A W O R D A B O U T M Y A C A D E M I C C A R E E R
Until March 1 2017, I was a tenured professor of American Studies at Roskilde University. That was my ‘real job’.
When the university decided to go stupid and political, focussing more on money and less on knowledge, closing down programs and talking nonsense, I made the decision to not continue to work for an institution that insults my basic intelligence, and not to mention, my soul.
I simply resigned in order to focus on teaching in contexts where dedication to learning and discipline are still valued. My real job now is all about teaching people the value of having penetrating vision, and acting on it.
I am the happier now. Free of lies and free of fears.
Parallel with my university job, I’ve taught online classes in human imagination through the use of spiritual practice. I read cards, stones, and bones for people interested in living the magical life, that is to say, people interested in freeing themselves from cultural pre-conditioning, and from fashioning self-images according to materialist agendas.
In this endeavor, which extends to the opening of my new school, Aradia Academy, I very much draw on my diverse academic, cultural, and personal competencies.
I hold the highest possible degrees that you can get in Denmark, bestowed unto me on the basis of two doctorates: a PhD (2002) in comparative literature, and a Dr.Phil. (2013) in English, for a treatise on epistemologies of creative writing.
This latter degree is a remnant from the old teutonic, Germanic days. It doesn’t get you anything other than some symbolic power, but it is considered as the highest achievement. The process of getting this degree is also more rigorous than for the PhD, and there’s a tradition for the royal house to come to the graduation and shake your hand. I did it simply because I like to go all the way.
Until my resignation, I’ve been the president of the largest in the world collection of Tarot cards and esoterica, the K. Frank Jensen Collection, owned by the Roskilde University Library. I have facilitated the donation and held great events around the tarot for academic folks and diplomats. The library is still in the process of registering the cards, so the collection has not yet been opened to the public.
My research focusses on various manifestations of human imagination, myth and storytelling with visual text. I like to reflect on what we call ordinary mind, the mind that perceives things dualistically and by means of contrast, and the extraordinary mind, the mind that perceives paradox and allows as well for dwelling in paradox. This is also what I call the magical mind opened towards wisdom. Reflection is good, but there’s nothing like spontaneous curiosity that has the potential to lead us to places beyond rules and conventions.
Part of my latest research has been to explore human imagination through storytelling on two planes: First, I see storytelling from the perspective of the interdisciplinary scholar who cuts across narrative, poetics, semiotics, and hermeneutics. Why have we invented the myths and cosmologies that we have invented? What are we thinking when we’re thinking?
Second, I perform storytelling, that is, I embody the scholar cum practitioner. My example is the anthropologist gone native, the historian of religion gone priest, and the semiotician gone fortuneteller. Why the latter? Simply because it’s interesting. I like adopting the attitude of the scholar looking inside myself as a scholar, and then asking myself: ‘Where does my scholarship come from? What informs it? What dictations color it? Who do I serve from this position, and why?’
For more info, CV and other, visit my academic page (updated until March 2107)
N E W S L E T T E R
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