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Performing and Media Arts

Theatre, Film and Dance Cornell University Cornell University Theatre, Film and Dance, Cornell University


Don Fredericksen



Graduate Field Affiliations

  • Film and Video Studies
  • Theatre Arts

Additional Links


Don Fredericksen, who began his teaching career at Cornell in 1971, was a professor of film, faculty affiliate in the Programs in Religious Studies and Visual Studies, and a longtime advisor and seminar teacher for the College Scholar Program. He earned a B.A. in English (honors) at Colgate University(1967), an M.A. in communication studies at the Annenberg School of Communication, University of Pennsylvania(1969), a Ph.D. in film studies from the University of Iowa(1973), and an M.A. in counseling psychology, with an emphasis in Jungian psychotherapy, from Pacifica Graduate Institute(1991). He also studied for four years at the Namgyal Monastery Institute for Buddhist Studies, and later served on its executive board for several years. He was awarded the College of Arts and Sciences' Paul Award for excellence in advising.

He has served on the executive committees of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies and the University Film and Video Association. He served for many years as the book review editor for the Journal of Film and Video, and was on the editorial board of Image, an international film journal published in Poland. He was a member of the founding steering committee and first elected executive committee of the recently formed International Association for Jungian Studies; he served as chairman of the association. He also served on the executive committee of the Jungian Society for Scholarly Studies. In addition to his teaching and scholarly work, he also practiced as a Jung-oriented psychotherapist in Ithaca.

Selected Publications

    • Author of The Aesthetic of Isolation in Film Theory: Hugo Munsterberg (1977),Bergman's Persona (2005), and co-author, with a Polish film scholar, of Wajda's Kanal (2007)
    • He was the co-editor, also with Polish colleagues, of two books in two different fields: Music and Film (2002) and Miedzy swiadomoscia a nieswiadomoscia wspolczesnosc w perspekywie Psychologii glebi [Between Consciousness and Unconsciousness: The Present Day in the Perspective of Depth Psychology] (2007)
    • He was working on a book to be called The Liminal Cinema: Artistic Creativity as a Rite of Self-Initiation.
    • His recent published essays, in English and/or in Polish translation, include "Stripping the Images Bare"(2007), "Zanussi's Illumination as Spiritual Diagnostic and Psychological Form"(2007), "Living Symbolically in a Liminal Condition"(2007), "On the Ikon"(2006), "John Grierson's 1930s Theory of Documentary Practice in Relation to European Modernism of the 1920s and 1930s"(2006) "Fellini's 8 1/2 and Jung: Narcissism and Creativity at Midlife"(2006), "The Condition of Being 'In Between' in Anthropology, Jungian Depth Psychology, and Film"(2005), "Why Should We Take Jungian Film Studies Seriously?"(2005) "Dennis Hopper's Easy Rider"(2005), "The Use of Two Images from Popular Consciousness in Bergman's Persona"(2005), "Notes on Bergman's Persona, Jung, and the Classical Notion of Personare"(2003), "Polish Liminal Documentary in the Post-Communist 1990s"(2003), "Wajda's Treatment of National and Personal Liminalities"(2003), "Jungian Film Criticism and Liminal Animation"(2003), "Viking Eggeling's Symphonie Diagonale and the Analogy of Film to Music"(2002),"Violence in the Moving Image and the Finding of Adequate Image-Forms"(2001), "Jung/Sign/Symbol/Film"(2001), "Individuation as Artistic Vocation: Jerome Hill's Film Portrait"(2000), and "Film as an Historical Source"(2000)

Talks and Presentations

He annually lectured on Jungian cultural studies at the University of Wroclaw's Institute of Psychology, in support of the first generation of psychotherapists in post-communist Poland.


  • Modern Documentary Film
  • Film and Spiritual Questions
  • Jung, Film and the Process of Self-Knowledge
  • Seminar I in Cinema
  • Seminar II in Cinema
  • Intro to Film Analysis: Meaning and Value
  • Film/History/Ideology: The Polish Case
  • The Moving Image and the Environment