Book Launch: Jungian ‘Animus, Psyche and Culture’ by Sulagna Sengupta

'Animus, Psyche and Culture: A Jungian Revision' (Routledge, 2023) by Sulagna Sengupta is a revisionist account of Carl Jung’s concept of the animus and the unconscious psyche through its amplification in culture. The book takes off from Jung’s notion of the psyche as a dual and paradoxical entity, both conscious and unconscious, with inherent tensions between them that are essential for the psyche’s growth and vitality.


The contra-sexual animus is a twofold entity, with a masculine other in a feminine self–a notion that has been in Indian culture since ancient times. Jung’s relationship with India spanned many decades of the 1900s and includes not just his psychological enquiries of Indian texts and religious philosophy, but also many decades of correspondence from the 1920s to 1961, as well as a historic trip to India in 1937-38 to attend the Silver jubilee celebrations of the Indian Science Congress. Jung’s empirical and scientific work on the unconscious and his long career as a psychoanalyst in the West blended seamlessly with his interests in Eastern knowledge traditions–a combination that rendered his work unique, as it affirmed the wisdom of ‘the other’.

This lecture-presentation will highlight Carl Jung’s psychological interests in India and deliberate on his pioneering notion of the animus. It will illustrate the significance of culture, gender and feminine subjectivity in the unfolding of the animus in the unconscious psyche. The talk will highlight key contents of the book and the significance of culture in formulating notions of consciousness. The book is available for purchase here and here.