Dr. Anna K. Schaffner is a Reader in Comparative Literature and Medical Humanities at the University of Kent; writer and critic, and mBIT coach.
Although Dr. Shaffner’s academic background is in literature, her latest non-fiction book is on the long history of the idea of self-improvement. The book covers the literature of self-improvement ranging from ancient China to the present day.
For this project, she read hundreds of books on psychology, philosophy, and wisdom literature. She has read most influential self-help books of the last and present centuries.
Her research allows her to put more recent developments in psychology into a wider historical context, and to add a different and fresh perspective.
In addition, she is also a qualified coach and interested in positive psychology and the art of self-improvement from a practical perspective.
Education, Titles, and Degrees
- 2019: mBIT Coach, Canterbury
- 2012-2013: Foundation Course in Psychoanalysis, Institute of Psychoanalysis, London
- 2001-2006: Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, University of Edinburgh
- 2000-2001: MSc in Comparative Literature, University of Edinburgh
- 1997-2000: Intermediate Exam in English and American Studies, Humboldt Universitaet, Berlin
First- and Second-Author Publications
Currently, Dr. Anna is completing a long cultural history of the idea of self-improvement, to be published by Yale University Press in 2021.
Her previous book was on the history of exhaustion (‘Exhaustion: A History‘, Columbia University Press, 2016).
She also published a novel (‘The Truth About Julia‘, Allen & Unwin, 2016), as well as various academic papers.
For an extensive list of all her publications, please see: https://www.kent.ac.uk/european-culture-languages/people/1613/schaffner-anna-katharina
A Personal Message From Dr. Anna
In addition to being a writer and a researcher with a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, I am also a qualified coach. All my life, I have been torn between a love of literature and writing and psychology. I have now found a way to bring these interests together.
I have written academic and journalistic texts for two decades and published a novel and a range of non-fiction books. I review for the TLS, and, in addition to writing for PositivePsychology.com, I also write a regular blog for PsychologyToday.
– Dr. Anna Schaffner