Author Archive

Exhibition at London’s Freud Museum: ‘Mad, Bad and Sad: Women and the Mind Doctors’

Freud Museum

10 October 2013 – 2 February 2014

Featuring work by Alice Anderson, Louise Bourgeois, Helen Chadwick, Sarah Lucas, Amie Siegel and Francis Upritchard…

Mad, Bad and Sad: Women and the Mind Doctors

What does a woman want? 
Sigmund Freud’s famous question was originally put to Princess Marie Bonaparte, patient, friend and analyst, the moving force behind Freud’s flight from Nazi Vienna to his final home in London, now the Freud Museum London.

Inspired by Lisa Appignanesi’s acclaimed book, Mad, Bad and Sad: Women and the Mind Doctors from 1800 to the Present, the exhibition highlights the experience of women and their relationship to those who confined, cared for and listened to them.  It also shows how women today conduct their own explorations of mind and imagination in challenging works of art.

How did the mind doctors of the 1900s view their female patients?  What did they make of their variously diagnosed nerves, melancholy, mania, obsession, self-mutilation, tics, possession, hysteria, desire, and rebellion and why in the early 20th century was psychoanalysis liberating for so many female authors and artists? Are some of the questions this exhibition explores.

Through intimate and revealing portraits, shown alongside original historical documents, the exhibition traces key moments in the history of ‘female maladies’ and counterpoints them with women’s boldly inventive art today.

The Women – Mary Lamb, Theroigne de Méricourt, Alice James, Anna O (Bertha Pappenheim), Dora (Ida Bauer); Augustine, Elizabeth Severn, Bryher (Winifred Annie Ellerman), HD (Hilda Doolittle), Princess Marie Bonaparte, Anna Freud, Dorothy Burlingham, Zelda Fitzgerald, Virginia Woolf, Marilyn Monroe, Sylvia Plath and Anna Kavan.

The Mind Doctors – Philipe Pinel, Jean Etienne Esquirol, Jean Martin Charcot, Alexander Morison, William James, Havelock Ellis, Josef Breuer, Sigmund Freud, Lou Andreas Salome, Sandor Ferenczi, Hanns Sachs, Princess Marie Bonaparte, Anna Freud, Dorothy Burlingham, Melanie Klein, Ruth Beuscher and Marianne Kris.

The Artists – Alice Anderson, Louise Bourgeois, Elliott Erwitt, Helen Chadwick, Sarah Lucas, Amie Siegel, Francis Upritchard, plus Richard Dadd and Salvador Dali.

The women’s stories are told through objects, art works, original photographs, papers, books and pictures drawn from the Freud Museum London and other international collections.  This includes Salvador Dali’s portrait of Freud, Freud’s iconic ‘modernist’ chair and the couch on which he died; original paintings and photographs of Mary Lamb, Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath on loan from the National Portrait Gallery, London; Phillipe Pinel’s death mask on loan from the University of Edinburgh/National Galleries of Scotland; paintings by Richard Dadd and Anna Kavan and restraining garments from the Bethlem Art and History Collections Trust, London.

The Freud Museum would like to thank the Museum Dr Guislain, Ghent, Belgium, for their support in the making of the exhibition.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a season of performances, talks, films and events. Click here for further information.

New issue – History of Psychiatry

A new issue of History of Psychiatry is available online:


The theoretical root of Karl Jaspers’ General Psychopathology. Part 2: The influence of Max Weber (Tsutomu Kumazaki)

The present study explores and compares Jaspers’ methodology of psychopathology with Weber’s methodology of sociology. In his works, Weber incorporated the arguments of many other researchers into his own methodology. Jaspers respected Weber as a mentor and presented arguments that were very similar to Weber’s. Both Weber and Jaspers began from empathic understanding, but at the same time aimed for a rational and ideal-typical conceptualization. In addition, their methodologies were similar with respect to their detailed terminology. Such similarities cannot be seen with any other scholars. This suggests that Weber may have played an integral role as a mediator between his contemporary scholars and Jaspers. Thus, Weber may have had the most significant influence on Jaspers.

The Bavarian royal drama of 1886 and the misuse of psychiatry: new results (Heinz Häfner and Felix Sommer) 

The deaths of King Ludwig II of Bavaria and Bernhard von Gudden, Professor of Psychiatry in Munich, in Lake Starnberg near Munich on 13 June 1886 have often been mentioned in the psychiatric-historical literature and in fiction. Von Gudden had written a psychiatric assessment of the King, rating him permanently mentally ill and incapable of reigning. Ludwig II was declared legally incapacitated, dethroned and psychiatrically interned. We will report on an interdisciplinary research project conducted at the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Information was collected from state, local and private archives in Germany and abroad on: (1) the correctness of the psychiatric assessment in form and content; (2) the constitutional basis of the deposition; and (3) its background, motives and execution. The results show that the psychiatric assessment was incorrect in substance and form. They highlight how those in power used psychiatry for their own purposes.

