Who's Who Top Educators

Ellie Ragland

Title: Psychoanalyst
Location: Columbia, Missouri, United States

Ellie Ragland, academic and psychoanalyst, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in mental health and education.

Dr. Ragland’s extensive career in academia and psychoanalysis spans over five decades and is distinguished by her unwavering commitment to scholarly excellence and clinical expertise. Having earned her doctoral degree in French language and literature from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 1972, writing a dissertation on literature and psychology, she commenced her illustrious journey as a professor within the French Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago, a role she held until 1986 when she moved to the University of Florida at Gainesville to join the Institute for the Psychological Study of the Arts in the English Department. In 1989, she accepted the Chairmanship of the English Department of the University of Missouri at Columbia, a department from which she retired in 2014. During her period in Missouri, her scholarly pursuits led her to the University of Paris VIII (Sorbonne), where she assumed a teaching position within the Department of Psychoanalysis from 1994 to 1995.

Following her tenure at the University of Paris, Dr. Ragland returned to the United States, where she became Professor Emerita. Notably, her leadership and vision were instrumental in building the English Department to national stature and in merging the French and English departments at the university, fostering interdisciplinary collaboration and diversity in faculty recruitment. In 2009, she embarked on a new chapter in her career, establishing a private practice as a psychoanalyst.

Drawing upon her extensive training in literature and psychoanalysis, Dr. Ragland provides insightful and unwavering care to her patients, earning her a reputation for her Lacanian approach to mental health. One of the foremost minds of her generation, she has authored over 10 books and over 100 articles and chapters in books, solidifying her status as a leading authority in psychoanalytic scholarship. Her seminal work, “Jacques Lacan and the Philosophy of Psychoanalysis,” published in 1986, garnered international acclaim for its incisive analysis of Lacanian theory and for being the first book in the anglophone world to explain Lacan’s hermetic teaching, which introduces a new theory of human energetics and of how language works. Additionally, her 2004 publications, “The Logic of Sexuation: From Aristotle to Lacan” and “Lacan: Topologically Speaking,” continue to influence scholarly discourse on gender and sexuality, as well as on the role of topology in Lacan’s teaching. Dr. Ragland has reduced her analytic caseload to concentrate on her writing, fully immersing herself in four books, one of which is nearly complete, a book that will serve as her second PhD in psychoanalysis from the University of Paris.

Lamenting the diminishing emphasis on interpersonal communication between practitioners and patients in favor of neurological and pharmacological treatments, Dr. Ragland is committed to her pivotal role of reshaping psychoanalysis in the United States. Her current book challenges the inherently problematic conception of “disorders” in the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” system, finding its failure to define either normalcy or disorder as perplexing and arguing that its broad categories tend to pathologize rather than help human suffering. Ultimately, the goal of her work is to contribute to a collective effort aimed at confronting a systemic framework that she perceives as neglectful of the well-being the human condition merits.

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