Recent Dissertations in the History Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology

Thanks to the tireless efforts of Jonathon Erlen (History of Medicine Librarian, Health Science Library System at the University of Pittsburgh), we have a ready guide to recent doctoral dissertations in North America – harvested from the January 2011 volumes of Dissertation Abstracts – pertaining to the history of psychiatry and medicine.  The list can be found here.

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    • Edward Shorter
    • February 8th, 2013

    I can’t help but comment that the list contains virtually nothing on either diagnosis or therapeutics (aside from deconstructing Ritalin), the endeavors that are at the heart of psychiatry. Lots of psychoanalysis, which has virtually vanished from psychiatry. It’s not my job to rain on anybody’s parade, and I applaud the energy and enthusiasm that has gone into these dissertations. But it occurs to me that, as a historical speciality, we are on the point of marginalizing ourselves. Perhaps it doesn’t matter if our dialogues are mainly internal. But if we wish to speak to an audience outside the H-Madness ambit, we should think about undertaking research that others might wish to read.

    Cheers to all,
    Edward

      • gae16802
      • February 8th, 2013

      While others may well – and clearly do – disagree with Edward Shorter’s sentiments about what kinds of histories we *should* be writing these days, I am wondering if his assessment about the general thrust of these dissertations bears out. And, if so, what are we to make of this? Admittedly, this represents only a small snapshot of dissertations related to the history of psychiatry and mental health. Perhaps it is skewed for some reason. Looking at the subject matters, I wonder, too, in what departments these projects were undertaken and what impact that is having. Finally, I wonder whether academics out there – particularly ones outside the United States – see similar trends where they are based. Does this list reflect international interests, or does it testify to mostly U.S. American and Canadian preoccupations?

      Best,
      Greg Eghigian

    • Thomas G Dalzell
    • February 8th, 2013

    Thanks Edward, but rumours of the demise of psychoanalysis are greatly exaggerated!

    Best wishes.

    Tom Dalzell in Ireland where (north and south) psychiatry would still be unthinkable without psychoanalysis.

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