Search transcripts:    Advanced Search
Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker

Kenneth ClarkKenneth Clark
Photo Gallery

Session:         Page of 763

only motivation, which I loved. That was a crazy course. WE had no textbooks. We started with the Bible, and ended with contemporary novels. What I was trying to do with my students -- these were advanced students in psychology -- was to show them that psychology and the problems of psychology were much too important to be left to the psychologists. That psychological problems are the key problems that the human intellect has been concerned with all along, either from the perspective of magic and superstition or religion or philosophy, literature, what not.

I showed them, for example, the extent to which Shakespeare and Dostoevsky anticipated Freud. We had fun. The one thing I guaranteed my students in the human motivation course was, it wouldn't add a single point to their score on the graduate record exam.

If they were looking for a course that would increase their chances of getting into graduate school, which was determined by objective scores, they should take my other course. But if they wanted to just sit back and relax and think about man's continuous struggle for making meaning out of his life, then --


As far as your research investigations went, what were your main thrusts in this period?


The effect of -- well, basically it was culture and personality. That was the larger frame of reference of my research. But it was specifically the racial aspects of our culture, as this affected human beings, and in the forties, you know, my wife and I had done this basic research on the racial preferences and identification as

© 2006 Columbia University Libraries | Oral History Research Office | Rights and Permissions | Help