CfP: History & Philosophy of Psychology Section & UK Critical Psychiatry Network Joint Conference (March 2016)

The British Psychological Society’s History & Philosophy of Psychology Section in collaboration with the UK Critical Psychiatry Network invites submissions for its 2016 Annual Conference to be held at Leeds Trinity University 22nd-23rd March.

The theme of the conference is the history of mental health, with keynote addresses from Professor Gail Hornstein (Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts) and Dr. Joanna Moncrieff (University College London). Papers are invited in related areas such as clinical psychology, psychiatry, service users, resistances to psychiatry, critical perspectives and interventions.

Who is the Conference intended for?
Academics (psychology, philosophy, medicine, history, sociology), clinicians (mental health), mental health service users/carers, postgraduate students.

The conference is open to independent and professional scholars in all relevant fields, not just Section or British Psychological Society members.

Submissions

Oral and Poster Submissions will be invited for this Conference. Individual papers or symposia in any area dealing with conceptual and historical issues in Psychology, broadly defined, are invited. We particularly welcome submissions in related areas to the theme of the conference, such as clinical psychology, psychiatry, service users, resistances to psychiatry, critical perspectives and interventions.

Bursaries

Four bursaries are available to those working with mental health charitable organisations, service user groups or carers’ groups. If you wish to apply for a bursary please contact Dr. Alison Torn on a.torn@leedstrinity.ac.uk

Location:

Leeds Trinity University
Brownberrie Lane
Horsforth
Leeds
West Yorkshire
LS18 5HD

Dates:
22/03/2016 – 09:30 – 23/03/2016 – 16:30
Contact Information:

This event is organised by the British Psychological Society and administered by
KC Jones conference&events Ltd, Tel: +44 (0)1332 224507
Email: bps@kc-jones.co.uk
www.kc-jones.co.uk/history2016

Organiser:
History and Philosophy of Psychology Section

**

SUBMISSION

If you are interested in presenting an oral presentation at the conference then please make your submission by 16:00 Friday 18th December 2015.

If you are interested in presenting a poster at the conference then please make your submission by 23:59 Sunday 17th January 2016.

Further submission guidelines can be found here.

All presenters are expected to register and pay in advance at the appropriate rate.

If you have any queries whilst making your submission please contact us via the event hotline on 01332 224507.

For more information: https://www.bps.org.uk/events/conferences/history-mental-health-joint-annual-conference-history-and-philosophy-psychology-section-and-uk-criti

“Conversations Between Bloomsbury & Psychoanalysis: Mutual Influence or Incomprehension?” (London, 12 September)

Conversations Between Bloomsbury & Psychoanalysis:
Mutual Influence or Incomprehension?

UCL Health Humanities Centre, 12 September, 2015, 11.30am-5.30pm

In histories of modernist literature and psychoanalysis in Britain, few
topics have been as much discussed and mythologised as the relations
between Bloomsbury and Psychoanalysis. This conference reexamines the
meeting point between psychoanalysis and the Bloomsbury group, and the
tensions and contradictions that occur when such large appellations are
linked. The topic has been approached from an array of perspectives,
ranging from gender studies, discourses of modernism to literary
history. However, the first hand testimony of figures, such as James
Strachey and Virginia Woolf, is often as odds with the considered views
of subsequent critics and theorists. Literary scholars and historians
will bring to bear new research and fresh perspectives on this
intersection and discuss the possibilities of a new understanding of the
relations between Bloomsbury and Psychoanalysis. There will be
contributions from those studying Bloomsbury writers, the critics of
Bloomsbury and British psychoanalysts in the pre-World War Two period.

Speakers

Professor Sally Alexander, Goldsmiths College London – “Winnicott’s Women
Analysts.”

Professor Fuhito Endo, Seikei University Tokyo – “Joan Riviere in
Masquerade, or Her Implicitly Kleinian Criticism of Freud.”

Dee McQuillan, University College London – “Documentation versus
Interpretation: James Strachey as a Link between Psychoanalysis and
Bloomsbury.”

Professor Kunio Shin, Tsuda College Tokyo – “Some Versions of
Anti-psychoanalysis: Lewis, Richards, and Auden in the 1930s.”

Helen Tyson, Queen Mary University London – “On ‘Freudian Fiction’
–Virginia Woolf, Modernist Readers and Psychoanalysis.”

