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Eternal Youth and the Myth of Deconstruction: An Archetypal Reading of Jacques Derrida and Judith Butler

May 1, 8, 15, 22, 2024

4 Live Classes | 4 CECs | Offered Live via Zoom

Program Description

  • 4 Live Webinar Sessions with Q & A
  • 4 Links to the Recordings
  • 4 CECs

This course is based on the book Eternal Youth and the Myth of Deconstruction: An Archetypal Reading of Jacques Derrida and Judith Butler. The Eternal Youth is a figure well known to Jungians. In myth and literature this figure takes the form of a boy or girl who refuses to grow up, like Peter Pan, or simply dies young, like Icarus. Deconstruction is a method of philosophical and literary analysis originated by Jacques Derrida and a driving force behind much postmodernist thought, including that of Judith Butler. This course uses one of Carl Jung’s core interpretive principles – amplification – to draw parallels between the two—between the mythic figure and the philosophical method. In the process, it demonstrates that the thematic content of deconstruction bears a striking resemblance to that of the eternal youth: Both are deeply concerned with questions of time, displacement, representation, authority, limits, structure, and play. The course applies depth psychological concepts like dissociation, archetypal possession, amplification, and projection to offer an innovative interpretation and critique of a philosophical orientation that continues to have a powerful influence over both academia and the broader culture.

This Course is Ideal if:

You are a graduate student of Depth Psychology and have an interest in philosophical ideas and/or ways in which Depth Psychology can be applied outside of the clinical setting.

Course Overview:

Week 1 – Who is the Eternal Youth?

A presentation of the thesis of this course: Deconstruction tells a mythic story, followed by literary examples of the Eternal Youth, including Peter Pan and The Little Prince. This class will begin to sketch some of the themes that are central to eternal youths through a review of the works of two well-known depth psychologists within the Jungian tradition: Marie-Louise von Franz and James Hillman

  • Central Thesis: Deconstruction tells a mythic story.
  • What mythic story?
  • Support of the thesis: the method of amplification.
  • Examples of Eternal Youth figures.
    • Peter Pan
    • The Little Prince
    • Icarus
  • The two major theorists
    • Marie-Louise von Franz
      • Ambivalent relationship to Mother
      • Life in the realm of fantasy and idea
  • James Hillman
    • Pothos – A love of things far off
    • Conflict with Father Time
    • Dream of limitlessness
  • Time for questions (15 minutes)

Suggested readings (and viewing):

Hillman, J., & Slater, G. (2005). Senex & puer . Spring Publications.

Von Franz, M. L. (1970). The problem of the puer aeternus (3rd ed.). Inner City Books.

Yeoman, A. (1998 [1999]). Now or Neverland: Peter Pan and the myth of eternal youth:
A psychological perspective on a cultural icon. Inner City Books.

Step Brothers – Film (McKay et al., 2008 )

Week 2 – The Eternal Youth’s Antagonists

A further description of the Eternal Youth with a greater focus on how Marie-Louise von Franz and James Hillman conceive of this youth’s fundamental problem and primary antagonists: The Great Mother (for von Franz) and the Senex, or Father Time (for Hillman).

  • Marie-Louise von Franz
    • The Great Mother and her relation to matter
      • The question of primordiality
      • The son-lover pairing (Cybele and Attis)
      • Being cut-off from the immediacy of experience
  • James Hillman
    • Senex as Father Time
      • The Senex-Puer dyad
      • Chronos as measurable time
      • Senex as structure and limitation
  • Time for questions (15 minutes)

Suggested readings: Same as Week 1

Week 3 – Derrida’s Not Yet

An overview of the central term or idea upon which deconstruction is founded: différance as well as concepts like the sign, signifier, and signified. This class will give a broad outline of deconstruction as it was originally conceived by its founder while drawing parallels to the Eternal Youth.

  • Différance
    • Deferral
    • Differentiation
    • Signs, sigifiers, and signifieds
  • The Transcendental Signified
    • The thing in itself
    • Nothing is self-evident
    • The radical critique of universals and metaphysics
  • Pothos revisited: Frustrated desire
    • Différance as pothos
    • Other forms of eros – anteros and himeros
  • Time for questions (15 minutes)

Suggested readings:

Derrida, J. (2007). Structure, sign, and play in the discourse of the human sciences. In R.

Macksey & E. Donato (Eds.), The structuralist controversy: The languages of criticism and the sciences of man (pp. 247–265). Johns Hopkins University Press. ( An online version can be found at https://www2.csudh.edu/ccauthen/576f13/DrrdaSSP.pdf )

Derrida, J. (1973). Speech and phenomena, and other essays on Husserl’s theory of signs.

Northwestern University Press. (An online version can be found at https://antilogicalism.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/speech-and-phenomena.pdf The section Différance on pp. 129-160 is recommended)

Week 4 – Play and Performativity

An overview of the concepts of ‘play’ and ‘performativity’ in the thought of Jacques Derrida and Judith Butler. This class will additionally provide a brief outline of Butler’s application of deconstruction to the relationship between language (or discourse) and the sexed body, as well as the sex/gender binary.

