Keynote Speaker

We are pleased to have Sudhir Kakar
as keynote speaker for our 2015 APCS Conference

Sudhir-KakarSudhir Kakar is a psychoanalyst and writer who lives in Goa, India.
Kakar took his Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Gujarat University, his Master’s degree (Diplom-Kaufmann) in business economics from Mannheim in Germany and his doctorate in economics from Vienna before beginning his training in psychoanalysis at the Sigmund-Freud Institute in Frankfurt, Germany in 1971. Between 1966 and 1971, Sudhir Kakar was a Lecturer in General Education at Harvard University, Research Associate at Harvard Business School and Professor of Organizational Behaviour at Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

After returning to India in 1975, Dr. Kakar set up a practice as a psychoanalyst in Delhi where he was also the Head of Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at Indian Institute of Technology. He has been 40th Anniversary Senior Fellow at the Centre for Study of World Religions at Harvard (2001-02), a visiting professor at the universities of Chicago (1989-93), McGill (1976-77), Melbourne (1981), Hawaii (1998), Vienna (1974-75), INSEAD, France (1994-2013). Currently, he is Fellow, Centre of Advanced Study, University of Cologne, Honorary Professor, GITAM University, Visakhapatnam and D.D. Kosambi Visiting Professor, University of Goa.

A leading figure in the fields of cultural psychology and the psychology of religion, as well as a novelist, Dr. Kakar’s person and work have been profiled in The New York Times, Le Monde, Frankfurter Allgemeine, Neue Zuricher Zeitung, Die Zeit and Le Nouvel Observateur, which listed him as one of the world’s 25 major thinkers while the German weekly Die Zeit portrayed Sudhir Kakar as one of the 21 important thinkers for the 21st century. Dr. Kakar’s many honors include the Kardiner Award of Columbia University, Boyer Prize for Psychological Anthropology of the American Anthropological Association, Germany ’s Goethe Medal, Rockefeller Residency, McArthur Fellowship and Distinguished Service Award of Indo-American Psychiatric Association. He is a member of the New York Academy of Sciences, the Board of Sigmund Freud Archives in the Library of Congress, Washington and the Academie Universelle des Culture, France. In February 2012, he was conferred the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, the country’s highest civilian order.

Sudhir Kakar’s seventeen books of non-fiction and four of fiction, include The Inner World (now in its 16th printing since its first publication in 1978), Shamans, Mystics and Doctors, (with J.M. Ross ) Tales of Love, Sex and Danger, Intimate Relations, The Analyst and the Mystic, The Colors of Violence, Culture and Psyche, (with K.Kakar) The Indians: Portrait of a People, (with Wendy Doniger), a new translation of the Kamasutra for Oxford world Classics and Mad and Divine: Spirit and Psyche in the Modern World. He is also the author of the novels The Ascetic of Desire, Ecstasy, Mira and Mahatma, The Crimson Throne (shortlisted for the 2010 Voda phone Crossword award for fiction) and the editor of Indian Love Stories. His recent books are the memoir A Book of Memory, (ed.) Dreams and Dreaming, The Essential Sudhir Kakar, all published in 2011 and 2012, (ed. with J. Kripal) Seriously Strange: His latest book is Young Tagore: The Makings of a Genius (Penguin-Viking, 2013) and he is currently working on his fifth novel.

Sudhir Kakar will speak on As Psychoanalysis Travels. Here is an abstract of his talk:

The ‘terroir’ of psychoanalysis for more than a century has been and continues to be Western. Shared by analyst and patient alike, pervading the analytic space in which the two are functioning, fundamental ideas about human relationships, family, marriage, male and female and so on which are essentially Western-cultural in origin often remain unexamined and are regarded as universally valid. Looking back on my own personal analysis in Germany and thirty five years of psychoanalytic practice with Indian, European and American patients, my talk explores the largely unexamined ways culture, which is woven into the psyche from the beginning of life, has permeated the theory and practice of psychoanalysis.

For those interested in Dr. Kakar’s work, he has provided a paper, Psychoanalysis, Culture and the Cultural Unconscious, that you may read prior to hearing his presentation.