Author Archive

Yale University working group in history of psychiatry 2013-4

Dear Colleagues,

I coordinate a working group in the history of psychiatry at Yale University, and starting academic year 2013-2014, we’d be interested in hosting junior scholars to workshop their work amongst the group members (post docs, junior faculty, grad students, medical students and physicians). We have a modest budget that won’t enable us to fly anyone in, but if someone is in the Northeast area for other reasons, we could pay for a few expenses and host the speaker.
If you’d be interested in sharing your work-in-progress this academic year, please email me at!
Looking forward to hearing from you,

Mical Raz, MD, PhD
Resident, PGY-1, Dept of Internal Medicine
and Section of the History of Medicine
Yale School of Medicine
P.O. Box 208015
New Haven, CT 06520-8015

Sander Gilman Lecture – Freud Museum, 3 July

Freud Museum London

3 July 2013

Sander Gilman Lecture

The German Soul and Psyche in The Third Reich

“Against the soul-destroying glorification of the instinctual life! For the nobility of the human soul! We consign to the flames the writings of the school of Sigmund Freud…

Freud’s works were ritually burned by the Nazi’s in 1933, and we have the pictures to prove it. But the relationship was more complicated than that. The Third Reich Source Book will appear this summer with the University of California Press. It is the most extensive collection of primary documents on the Third Reich ever made available to English readers. It also presents for the first time primary materials on the struggle over the meaning of the psyche and the legacy of psychoanalysis under Hitler. Sander Gilman, one of its editors, will present the reader and the material on psychology and psychoanalysis under the Nazis.

Sander L. Gilman is a distinguished professor of the Liberal Arts and Sciences as well as Professor of Psychiatry at Emory University. A cultural and literary historian, he is the author or editor of over eighty books. His Obesity: The Biography appeared with Oxford University Press in 2010; his most recent edited volume, Wagner and Cinema (with Jeongwon Joe) was published in the same year. He is the author of the basic study of the visual stereotyping of the mentally ill, Seeing the Insane, published by John Wiley and Sons in 1982 (reprinted: 1996) as well as the standard study of Jewish Self-Hatred, the title of his Johns Hopkins University Press monograph of 1986. For twenty-five years he was a member of the humanities and medical faculties at Cornell University where he held the Goldwin Smith Professorship of Humane Studies. For six years he held the Henry R. Luce Distinguished Service Professorship of the Liberal Arts in Human Biology at the University of Chicago and for four years was a distinguished professor of the Liberal Arts and Medicine and creator of the Humanities Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has held many distinguished posts in the UK and across the world, including the Weidenfeld Visiting Professor of European Comparative Literature at Oxford University in 2004-5, and Professor at the Institute in the Humanities, Birkbeck College from 2007 to 2012. He was elected an honorary professor of the Free University in Berlin in 2000, and has been an honorary member of the American Psychoanalytic Association since 2007.

For more information, click here.

UCL history of psychological disciplines seminar – The Possessions at Loudun: Their Significance in the History of the Science of Mind (Dr. Craig E. Stephenson)

UCL/British Psychological Society History of the Psychological Disciplines Seminar Series

Wednesday 26th June

Dr. Craig Stephenson

The Possessions at Loudun: Their Significance in the History of the Science of Mind

Dr. Craig E. Stephenson (AGAP/CPA/CAPT/IAAP)

This seminar focuses on the seventeenth-century possessions at Loudun, France and presents how the events of this famous case played out at the time and how theorizing about possession and obsession changed over almost four centuries of writing about them. For instance, in his definition of demonism for the Schweizer Lexikon (1945) C. G. Jung referred to the debate about Loudun, as did Gilles de la Tourette, Michel Foucault, Michel de Certeau, and Jacques Lacan. Eventually, psychopathology co-opted the word ‘obsession’, stripped of its religious connotation, and left the word ‘possession’ outside medical discourse. Then, in 1992, the American Psychiatric Association attempted to introduce ‘possession’ into its diagnostic manual (DSM-IV) as a mental disorder. Revisiting the history of Loudun provides a means for situating the APA’s recent interest in possession within a medical and intellectual continuum.

Organiser: Professor Sonu Shamdasani (UCL)

Time: 6pm to 7.30 pm.