  • Derrida’s free play
    • Free play as interpretation without fault, truth, or origin
    • Interpretation ungrounded
  • Performative acts of Speech
    • Language as doing
    • Felicity conditions
  • Gender as performance
    • Performance as speech
    • Self-creation through performance
    • Inverting the sex/gender binary
  • Archetypal parallels
    • Butler’s and Peter Pan’s shared thesis
    • Reviewing parallels between deconstruction and the Eternal Youth
  • Time for questions (15 minutes)

Suggested readings:

Butler, J. (1996). Bodies that matter: On the discursive limits of sex . Routledge.

By the End of This Course, You Will Be Able To:

  1. Describe salient characteristics of the figure of the Eternal Youth as portrayed in Jungian and Archetypal Psychology.
  2. Define key terms often used in deconstruction.
  3. Explain the Jungian technique of amplification.
  4. Explain the concept of archetypal possession.

CEC Learning Objectives:

  1. Name at least four primary themes found in Eternal Youth stories
  2. Identify at least four parallels or similarities between deconstruction and Eternal Youth stories
  3. Define these three terms: sign, signifier, signified.
  4. Define the following four terms: amplification, dissociation, archetypal possession, and projection

References:

Beebe, J. (2021). Excerpt from Hitler as Puer JAMES Thweatt. Jung Journal, 15(4), 55-70. doi:10.1080/19342039.2021.1979364

Drousioti, K. (2021). Does Judith butler subvert gender binarism? Let’s talk about sex(ual dipoles). Journal of Bisexuality, 21(1), 94-112. doi:10.1080/15299716.2020.1870055

Kline, J. (2017). The feral boy: Archetypal image of pathos in a dream series. International Journal of Jungian Studies, 9(3), 137-147. doi:10.1080/19409052.2017.1339624

Kozak, P. (2022). What cannot be deconstructed? Truth. Studia Philosophiae Christianae, 58(2), 129-136. doi:10.21697/spch.2022.58.a.14

Tacey, D. (2014). James Hillman: The unmaking of a psychologist part one: his legacy. Journal of Analytical Psychology, 59(4), 467-485. doi:10.1111/1468-5922.12094

Course Addendums

Bibliography:
Alderman, B. (2016). Symptom, symbol, and the other of language: A Jungian interpretation of the linguistic turn . Routledge.

Alderman, B. (2023). Eternal youth and the myth of deconstruction: An archetypal reading of Jacques Derrida and Judith butler. Taylor & Francis.

Barrie, J. M. (1911). Peter and Wendy . Charles Scribner’s Sons.

Barrie, J. M. (2011). The annotated Peter Pan: The centennial edition (M. Tatar, Ed.). W.W. Norton & Company. (Original work published 1911)

Butler, J. (1996 [2011]). Bodies that matter: On the discursive limits of sex . Routledge.

Butler, J. (1990). Gender trouble: Feminism and the subversion of identity . Routledge.

De Rougemont, D. (1963). Love declared: Essays on the myths of love . Pantheon Books.

De Rougemont, D., & Belgion, M. (1983). Love in the western world . Princeton University Press.

Derrida, J. (1976). Of grammatology (G. C. Spivak, Trans.). Johns Hopkins University Press. (Original work published 1967)

Derrida, J. (1981). Positions (A. Bass, Trans.). University of Chicago Press.

Derrida, J. (1973). Speech and phenomena, and other essays on Husserl’s theory of signs. Northwestern University Press.

Derrida, J. (1992). Force of law: The “mystical foundation of authority”. In D. Cornell, M. Rosenfeld, & D. G. Carlson (Eds.), Deconstruction and the possibility of justice (pp. 3–67). Routledge.

Gilead, S. (1991). Magic abjured: Closure in children’s fantasy fiction. PMLA , 106 (2), 277– 293. https://doi.org/10.2307/462663

Guntrip, H. (1992). Schizoid phenomena, object relations and the self . Karnac Books.

Hillman, J. (1979). Puer papers . Spring Publications.

Hillman, J., & Slater, G. (2005). Senex & puer . Spring Publications.

Jung, C. G. (1953). Two essays on analytical psychology. In The collected works of C. G. Jung (Vol. 7, R. F. C. Hull, Trans.). Princeton University Press.

Jung, C. G. (1956). Symbols of transformation. In The collected works of C. G. Jung (Vol. 5, R. F. C. Hull, Trans.). Princeton University Press.

Jung, C. G. (1959). Aion: Researches into the phenomenology of the self. In The collected works of C. G. Jung (Vol. 9.2, R. F. C. Hull, Trans.). Princeton University Press.

Jung, C. G. (1964). Civilization in transition. In The collected works of C. G. Jung (Vol. 10, R. F. C. Hull, Trans.). Princeton University Press.

