Professor Graham Saayman) a distinct group which engaged in the investigation of various Jungian themes within the context of academic research.

For the record, here are some excerpts from the email correspondence between Renos and members of the IAAP Executive Committee:

Renos: ‘In effect, [the First International Academic Conference of Analytical Psychology Essex Conference will] be activating a new body of people who will and should want to retain contact and develop further their collaborative ventures. These will be IAAP members and academics all involved in various forms of Jungian Studies in academic contexts. It will be unreasonable for the IAAP to control and own this body as half of them will not be IAAP members. Besides, as we have seen, the IAAP Academic committee will not be able to have any kind of continuity. Therefore what is essential is that a new body is formed, something like an International Association of Academic Jungian Studies which would enable this field to develop. I envisage that this body will be working in close collaboration with IAAP.’

‘I’m afraid a separate organization would be a lot of work (for whom? who would run it?) and wouldn’t have much raison d’etre except communication and an occasional conference. I think we could do that through the Academic Committee and auxiliary people, like yourself, who are the ‘constant elements’. … At the minimum we could announce there the intention of holding further such conferences and working out a communications network, with ‘membership’ in the ‘network’ not dependent upon IAAP membership but rather open to all academics who teach Jung or some aspect of analytical psychology in their respective disciplines. Maybe even an online journal, run through the IAAP website, would be a possibility’.

Renos: ‘… We do not seem to agree on this one; however, I will not act before we discuss it further. In short, I cannot see how (logically, administratively and organizationally) the IAAP can expect to control non analytical activities of non IAAP members. Even if the IAAP were to find some kind of way to accept academics in some form of ‘associate collaborators’ (or whatever), academics will not want to be part of an organisation as second class citizens. Moreover, the IAAP Academic Committee will always run according to internal IAAP politics and whimsies. The only way forward would be a close collaboration between two different associations. This may be the only realistic way forward’.

Renos K Papadopoulos
April 2006