Although I've been at Shimer for two full years now, I've yet to blog or become an overwhelmingly active presence in the landscape of the admission office, so I figure that an introduction is probably in order.
My name is Erik Boneff, and I'm going to be a third-year student in the fall. I hail from the suburbs of Detroit (which may or may not be as bad as Detroit itself), but after this last stint at home, I've grown almost entirely convinced that the city is the place for me. I'm interested in all areas of the Shimer curriculum (as are most of us), but I'm particularly passionate about psychology and philosophy, especially the grey area that exists between the two. I'm fairly certain that this isn't a coincidence, as both of my parents are practicing psychoanalysts who also do a fair amount of teaching and writing. On that note, I should probably talk a little about what I'm doing this summer, and thus why I'm posting on this blog in the first place.
Thanks to the logistical support of the Shimer Internship/Mentorship Program and the financial assistance of the JS Kemper Foundation, I'm spending this summer in Washington, D.C., assisting a professor of philosophy at Georgetown University, Dr. Wilfried Ver Eecke, with a variety of research duties, both academic and otherwise. As I mentioned above, I'm very interested in both philosophy and psychology and I'm thus very thankful to be working with Dr. Ver Eecke, as he holds dual appointments in the Department of Philosophy and the Department of Psychology. For the most part, Dr. Ver Eecke is interested in the philosophy of psychoanalysis, and has written an enormous amount on the application of psychoanalytic therapy to schizophrenic and psychotic patients. In addition, he has been involved in several efforts to challenge the dominant biomedical stance towards psychopathology, and has thus spent a significant amount of time lobbying for different professional and medical organizations. I hope that working with him this summer will help me to both refine my interests as graduate school draws ever nearer and also to understand the different paths down which advanced study can lead. I had my first day today, and I'm already doing secondary literature searches on the work of Jacques Lacan and medical research on different treatment outcomes for schizophrenia and psychosis. In other words, I'm excited beyond belief.
The District (as I'm told the locals call it) itself, is of course, no slouch either. I'm living in a one bedroom apartment in the upscale neighborhood of Dupont Circle, and I can't step outside without being bombarded by sidewalk cafes, independent bookstores, and foreign cinemas. I'm reminded of the streets of Paris as I wander through the wide and airy streets, looking for a coffee shop to post up in and escape the heat, which can be ridiculously oppressive. Despite the overwhelming heat, however, I'm already having an amazing time, and I'll be sure to post a couple more times throughout the summer, hopefully with some actual pictures of my surroundings next time.