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UCD School of Psychology

Scoil na Síceolaíochta UCD

Ciarán Benson
Emeritus Professor of Psychology

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Recent Publications

In Preparation 2011

Benson, C. Chapter for Tafarodi, R. Subjectivity in the 21st Century: Cultural, Philosophical and Political Perspectives. (Cambridge University Press).

In Press 2010

Benson, C. "How Childhood Lasts a Lifetime. On Richard Wollheim's 'Germs: A Memoir of Childhood'", in Davis, R. and Dunne, J. (Eds) The Empty Throne: Childhood and The Crisis of Modernity. (Cambridge University Press).

Benson, C. "From Dr No to Dr Yes! Positioning Theory and Dr Ian Paisley's Endgame", in Moghaddam, F. M. and Harré, R. (Eds.). Words of Conflict, Words of War: A Positioning Theory Analysis of Language and Conflict in Political Processes. (Praeger, 2010).

Benson, C. "A Secular Spirituality? James, Dennett and Dawkins" in Fran O'Rourke. (Ed.) Human Destinies. Philosophical Essays in Memory of Gerald Hanratty. (Notre Dame University Press, 2010).

In Press 2009

Benson, Ciarán. (2009) "The Creative 'Subject' of Imagination", in Shine Thompson, M. (Ed.). The fire in th' flint: Essays on the Creative Imagination Based on The Seamus Heaney Lectures, Third Series. (Dublin, Four Courts Press), pp. 187-195.

Benson, Ciarán. (2009) "Subjective Boundaries & Points of View in the Visual Arts" in Scott Y. (ed.). Crossing Boundaries: New Research in Irish Art. (Dublin, Four Courts Press).

Selected Publications

Benson, C. (Ed.). (2004) "In the Time of Shaking: Irish Artists for Amnesty International", Dublin: Art for Amnesty. More Info..


Benson, Ciarán. (2001). The Cultural Psychology of Self: Place, Morality and Art in Human Worlds. London: Routledge. More info UK..   More info USA..

Benson, Ciarán. (1993) The Absorbed Self: Pragmatism, Psychology and Aesthetic Experience. London: Harvester Wheatsheaf. More Info UK..

Book Chapters/Papers in Psychology and Philosophy

Ryan, D., Dooley, B., & Benson, C. (2008) Theoretical perspectives on post-migration adaptation and psychological well-being among refugees: Towards a resource-based model. Journal of Refugee Studies.

Ryan, D., Benson, C., & Dooley, B. (2008) Psychological distress and the asylum process: A longitudinal study of forced migrants in Ireland. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. January, 196, 1, 37-45.

Ryan, D, C. Benson and B. Dooley (2007) 'Forced migration and psychological stress' in Fanning B. (Ed.) Immigration and Social Change in the Republic of Ireland (Manchester: Manchester University Press).

Benson, Ciarán. "Eavesdropping” in James Elkins (ed.) Art History Versus Aesthetics (New York, Routledge, 2005)

Benson, Ciarán. 'The Pleasures and Dangers of Orthodoxy: Sign's of Today's Orthodoxies from a Summer's Reading' in James Malone (ed.) The New Ireland and its Sacred Cows Orthodoxies and Heresies at the Merriman Summer School 2004. (Dublin, Liffey Press, 2005), pp. 153-170.

Benson, Ciarán. 'Narrative Notes', Irish Literary Supplement, Fall 2004, p.27.

Benson, Ciarán, "The Unthinkable Boundaries of Self: The Role of Negative Emotional Boundaries in the Formation, Maintenance and Transformation of Identities", in R. Harr and F. Moghaddam (eds. ) The Self and Others: Positioning Individuals and Groups in Personal, Political and Cultural Contexts, (Westport CT, Praeger, 2003), Chapter 5, pp. 61-84.
More info UK.. More info USA..

Benson, Ciarán, "Speculations on the 'Unthinkable' Boundaries of Identity and on Their Emotional Dynamics", in N. Stephenson, H.L. Radtke, R. J. Jorna and H.J. Stam (eds.), Theoretical Psychology: Critical Contributions. (Concord Ontario, Captus Press, 2003), pp. 144-153.

Benson, Ciarán, "Self and others: An interview with Peter Fitzgerald", Circa, 96, Summer 2001, pp. 18 - 21. Read transcript..

Benson, Ciarán, "Points of View and The Visual Arts: James Turrell, Antonio Damasio and the No-Point-of-View Phenomenon", in J.R.Morss, N. Stephenson and H.Van Rappard (eds.), Theoretical Issues In Psychology, Boston/Dordrecht/London, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2001, pp. 119 - 129.

Benson, Ciarán, "The Place of the Arts in Irish Education, 1979", in F. Cullen,(ed.), Sources in Irish Art: A Reader, Cork, Cork University Press, 2000, pp. 217-227.

Benson, Ciarán, "Republic of Ireland" in A.E. Kazdin (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Psychology, Oxford, Oxford University Press and The American Psychological Association, 2000, Vol. 7, pp. 75-76.