Cost: £35; Registered students (with proof): £25; UCL staff and UCL
students: free

Booking:
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/conversations-between-bloomsbury-psychoanalysis-mutual-influence-or-incomprehension-tickets-17863364805

Financially supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science

Location: Room 103, 51 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PN

New issue – History of Psychiatry

The September 2015 issue of History of Psychiatry is now available online. Titles and abstracts are below:

The discourse of the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM reflects the inherently dialogic or contradictory nature of its stated mandate to demonstrate both ‘nosological completeness’ and cultural ‘inclusiveness’. Psychiatry employs the dialogic discourse of the DSM in a one-sided, positivistic manner by identifying what it considers universal mental disease entities stripped of their cultural context. In 1992 the editors of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders proposed to introduce possession into their revisions. A survey of the discussions about introducing ‘possession’ as a dissociative disorder to be listed in the DSM-IV indicates a missed epistemological break. Subsequently the editors of the DSM-5 politically ‘recuperated’ possession into its official discourse, without acknowledging the anarchic challenges that possession presents to psychiatry as a cultural practice.

Today’s ‘theory of mind’ (ToM) concept is rooted in the distinction of nineteenth-century philosopher William Clifford between ‘objects’ that can be directly perceived and ‘ejects’, such as the mind of another person, which are inferred from one’s subjective knowledge of one’s own mind. George Romanes, a founder with Charles Darwin of the discipline of comparative psychology, considered the minds of animals as ejects, an idea that could be generalized to ‘society as eject’ and, ultimately, ‘the world as an eject’ – mind in the universe. Yet, Romanes and Clifford only vaguely connected mind with the abstraction we call ‘information’, which needs ‘a vehicle of symbols’ – a material transporting medium. However, Samuel Butler was able to address, in informational terms depleted of theological trappings, both organic evolution and mind in the universe. This view harmonizes with insights arising from modern DNA research, the relative immortality of ‘selfish’ genes, and some startling recent developments in brain research.

On the basis of unpublished materials, this essay reconstructs Jung’s seances with his cousin, Helene Preiswerk, which formed the basis of his 1902 medical dissertation, The Psychology and Pathology of so-called Occult Phenomena. It separates out Jung’s contemporaneous approach to the mediumistic phenomena she exhibited from his subsequent sceptical psychological reworking of the case. It traces the reception of the work and its significance for his own self-experimentation from 1913 onwards. Finally, it reconstructs the manner in which Jung continually returned to his first model and reframed it as an exemplar of his developing theories.

The activities of both Winifred Rushforth (1885–1983), and the Edinburgh-based Davidson Clinic for Medical Psychotherapy (1941–73) which she directed, exemplify and elaborate the overlap in Scotland of religious discourses and practices with psychoanalytic psychotherapy. Even as post-war secularization began to affect Scottish culture and society, Rushforth and the Davidson Clinic attempted to renew the biographical discourses of Christianity using the idioms and practices of psychoanalytic psychotherapy. Furthermore, alongside these Christian-inflected activities, Rushforth promoted a psychoanalytically-informed New Age spirituality. This parallel mode of belief and practice drew on Christian life-narrative patterns, preserving them within psychoanalytic forms grafted onto a vitalist worldview informed by the work of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

Those afflicted bark like dogs, scramble on all fours and loiter around graveyards – canine madness, referred to as kynanthropy, was an illness concept in its own right in the medicine of late antiquity. At roughly the same time as the medical description produced by Aëtius of Amida, the Syrian chronicler John of Ephesus, also from Amida, reported an epidemic of dog-like madness sweeping his home town in ad 560. The symptoms are identical and both authors are from Amida – what is the connection between the two depictions? In addition to the history of the medical concept, the example of the canine madness of Amida and its cultural embedding allows us to contextualize and interpret the significance of dog-like behaviour for the people of the sixth century AD.

This paper builds on recent scholarship exploring museum exhibitions and the heritage of mental health care. Using the development of the Stanley Royd Museum in the mid-1970s as a case study, the paper will examine the rationale for the opening of the museum and its link to changing perceptions of mental hospitals in both historical study and what was then ‘current’ practice. It will then provide an overview of the proposed audience for the new museum and briefly analyse its success in communicating its history to its visitors. Ultimately, it will question how successful mental health professionals were in presenting the progressive nature of institutional care at a time when the system was being radically overhauled and reoriented.