Note Location:

UCL Institute of the Americas, Room 105
51 Gordon Square
London WC1H

New book: ‘The Lobotomy Letters. The Making of American Psychosurgery’ (Mical Raz)

CfP: Interdisciplinary Conference ‘This is my Body’ (Cambridge, November 2013)

This is my Body

Monday, 18 November 2013 to Tuesday, 19 November 2013
Location: William Harvey Lecture Theatre, Addenbrooke’s Clinical School


Dr Olivia Will (Department of Surgery, Addenbrooke’s Hospital)

Dr Lucy Razzall (Faculty of English, University of Cambridge)


The relationship between the mind and the body raises innumerable challenging questions across the arts, humanities, and social science disciplines. For those who come into professional contact with the human body every day in the National Health Service, the mind and the body are usually considered distinct from each other. This is even reflected in the organisational structure of the NHS, where mental health trusts are separate from other healthcare services. Any medical interpretation of the human body, even while it is grounded in empirical evidence, is also inevitably shaped by the intricacies of cultural context, but this is often overlooked in contemporary medicine.

Keynote speaker: Ludmilla Jordanova (KCL)

Call for Papers

This two-day conference aims to return human experience to the centre of medical discussion by bringing scholars of the body from across the arts, humanities, and social sciences together with medical and surgical practitioners from the National Health Service. In engaging with the human body from a wide range of perspectives, this conference will explore the ways in which understandings, experiences, and representations of the body beyond the traditional medical sphere might inform healing and healthcare. This interdisciplinary conference will be the first of its kind ever held at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, and will establish an important new interface between the academy and the National Health Service.

We invite proposals (250 words) for 20-minute papers from graduate students and senior scholars in the arts, humanities, and social sciences, and from medical students and medical/surgical professionals, which will offer disciplinary perspectives on the human body and experiences of embodiment. Papers could address, but are not restricted to, any aspect of the following:

  • physical and mental illness: treatment and recovery
  • roles, identities, and relationships of patients, carers, and doctors
  • injury, wounds, and healing
  • trauma and disfigurement
  • pain and suffering
  • gender and sexuality
  • life-cycles: birth, childhood, puberty, reproduction, ageing, frailty, death

Please email your proposal to Any informal enquiries may be addressed to the conveners, Olivia Will and Lucy Razzall. The deadline for submission is 31 July 2013.

For more information:

Sciences Humaines – Numéro spécial « Histoire des psychothérapies »

Pour son numéro de juin-juillet-août 2013, la revue Sciences Humaines se tourne vers les sciences “psy” avec un dossier spécial sur l’histoire des psychothérapies :

On les a isolés, ligotés, électrocutés, estourbis, magnétisés, purgés, trépanés, lobotomisés au pic à glace, masturbés au spéculum, on les a gavés de moutarde, de LSD, de haschich et d’opium, on les a ébouillantés, frigorifiés, hypnotisés, plongés dans le coma, on leur a fait des lavements au chloroforme…C’étaient les fous, et c’était pour leur bien. Ce dossier revient sur cette fascinante (et parfois effrayante) histoire, où ceux qui se disaient sains d’esprit ont voulu remettre les autres sur le droit chemin….

Pour plus d’informations, cliquer ici.

Article: Inventing the female self in Greenwich Village, 1900–1930: Mabel Dodge’s encounter with science and spirituality

The latest issue of Subjectivity features an article by Carla Christina Hustak entitled ‘Inventing the female self in Greenwich Village, 1900–1930: Mabel Dodge’s encounter with science and spirituality’.

Its abstract reads:

Through the case study of Mabel Dodge, the mystic of Greenwich Village, this article shows how new forms of knowledge and free love converged in a turn to interrogating the female self. Mabel Dodge’s practice of subjectivity is an early twentieth-century example of what Michel Foucault called the ‘hermeneutics of the subject’, a form of spirituality grounded in the pursuit of the ‘truth’ of the self. Dodge’s efforts to grasp her ‘secret concentrated essence’ reveal an early twentieth-century invention of a new feminist spirituality at the crossroads of occultism, social reform, and sciences of psychology and biology.

To access the entire article, click here.

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