March 3, 2023 | NEWS | By Charlotte Maley
On Feb. 23, which happened to land on a third week Thursday, the teacher’s lounge in Cossitt Hall was packed. Students of all classes, professors from each department, and a variety of other guests fought for the outdoor furniture that was brought inside to meet the high demand. Everyone in the room was there for one reason: Dr. Marcia Dobson.
Dobson has been a classics department professor at Colorado College for over forty years and is the author of a new book “Metamorphoses of Psyche in Psychoanalysis and Ancient Greek Thought: From Mourning to Creativity”.
In this publication, Dobson, who has Ph.Ds. in both philology and clinical psychology, intertwines these two interests to produce a beautiful story which combines personal experiences, ancient tales, and modern philosophies. The book makes a compelling case for the reintegration of ancient Greek thought into the contemporary quest for self-help.
As she stood on a dictionary, she discussed her ‘Dionysian’ (relating to the spontaneous aspects of life, coming from the Greek God Dionysus) pull to be schooled in both the classics and psyche, her relationship to the liminal space, and the lost feminine in literature. True to her nature, Dobson delivered an intersubjective and unique exposition.
The purpose of her book, she said at the podium, was to bring back proper language, which can be learned from the Greeks, to fully express ourselves. She places emphasis upon what she terms the “liminal space” between reality and fantasy or the conscious and the unconscious, which she feels has played a tremendous role in her life. The professor, who was described by a colleague as “a transformative liberal arts mentor for generations,” believes in the power of talking about your own journey as to help others discuss and understand theirs.
The community joined her on that Thursday for a book talk. The entire time that Dobson spoke, the room was silent. At the end, some audience members were eager to get a signature.
“That was incredible,” muttered a teary-eyed student, “I related so much to that. I can’t wait to read it.”
According to philosophy student Kirstin Varallo’26, “It is a must read for all those who feel alone with their pain, especially us women. She becomes her own psychoanalyst and patient while also developing a bond between these two sides of herself. Ultimately, she provides a profound sense of empathy for her readers and her own psyche.”
From early childhood recollections to connections between disciplines, “Metamorphoses of Psyche in Psychoanalysis and Ancient Greek Thought: From Mourning to Creativity”is a must read according to some that attended the talk. A paperback version will be at Tutt library for check-out within the year.