1-800-4-ALFRED (425-3733)

Olson, Rex A


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Position Title: 
Assistant Professor
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Office Location: 
Hunter Student Development Center
Office Phone: 

Duquesne University
Ph.D. Clinical Psychology
M.A. Humanistic Psychology

Syracuse University
Ph.D. Humanities
M.Phil. Humanities
M.A. Sociology

University of California, Santa Barbara
MST, Elementary Education (K-6)
SST, Social Science (K-12)
B.A. Sociology

Teaching Overview: 

General Psychology (F 2014)
Community Organizations (F 2014)
Human Services Practicum (F, S 2014-15)
Issues in Human Services (S 2015)
Science, Technology, and Society (S 2015)

Professional Experience: 

 Alfred State College 2001-present

 Assistant Professor, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences 2014-present

Director of Counseling Services, 2001-2014

Associate Vice-President for Student Affairs/Wellness and Student Development, 2005-2009

Duquesne University 1997-2000

Psychotherapist, Duquesne University Psychology Clinic

Graduate Assistant Counselor, Counseling Center 1998-1999


Alfred University 1987-1999, 2003-2005

Adjunct Associate Professor, Community Services Administration 2003-2005

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Community Services Administration 1995-1999

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Division of English 1987-1988, Division of Social Sciences, 1992-1995

Syracuse University 1979-1986

Instructor, Department of English 1981-1986

Teaching Assistant, Department of Sociology 1979-1981


 "Alfred State College Core Survey 2004: (W. Cobb, M., Amidon, P., Ashraft, K., Ebert, K. & Pollard, R.), working paper submitted to President Gupta, 2004.

Publications and Events: 

(2013). “Psyche as Postmodern Condition: The Situation of Metaphor in James Hillman’s Archetypal Psychology,” Janus Head 13 (2), 61-91.

(2013). “Undermining Surfaces: Tracing the Psychological Significance of Arche in Archetypal Psychology.” In Sipiora, M. (Ed.), Imagining psychological life: Philosophical, psychological, and poetic reflections (pp. 39-45). Pittsburgh, PA: Trivium Press.

(2012). “Remarks on Psychology as STEM Discipline and Logos of the Soul: The Critical Necessity of the Humanities for Psychological Science,” The Humanistic Psychologist 40 (3), 270-273.

(2006). “The Ideology of Logic in Contemporary Psychology: Response to Howard Kindler,” American Psychologist 61 (3), 256-257.

(2001). “Impossible Confession:  A Review of ‘Derrida’s Elsewhere’,” Janus Head 4 (2).

(2000). Guest Ed., Regarding a Critical Rhetoric, special volume of Janus Head 3 (1), 1-179.

(2000). “The Knot Between Ricoeur and Derrida:  A Look at Rhetoric in the Human Sciences,” Janus Head 3 (1), 3-17.

(1999). “Toward an In-Defensible Humanism: Reply to Caley Orr,” Janus Head 2 (1), 136-38.

(1998). “Martini or Bikini?  The Differance Between Philosophy and Literature,” Janus Head 1 (2), 87-97.(1995).

(1995) Abstract:  “Composition, Rhetoric, and the Place of Writing,” in Genre  Knowledge in Disciplinary Communication:  Cognition, Culture, Power, by Berkenkotter C. and Huckin, T. (New York:  Erlbaum), p. 15.

(1988). "Derrida (f)or Us?  Composition and the Taking of Text," Pre/Text 9 (1-2), 27-60.

 Presentations/Conference Papers

"In Your Dreams: An Exploration into Understanding the Meaning of Dreams," presented at Alfred Women Are Stronger Expo, Alfred State College, Alfred, New York, April 2014.

“Deconstruction and Psychotropic Change: Lessons from Derrida for a Postmodern Psychotherapy,” symposium paper presented at the 121st Convention of the American Psychological Association, Honolulu, Hawaii, August 2013.

“Archetypal Poetics: On Hillman, Romanyshyn, and the Depth Psychology of Metaphor,” paper presented at the 6th Annual Conference of the Society for Humanistic Psychology, Division 32 of the American Psychological Association at Pacifica Graduate Institute, Carpinteria, CA, March 2013.

“The ‘Naked Truth’ Between Derrida and Lacan: The Subject of Philosophy in the Text of Psychoanalysis,” poster session presented at the 120th Convention of the American Psychological Association, Orlando FL, August 2012.

“Making the Grade: The Importance of Striving for Excellence in Academic Achievement,” keynote speaker for the Academic Achievement Recognition Night at Wellsville Central Schools, Wellsville, New York, February 25, 2011.

“Out of the Darkness: Signs and Symptoms of Suicide,” keynote speaker at the Community Forum on Suicide Prevention, David A. Howe Library Auditorium, Wellsville, New York, October 13, 2011.

“Psychology as STEM Discipline and Logos of the Soul: The Critical Necessity of the Humanities for Psychological Science,” symposium discussant at the 119th Convention of the American Psychological Association, Washington D.C., August 2011.

“Undermining Surfaces: Tracing the Psychological Significance of Arche in Archetypal Psychology” poster session presented at the 118th Convention of the American Psychological Association, San Diego, California, August 2010.

“Leadership and Communication Styles for MBTI Types,” presented as part of the Leadership in Action workshops at Alfred State College, March 2007.

"Literature or Philosophy? A Question of Disciplinarity in the Text of Derrida's Reception," paper presented at Borders and Frontiers: An Interdisciplinary Conference, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, November 1996.

"When Philosophy Takes a Postmodern Turn:  A Question of Difference," paper presented to faculty and students of Nazareth College in Rochester, New York, March 1996.

"Looking at Derrida's Right to Look: A Postscript to the 'Right of Inspection,'" paper presented at the International Association of Philosophy and Literature, Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, May 1993.

"Derrida and the Postmodern Gaze," presented to a graduate seminar on "Postmodernism and the Arts" paper presented at the School of Art and Design, New York State College of Ceramics in Alfred, New York, February 1992.

"Literature(,) Critique(,) Theory:  Effects of Deconstruction in the Classroom," paper presented at the Conference on The Role of Theory in the Undergraduate Literature Classroom, Indiana University of Pennsylvania in Indiana, Pennsylvania, September 1990.

"Philosophy at Wit's End: Introducing Deconstruction," paper presented to the Western New York Society for the Study of Political Thought, Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York, March 1990.

"Composition, Rhetoric, and the Place of Writing," paper presented at the annual meetings of the Conference on College Composition and Communication in Seattle, Washington, March 1989.

"Derrida (f)or Us?  Making Sense Out of Texts," paper presented at the annual meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication in Atlanta, Georgia, March 1987.

"The Subject of Writing," paper presented at the New York Council on Education in Syracuse, New York, October 1986.

"Learning to Read in Order to Write: The Psychological Dimension of a Hermeneutic Circle," paper presented at the annual meetings of the Conference of College Composition and Communication in Minneapolis, Minnesota, March 1985.

EPLP Mentor 
Rex Olson (Learner, Input, Intellection, Adaptability, Connectedness) teaches core courses in the Human Services program. Having studied social/politcal philosophy and humanistic psychology, his teaching promotes a vision of psychological well being that stems from a self-critical engagement with the world. Critical psychology in this sense leads to worldly changes, not only in how we understand the social and existential conditions of human experience, but in how we create social arrangements that are more responsive to the needs of that experience. In this world the personal is political, the psychological is existential, and the freedom to live a joyful life is freedom from oppression. When not teaching or on campus, Rex enjoys swimming, weight training, reading philosophy, motorcyle riding, SU basketball, Chargers football and spending time with his family.