Call for Papers: The Victorian Brain

Call for Papers: Victorian Brain 

Victorian Network is an open-access, MLA-indexed, peer-reviewed journal dedicated to publishing and promoting the best postgraduate and early career work across the broad field of Victorian Studies. We are delighted to announce that our eleventh issue (Summer 2016) will be guest edited by Professor Sally Shuttleworth (University of Oxford), on the theme of the Victorian Brain.

In the nineteenth century, the discipline of psychology, or the science of the mind, underwent a profound reorientation: a reorientation which was both fuelled by contemporary literature, and which influenced that literature’s form and content. Investigating the mind’s workings was the joint project of such diverse parties as authors and poets; natural scientists and doctors; but also the public, as citizen scientists. Phrenology and the legibility of physiognomy remained central concerns. Simultaneously, medical research created a counterweight to eighteenth-century folk psychology and pseudoscience. Observation of mentally-ill asylum inmates offered another route into the human psyche. These asylums in turn experienced restructuring, turning from spaces of “[chains], straw, filthy solitude, darkness and starvation” (Dickens) in the eighteenth century, to institutions implementing “moral management” by 1900. Mid-Victorians discussed the human brain extensively in both popular literature and specialized periodicals, ranging in disciplines from natural and medical sciences to literature and philosophy. The Journal of Mental Science and Dickens’s Household Words are but two examples from different sides of that spectrum. As these widespread discussions destabilized longstanding convictions including the supremacy of the mind and the integrated self, these convictions’ intricate connections to cultural concerns including gender and class grew evident. Investigations in all possible directions proliferated, bringing (especially in the century’s closing decades) rapid disciplinary changes in neuroscience (e.g. through the work of William Richard Gowers), psychology and psychotherapy. 

The examination of human consciousness also occurred in the nineteenth-century novel. The period’s novelists had such a significant part in shaping the discourse on the mind not least because, in the words of Karen Chase, they “did not inherit a supple and illuminating picture of the mind, but […] had to construct it for themselves, taking insights where they found them.” 

We invite submissions of around 7,000 words on any aspect of the theme. Possible topics include but are by no means limited to:

•    The novel as shaping and shaped by discourses on psychology, the mind, and the brain

•    Mental science and poetry; the “psychological monologue”.

•    Animal dissection and vivisection.

•    The brain as central organ of the nervous system, mind and body as connected; the concept of the mental faculties; the soul as (no longer) extra-corporeal; religion vs scientific psychology. The senses.

•    The mind as culturally formed; national and international conceptions of psychology.

•    The gendered brain and its implications (gender as a universal taxonomy).

•    The Victorian mind in childhood.

•    The theatrical brain: displaying thought and memory on the Victorian stage; depicting mental illness and madness; character interiority; psychology and actor training.

•    Altered states of mind: drug use; mesmerism, hypnosis and trance; dreams and daydreams; somnambulis.

•    Memory and/or trauma; memory and objects (from diaries to post-mortem photography). Sites and cultures of remembering and forgetting.

•    Different disciplines and disciplinary developments: evolutionary and developmental psychology. Psychoanalysis: pre-Freudian concepts of the psyche.

•    Mental illness: asylums, “moral management”; depression; delusions; puerperal disorders; links between mental and bodily health.

•    Insanity and the law  (criminality, legislation, fitness to stand trial); the development of forensic psychology; insanity and sensation.

•    Automatism and volition: new conceptions of the unconscious (e.g. as possessing agency); the unconscious vs habit and self-discipline: automatism, responsibility and accountability.

•    4e cognition (embodied, embedded, enacted and extended cognition) and Victorian literature and culture. 

•     “wound culture”: its roots in the industrial nineteenth century, and the attendant renegotiation of private identity in public terms. 

•    Neo-Victorian representations of any issue outlined above.

All submissions should conform to MHRA house style and the in-house submission guidelinesSubmissions should be received by 15 August 2015.

