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06/28/2017

English Professor Explores Jung, Africa in New Text

Quick Facts

 Fike joined the Winthrop community in 2000 and teaches courses on Shakespeare and Renaissance literature.
 Past publications include three critical books: “Spenser’s Underworld in the 1590 ‘Faerie Queen’”; “A Jungian Study of Shakespeare: The Visionary Mode”; and “The One Mind: C. G. Jung and the Future of Literary Criticism.”

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Matthew Fike
ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA — Winthrop University’s Matthew Fike has written about Carl Jung for more than a dozen years and about Africa for the past three years. He combines the two in his newest text, “Anima and Africa: Jungian Essays on Psyche, Land, and Literature,” available now through Routledge.

In his new book, Fike, a professor of English, uses Jung’s explorations of the anima—which refers to the integration of the inner feminine in every man in an effort to become a whole person—to analyze male characters in well-known British, American and African fiction from such authors as Ernest Hemingway, Barbara Kingsolver, Henry Rider Haggard, Olive Schreiner and Doris Lessing.

Fike said he was pleased with how well Jung’s anima theory and his time in Africa applied to these selected works.

“Genuinely surprising moments occurred when I was working on novels by Doris Lessing and J. M. Coetzee,” he explained. “I discovered that Lessing must have borrowed imagery from Jung’s autobiography, ‘Memories, Dreams, Reflections.’ Coetzee alludes to Jung’s favorite book, Goethe’s ‘Faust,’ which proved to be relevant to the novel in previously undiscovered ways.”

Fike hopes his book will appeal to a wide audience, including those interested in Jung, casual readers, students, teachers and scholars, adding that many of the works mentioned are currently taught in schools at all levels.

“My book—or more likely selected chapters—will be essential reading for anyone wanting to understand the works from the point of view of depth psychology, i.e., psychology that takes into account the unconscious mind, which for Jung is personal and collective,” he said.

“Anima and Africa” is available online through Routledge via paperback ($42.36); hardcover ($152); and eBook ($37.07).

Fike joined the Winthrop community in 2000 and teaches courses on Shakespeare and Renaissance literature. He holds both a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. Past publications include three critical books: “Spenser’s Underworld in the 1590 ‘Faerie Queen’”; “A Jungian Study of Shakespeare: The Visionary Mode”; and “The One Mind: C. G. Jung and the Future of Literary Criticism.” He has published more than 30 articles on British literature, American literature and pedagogy.

For more information, contact Nicole Chisari, communications coordinator, at 803-323-2236 or chisarin@winthrop.edu.

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