Jung, C. G. (1969). The archetypes and the collective unconscious. In The collected works of C. G. Jung (Vol. 9.1, R. F. C. Hull, Trans.). Princeton University Press.

Jung, C. G. (1970). Mysterium coniunctionis: An inquiry into the separation and synthesis of psychic opposites in alchemy. In The collected works of C. G. Jung (Vol. 14, 2nd ed., R. F. C. Hull, Trans.). Princeton University Press.

Kalsched, D. (2013). Trauma and the soul: A psycho-spiritual approach to human development and its interruption . Routledge.

Kundera, M. (1976). Life is elsewhere (P. Kussi, Trans.). Faber & Faber.

Tatar, M. (2011). The annotated Peter Pan . W.W. Norton & Company.

Wood, D. (2001). The deconstruction of time . Northwestern University Press.

Films to Watch: Step Brothers (McKay et al., 2008 )

Program Details

Dates

May 1, 8, 15, 22, 2024
12 Noon – 1:00 PM PT

Dates

May 1, 8, 15, 22, 2024
12 Noon – 1:00 PM PT

Registration

$225.00 – General Rate
$185.00 – Pacifica Alumni, Full Time Students, & Senior Rate
$135.00 – Pacifica Student Rate
$30.00  – Continuing Education Credit (CECs) Fee

Participants requesting Continuing Education Credits (CECs) for Online programs must attend all live sessions (offered via Zoom) in order to receive CECs. Please make sure that your Zoom account name matches the name of the attendee requesting CECs.

About the Teacher

 

Bret Alderman is an author and life coach who received his PhD in Depth Psychology in 2013 from the Pacifica Graduate Institute in Carpinteria, California. His first book, published by Routledge in its series Research in Analytical Psychology and Jungian Studies is entitled Symptom, Symbol, and the Other of Language. It explores postmodern conceptions of language from a depth psychological perspective. His most recent book, Eternal Youth and the Myth of Deconstruction has also been published by Routledge in its series Philosophy and Psychoanalysis. It addresses the philosophy of deconstruction as it appears in the works of Jacques Derrida and Judith Butler, conceiving it as an expression of the archetypal figure of eternal youth. His recent interests include ideological possession, deconstruction, gender, and the interface between psychology and philosophy.

General Information

Location

Hosted Online

Cancellations

Cancellations 14 days or more prior to the program start date receive a 100% refund of program registrations. After 14 days, up to 7 days prior to the program start date, a 50% refund is available. For cancellations made less than 7 days of program start date, no refund is available.

For additional information, including travel, cancellation policy, and disability services please visit our general information section.

Continuing Education Credit

This program meets qualifications for 4 hours of continuing education credit for Psychologists through the California Psychological Association (PAC014) Pacifica Graduate Institute is approved by the California Psychological Association to provide continuing education for psychologists.  Pacifica Graduate Institute maintains responsibility for this program and its content.  Full attendance is required to receive a certificate.

This course meets the qualifications for 4 hours of continuing education credit for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.  Pacifica Graduate Institute is approved by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (#60721) to sponsor continuing education for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs.  Pacifica Graduate Institute maintains responsibility for this program/course and its content.  Full attendance is required to obtain a certificate.

For Registered Nurses through the California Board of Registered Nurses this conference meets qualifications of 4 hours of continuing education credit are available for RNs through the California Board of Registered Nurses (provider #CEP 7177).  Full attendance is required to obtain a certificate.

Pacifica Graduate Institute is approved by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists to sponsor continuing education for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs.  Pacifica Graduate Institute maintains responsibility for each program and its content.  Full day attendance is required to receive a certificate.

Continuing Education Goal.  Pacifica Graduate Institute is committed to offering continuing education courses to train LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and LEPs to treat any client in an ethically and clinically sound manner based upon current accepted standards of practice.  Course completion certificates will be awarded at the conclusion of the training and upon participant’s submission of his or her completed evaluation.

CECs and Online Program Attendance: Participants requesting Continuing Education Credits (CECs) for Online programs must attend all live sessions (offered via Zoom) in order to receive CECs. Please make sure that your Zoom account name matches the name of the attendee requesting CECs.

For those who meet the CEC requirements, CE Certificates will be emailed out in late December or early January.

For additional information, including travel, cancellation policy, and disability services please visit our general information section.

Registration Details

May 1, 8, 15, 22, 2024

Number of Classes: 4
Class Length: 60 min.
Class Time: 12 Noon – 1:00 PM PT
CECs: 4
Total Duration:
4 Hours

The presentations will be recorded and shared after each session for those unable to attend live.

Participants requesting Continuing Education Credits (CECs) for Online programs must attend all live sessions (offered via Zoom) in order to receive CECs. Please make sure that your Zoom account name matches the name of the attendee requesting CECs.

All of the live Zoom sessions will be recorded and made available to everyone registered for the program. If you watch the recordings and keep up with the online discussion forum you will qualify for the certificate of completion. Live attendance to the Zoom sessions is not necessary unless you are looking to obtain Continuing Education Credits.