Contact: victoriannetwork@gmail.com 

Book announcement – Psychiatry in Communist Europe

Screenshot from 2015-07-24 21:53:14This is the first book to address the history of psychiatry under Communism in Central and Eastern Europe, from the Soviet Union to East Germany. It brings together new research addressing understandings of mental health and disorder, treatments and therapies, and the interplay between politics, ideology and psychiatry. It challenges assumptions about the extent of political control, exploring beyond the instances of punitive abuse of psychiatry, and recognizing the international exchanges which informed the development of research and practice in the region.
The authors discuss:
• Treatments such as work therapy, insulin shock therapy, antipsychotic medications
• International exchanges between the USA, Western Europe, USSR and Central Asia
• Environmental, social and biological explanations of mental health and illness
• The relationship between psychiatry, ideology and the Communist state
• Soviet reponses to antipsychiatry and ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’

For more information, click here.

Call for Papers – Cultures of Harm in Institutions of Care Historical and Contemporary Perspectives

Bellevue Hospital, New York City, 1885-98. © Wellcome Library, London

Bellevue Hospital, New York City, 1885-98. © Wellcome Library, London

15-16 April 2016

Birkbeck, University of London

In 1921, Dr Montagu Lomax published a searing indictment of Prestwich Asylum exposing an entrenched sub-culture of malpractice, negligence and abuse. Recent historical research has shown that many of the same practices were still taking place at Prestwich fifty years later.

Similar abuses continue today. Stafford Hospital, Winterbourne View and the crimes committed by Jimmy Savile are among the more recent examples of how systemic violence and neglect can be visited upon some of society’s most vulnerable individuals in institutions that have been charged with a special duty of care.

This two-day conference will explore the shifting political, socio-economic, cultural and medical influences that have formed and perpetuated cultures of harm from the eighteenth century to the present day across the world. We are particularly interested in the production of harmful practices – physical, sexual and psychological violence directed by one person or group against another – in therapeutic and caring environments. These might include hospitals and infirmaries, psychiatric facilities, religious institutions, care homes, children’s homes and educational establishments, as well as infirmaries and medical spaces in prisons and correctional institutions, military barracks, camps and workhouses.

We welcome papers from all academic disciplines. Suggested themes include:

  • Institutional contexts that contribute to specific cultures and social relationships between individuals and groups
  • The impact of wider societal factors on institutional cultures and contexts
  • Shifting power relations and cultural differences and similarities between staff, patients and other groups
  • Issues around individual and collective agency, resistance and complicity, as well as coercion, scapegoating, ‘whistleblowing’, bullying and negotiation between individuals
  • The role and use of space such as seclusion, locked wards, single/mixed-sex wards
  • Effects of the institutional environment around activity and stimulation, privacy, communication, and support for staff
  • Treatments, medication, the use of restraints, issues around consent
  • Staff recruitment, conditions and training
  • The role of emotions such as fear, pain, shame, humiliation, guilt, anger, sadness, pleasure, desire and nostalgia
  • The role of narrative, language and silence, reporting and non-reporting, including the use of the language of care and therapy to justify violent practices
  • Representations in art, literature, film and drama
  • Factors that have disrupted or changed harmful cultures for the better
  • The role of wider public institutions and agencies such as medicine, the law, social services, academia, religion, government and the media
  • Theoretical, methodological and ethical approaches and challenges.

Whilst this is primarily an academic conference, we would be delighted to receive proposals for artistic work such as a short film, a poetry reading or performance art.

Confirmed speakers: Allan Young, an anthropologist and the Marjorie Bronfman Professor in Social Studies in Medicine (McGill) and Richard Bessel, Professor of Twentieth Century History (York).

Please submit an abstract of up to 300 words together with a brief outline of your academic affiliation to trauma@mail.bbk.ac.uk by 20 September 2015. You will be informed whether or not your paper is successful in early October. Some travel and accommodation bursaries may be available.

This event is organised by Professor Joanna Bourke, Dr Louise Hide and Dr Ana Antic in association with the Birkbeck Trauma Project supported by the Birkbeck Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund in the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology

Psychiatry’s Identity Crisis

American psychiatry is facing an identity crisis, writes Cornell psychiatrist Richard A. Friedman in a New York Times opinion piece published this week:

AMERICAN psychiatry is facing a quandary: Despite a vast investment in basic neuroscience research and its rich intellectual promise, we have little to show for it on the treatment front.

With few exceptions, every major class of current psychotropic drugs — antidepressants, antipsychotics, anti-anxiety medications — basically targets the same receptors and neurotransmitters in the brain as did their precursors, which were developed in the 1950s and 1960s.

Sure, the newer drugs are generally safer and more tolerable than the older ones, but they are no more effective.

To read the rest of this article, click here.

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