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NEWS UPDATE -- September 25, 2005

On July 1, 2002, I officially retired and became a Professor of Psychology Emeritus at UC Davis. I'm spending my "retirement" completing a number of long-in-progress writing projects and beginning several new ones. I may teach an occasional undergraduate course or graduate seminar, but I have no immediate plans to do so. Teaching tends to draw my attention away from writing, and I really do want to finish the book on Cordwainer Smith, the book on C. G. Jung, the book on Elvis Presley, the book on Stanley Milgram's obedience studies, the book on Sigmund Freud, the book on Oz ... etc.

All those book projects are still in progress, but I have been finishing some shorter works. Last year I completed three chapters for The Handbook of Psychobiography, a major reference work edited by William Todd Schultz. The Handbook has now been published by Oxford University Press. One chapter, titled "If the Glove Fits," discusses how to choose which psychological theory to use in dealing with a given psychobiographical subject. Another chapter, written in collaboration with Bruce Heller, is titled "Twelve Ways to Say 'Lonesome'"; it analyzes Elvis Presley and his frequent errors in singing "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" in "live" concerts. The third chapter, "Alive and Kicking," discusses the problems that arise in doing psychobiographies of active politicians; it was written in collaboration with my graduate student Anna Song. The Handbook also reprints one of my now-'classic' papers, "Freud as Leonardo: Why the First Psychobiography Went Wrong."

Earlier this year, I finished writing a paper that reviews every English-language biography of C. G. Jung published between 1962 and 2005 -- there were forty, count 'em, forty! That paper is scheduled for publication in the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences later this fall. Meanwhile, I am continuing to work on my booklength biography of Paul Linebarger, aka Cordwainer Smith, which I plan (really! truly! absolutely!) to finish by the middle of 2006 ... or soon after.

Alan Elms



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