Benson, Ciarán, "Childhood Roots of Aesthetic Absorption", in Carla Gallo Barbisio and Carlo Quaranta (eds.) Trasformazioni e Narrazioni (Torino: Editrice Tirrenia Stampatori), 1997, 141-15.

Benson, Ciarán, "Where Can You Be? Rethinking the Psychology of Art," An Inaugural Lecture published by University College Dublin, 1996.

Benson, Ciarán, "Ireland's 'Low' IQ: A Critique" in Jacoby, Russell and Glauberman, Naomi. (eds), The Bell Curve: History, Documents, Opinions (New York: Times Books/Random House, 1995), pp. 222-233.

Benson, Ciarán. "A Psychological Perspective on Art and Irish National Identity,"The Irish Journal of Psychology: 'The Irish Psyche' Special Issue", 15, 2 &3, 1994, pp. 316-330.

Benson, Ciarán. "Psychology, Culture, Discourse: A New Paradigm?" The Thornfield Journal , 16, 1993, pp. 3-7.

Benson, Ciarán, "Self in Art: Some Problems for a Psychology of Reception," Proceedings of the 6th Prague International Conference on Psychological Development and Personality Processes, (Prague: Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, Institute of Psychology), 1993.

Benson, Ciarán, "J.E.Tiles Dewey: Critical Commentary," Philosophical Studies, XXX111, 1992-93, pp.302-307.

Book Chapters/Papers in Cultural Policy, Art Criticism, etc..

Benson, C. 'Roads as Metaphors for Self' in Patrick Murphy (ed.) Anita Groener: Crossing. (Dublin: Royal Hibernian Academy Gallagher Gallery, 2006),

Benson, C. 'Play, Culture and Becoming a Child' in Fiona Kearney (ed.). Through the Looking Glass: Childhood in Contemporary Photography, (Cork, Lewis Glucksman Gallery, 2005), pp. 41-45.

Benson, C. 'James McCreary: An Irish Print Master.' Catalogue Essay, 2005.

Benson, C. 'In the Time of Shaking: Human Rights, Art and the Anchorage of Sharing' in C. Benson (ed.) In the Time of Shaking: Irish Artists for Amnesty International. Dublin, Art for Amnesty, 2004, pp. 11 24.

Benson, C. "On Abigail O'Brien's Taking of the Sacraments" in Stephanie Rosenthal (Ed.). Die Sieben Sakramente/The Seven Sacraments: Abigail O'Brien Und Der Ritualisierte Alltag/Abigail O'Brien and Ritualized Daily Life. Munich Hausderkunst/Steidl, 2004, pp. 101-103 (German) and pp.115-117 (English).

Benson, C. "Pictures, Feeling and Place-Making" in John O'Regan (ed.) Bernadette Kiely, Oysterhaven, Gandon Editions, 2002, pp. 53-55.

Chairman of research group which produced the first national plan for the arts in Ireland (The Arts Plan 1995-97, Dublin, The Arts Council, 1994, pp. 124 + appendices), the first and only major review of theatre in Ireland (The Theatre Review, Dublin, The Arts Council, 1995, pp. 269), plus many other empirically informed policy initiatives in the arts in Ireland from 1993-1998.

Benson, Ciarán. 'A Letter' in M. Heaney (Ed.), Sources: Letters from Irish People on Sustenance for the Soul, Dublin, Town House, 1999, pp.116-124.

Benson, Ciarán. 'An Art of Passage' in J. O'Regan, (Ed.), Vivienne Roche, Oysterhaven, Gandon Editions, 1999, pp. 7-11.

Benson, Ciarán. 'The Arts and Culture: The Future in the Past' in Liam Connellan (Ed.) Vision 2020: What Future for Business? Dublin, The O'Brien Press, 1995, pp 50-60.

Benson, Ciarán, "The Artist and Society: Krino 1986-1996" in Christopher Murray (ed.), Irish University Review: Literature, Criticism & Theory Special Issue, Spring/Summer 1997, 69-73.

Benson, Ciarán. "The Importance of the Arts in Education for all Children Keynote Address to the Sixth Annual Delegate Conference of the National Parents Council- Primary", Cram , 15, Autumn 1992, pp.14-18.

Benson, Ciarán, "Towards a Cultural Democracy", Studies, Vol. 81, No. 321, March 1992, pp.23-33.

Benson, Ciarán, "Modernism and Ireland's Selves", Circa, 61, Jan/Feb 1992,pp.18-23.

Benson, Ciarán, "Play, Culture and Becoming a Child," in P. Berwick and M.Burns, eds., The Rights of the Child: Irish Perspectives on the UN Convention. (Dublin: The Council for Social Welfare, 1991), pp. 59-68.



BA, MA (Sussex), PhD, Reg.Psychol FPsSI, CPsychol. AFBPsS - Professor

Chair of Psychology.
Head of Department (1992-1998, 2000-2001)

Ph: (01) 716 8408