STERENBERG, Matthew Kane



Faculty of International Research and Education, School of International Liberal Studies

Job title

Associate Professor

Concurrent Post 【 display / non-display

  • Faculty of International Research and Education   Graduate School of International Culture and Communication Studies

Degree 【 display / non-display

  • Northwestern University (U.S.A.)   Ph.D.


Research Interests 【 display / non-display

  • cultural and intellectual history of modern Britain

Papers 【 display / non-display

  • Mythographers of the Catastrophe: J.G. Ballard, the “New Wave,” and Mythic Science Fiction

    Matthew Sterenberg

    Waseda Global Forum   8  2012


    Matthew Sterenberg

    PHILOSOPHY AND LITERATURE   34 ( 1 ) 161 - 172  2010.04  [Refereed]

Presentations 【 display / non-display

  • The Sage of Zurich Comes to London: C.G. Jung in British Cultural History

    Waseda University, School of International Liberal Studies Faculty Seminar 

    Presentation date: 2011.04

Specific Research 【 display / non-display

  • 20世紀英国の文化史における心理とMyth(神話)


     View Summary

    The purpose of this research project was to investigate the relationship between psychology and myth in twentieth century British culture. My investigation of psychology and myth is part of a larger, multi-year, book-length project that I am conducting on the phenomenon of mythic thinking in twentieth century Britain. My book will be the first intellectual and cultural history of this phenomenon. The research that I carried out during the past year for Special Research Project Grant 2010A-929 will ultimately form the basis of one chapter in that book. My research during the past year for Special Research Project Grant 2010A-929 was carried out in three main phases. The first phase involved reading secondary literature in order to understand the history of psychology in twentieth-century Britain. The main result of this first phase was that I decided to focus my subsequent research on Carl Gustav Jung’s influence in Britain. Carl Gustav Jung was the twentieth century’s leading psychological theorist of myth. Even though Jung lived and worked in Switzerland, he visited Britain frequently and his ideas about myth and its relation to psychological health were very influential there. During the second phase of my research project I conducted primary source research on Jung’s thought and its influence in Britain. The most important part of this phase was archival research I conducted in London, mostly at the British Library. At the British Library I was able to access many documents, texts, and sources that are unavailable elsewhere. Using this evidence, I was able to reconstruct the history of Jung’s career and influence in Britain. This was a challenge because British interest in Jung and his ideas lasted for many years and the nature of British interest in Jung changed over time. British fascination with Jung began around 1913 when he first visited the country, and it continued into the 1980s and beyond. I conducted this research in London between February 21 and March 3. When I returned to Japan after conducting research in London, I immediately began the third phase of my research project. The focus of this third phase was to develop an historical argument based my research results. Specifically, this involved writing an article-length draft. In this draft article I attempt to answer the simple question: why did Jung enjoy such prominence in Britain? This prominence was summarized by writer in the The Guardian newspaper in 1975: “Jung was the modern high priest of a psychotherapeutic tradition reaching far back into ancient mythology―a sage, almost an oracle…. Many famous men and women came from all over the world to pay homage as they might to a holy man, or to pose questions which he alone, they believed, was equipped to answer.” I argue that Jung became a “spiritual sage” in Britain for three main reasons: 1) Jung loved Britain and British culture and he deeply wanted to make an impact there; 2) Jung was highly effective at promoting his own ideas and his status as an outsider to British culture actually made it easier for him to promote his ideas there; and 3) most importantly, several of Jung’s key ideas, such as his emphasis on the importance of myth, were highly compatible with concerns that were central to twentieth-century British culture. This draft needs to be finalized, but I intend to submit it to a journal for publication in May or June 2011.


Syllabus 【 display / non-display

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