Ricardo Ainslie

Ricardo Ainslie


Counseling Psychology


Office & Hours

Office: SZB 262D
Tuesday: 10-11
Thursday: 10-11

(512) 471-0364

(512) 475-7641

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Mailing Address
The University of Texas at Austin
Educational Psychology
1912 Speedway, Stop D5800
Austin, TX 78712-1289

Full Vita
download vita (pdf)


Dr. Ainslie explores the intersection of psychology and culture through such topics as the psychological experience of immigration, ethnic conflicts within communities, and the relationship between individual and collective identity. He pursues these topics primarily through the descriptive methodology of qualitative inquiry. Additionally, Dr. Ainslie examines these matters through books, documentary films, and photographic exhibits. Drawing from the fields of anthropology, creative non-fiction, and the liberal arts, Dr. Ainslie has generated a hybrid methodology of ‘psychoanalytic ethnography’ based on in-depth interviews of profoundly psychological character. His extensive work in Texas and Mexico propelled his inquiry into how communities function and transform in response to significant conflict. Dr. Ainslie is particularly interested in investigating how individuals and broader cultural groups experience life within these affected communities.

Dr. Ainslie’s multidisciplinary and integrative sensibility is evident in his extensive involvement throughout the University of Texas at Austin, where he is professionally affiliated with the American Studies Program, the Center for Mexican American Studies, and the Lozano-Long Institute for Latin American Studies. He is a Fellow in the Charles H. Spence Centennial Professorship in Education and was recently a Fellow in the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. He served as a faculty member at the Houston-Galveston Psychoanalytic Institute for 17 years.


B.A., University of California at Berkeley, 1972

Ph.D., University of Michigan (Clinical Psychology), 1979

Representative Publications

Ainslie, R. (in press). Trauma, community, and contemporary racial violence: Reflections on the architecture of memory. In M. O’Loughlin (Ed.), The ethics of remembering and the consequences of forgetting: Essays on trauma, history and memory.

Ainslie, R. C. (2013). Intervention strategies for addressing collective trauma: Healing communities ravaged by racial strife. Journal of Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society, 18(2), 140-152.

Ainslie, R. C., Tummala-Narra, P., Harlem, A., Barbanel, L., & Ruth, R. (2013). Contemporary psychoanalytic views on the experience of immigration. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 30(4), 663-679.

Ainslie, R. C. (2011). Immigration and the psychodynamics of class. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 28(4), 560-568.

Ainslie, R. C. (2011). Mexico’s law enforcement challenge: The case study of Ciudad Juarez. International Journal of Continuing Social Work Education, 14(2), 19-26.

Recent Awards

Inducted into the Texas Philosophical Society, 2014.

M.K. Hage Centennial Professorship in Education, 2014.

Psychoanalysis and Social Responsibility Achievement Award, 2012.

Science Award, American Psychological Association’s Division of Psychoanalysis, 2012.

Invited Congressional Testimony, U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security, U.S. Homeland Security Role in the Mexico War Against Drug Cartels, 2011.

Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Residency, 2009.

Research Interests and Expertise

Dr. Ricardo Ainslie is primarily interested in the study of psychoanalysis and cultural experience through such topics as the psychological experience of immigration, ethnic conflicts within communities, and the relationship between individual and collective identity.