(March 7, 2008, Thunder Bay, Ontario) Lakehead University's Senate Research Committee has named Philosophy Chair and Professor Dr. Todd Dufresne, one of the nation's foremost experts on Sigmund Freud, as its 2007 Distinguished Researcher.
This award, alongside Dufresne's extensive list of achievements, will further benefit Lakehead's Social Sciences and Humanities disciplines. Aside from academic recognition, one of the most important accomplishments a faculty member can claim is securing grant funding. "Researchers in the Social Sciences and Humanities face intense competition and low success rates for such funding," Dufresne notes. Not only has Dufresne achieved recognition with this award, but over the past nine years, he has also attracted two Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) grants totalling over $70,000.
Since arriving at Lakehead University in 1998, Dufresne has published three books on psychoanalysis - two of which were published by the prestigious Stanford University Press. He has also published dozens of journal articles and book chapters. In 2006, he was recognized by Lakehead University as one of its "40 Research Stars." At Lakehead, only five faculty members share the teaching load of 2,500 years of philosophy among hundreds of students, and although Dufresne's ongoing academic and research endeavours certainly keep him busy, he says "the hustle and bustle are well worth the end result."
Published in 2007, Dufresne's latest book is entitled Against Freud: Critics Talk Back. It features interviews with world-renowned scholars of psychoanalytic theory and practice to show how wrong Freud's theories were. As Dufresne explains, "The book isn't just about Freud's botched science, but about the bankruptcy of psychoanalysis as a socio-cultural movement." While Dufresne's opinions were still controversial in the 1990s, he feels his efforts to disprove Freud have gone hand-in-hand with the broad cultural decline in the belief of psychoanalysis.
Dufresne suspects he has one or two books left to write on Freud, and has already started focusing his efforts on other areas. He has started collaborating with a small group of people in the University to work on creativity and economic development, and hopes the work will provide a vehicle to attract grants to conduct collaborative research of real relevance to Northern Ontario. With a long-term goal of establishing the Advanced Institute for Globalization and Culture at Lakehead University, Dufresne is optimistic. "We have some real opportunities to attract significant grants, conduct important research, and collaborate with people both within and outside the University."
Dufresne was born in Fort Frances and attended Hammarskjold High School in Thunder Bay. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Philosophy at the University of Western Ontario, and went on to earn his MA and PhD in Social & Political Thought at York University in Toronto. Prior to his graduation, he had already published two books and edited collections on Sigmund Freud. Dufresne has served as Department Chair since 2002, and was recently appointed one of Lakehead's four new Research Chairs (Social Sciences and Humanities).
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