Mental health issues of Maria I of Portugal and her sisters: the contributions of the Willis family to the development of psychiatry (Timothy J Peters and Clive Willis) 

Contemporary accounts credit Dr Francis Willis (1718–1807) with facilitating the recovery of King George III from his major episode of acute mania in 1788–9. Subsequently Willis was summoned to Lisbon to advise on the mental health problems of Queen Maria I. This article reports the nature of the illnesses of Maria and her two similarly affected sisters, and uses the program OPCRIT to propose diagnoses of major depressive disorders. The high prevalence of consanguinity and insanity among the Portuguese monarchy and their antecedents probably contributed to their mental health problems. The successive contributions of the Willis family from Thomas Willis (1621–75) to his grand-nephew, Francis Willis (1792–1859), are reviewed; the popular image is somewhat inaccurate and does not highlight their part in the development of psychiatry.

Psychodynamics in child psychiatry in Sweden, 1945–85: from political vision to treatment ideology (Karin Zetterqvist Nelson and Bengt Sandin) 

In this article, changing treatment ideologies and policies in child psychiatric outpatient services in Sweden from 1945 to 1985 are examined. The aim is to discuss the role played by psychoanalytic and psychodynamic thinking in this process of change. When mental health services for children were introduced in the mid-1940s, psychoanalytic thinking was intertwined with the social democratic vision of the Swedish welfare state in which children symbolized the future. In practice, however, treatment ideology was initially less influenced by psychoanalytic thinking. From the early 1960s, child psychiatric services expanded and the number of units increased. By then, the political vision had disappeared, but a treatment ideology began to evolve based on psychodynamic theories, which became dominant in the 1970s.

The birth and death of Villa 21 (Oisín Wall) 

From 1962 to 1966 David Cooper ran an experimental hospital ward in Villa 21 of Shenley Hospital, Hertfordshire, England. In the histories of mid-twentieth-century psychiatry and anti-psychiatry, this ward has been almost entirely forgotten, overshadowed by the figure of R.D. Laing and his Kingsley Hall experiment. This study attempts to construct a history of Villa 21 and to reassert its historical importance as a manifestation of British anti-psychiatry and the radically anti-institutional politics of its time. Beginning before the opening of the ward, this article follows the story of Villa 21 on theoretical, practical and personal levels through its experimental journey and into its dramatic aftermath when Cooper’s experiment was ideologically obliterated by his successor Michael Conran and physically obliterated by the Hospital administration. It contends that Villa 21 is an example of anti-psychiatry’s attempt to engage with the very structure of society at a profound level. 


Battling demons with medical authority: werewolves, physicians and rationalization (Nadine Metzger) 


Werewolves and physicians experienced their closest contact in the context of early modern witch and werewolf trials. For medical critics of the trials, melancholic diseases served as reference points for medical explanations of both individual cases and werewolf beliefs in general.

This paper attempts to construct a conceptual history of werewolf beliefs and their respective medical responses. After differentiating the relevant terms, pre-modern werewolf concepts and medical lycanthropy are introduced. The early modern controversy between medical and demonological explanations forms the main part of this study. The history of werewolves and their medical explanations is then traced through to present times. An important point of discussion is to what extent the physicians’ engagements with werewolves can be characterized as rationalization.

‘The issue also contains the classic text “Pauper Lunatics and their Treatment”, by Joshua Harrison Stallard (1870), as well as book reviews of Naoko Wake, Private Practices: Harry Stack Sullivan, the Science of Homosexuality, and American Liberalism, and Anne Borsay and Pamela Dales (eds), Disabled Children: Contested Caring, 1850–1979.

For more information, click here.

New book – The Laws of Kinship: Anthropology, Psychoanalysis, and the Family in France (Camille Robcis)

The Law of Kinship: Anthropology, Psychoanalysis, and the Family in France

Camille Robcis

Published by Cornell University Press, Spring 2013

In France as elsewhere in recent years, legislative debates over single-parent households, same-sex unions, new reproductive technologies, transsexuality, and other challenges to long-held assumptions about the structure of family and kinship relations have been deeply divisive.

What strikes many as uniquely French, however, is the extent to which many of these discussions—whether in legislative chambers, courtrooms, or the mass media—have been conducted in the frequently abstract vocabularies of anthropology and psychoanalysis.

This book seeks to explain why and how academic discourses on kinship have intersected and overlapped with political debates on the family—and on the nature of French republicanism itself.  It focuses on the theories of Claude Lévi-Strauss and Jacques Lacan, both of whom highlighted the interdependence of the sexual and the social by positing a direct correlation between kinship and socialization.  It traces how their ideas gained recognition not only from French social scientists but also from legislators and politicians who relied on some of the most obscure and difficult concepts of structuralism to enact a series of laws concerning the family.  Lévi-Strauss and Lacan constructed the heterosexual family as a universal trope for social and psychic integration, and this understanding of the family at the root of intersubjectivity coincided with the role that the family has played in modern French law and public policy.  The Law of Kinship contributes to larger conversations about the particularities of French political culture, the nature of sexual difference, and the problem of reading and interpretation in intellectual history.

Camille Robcis is Assistant Professor of History at Cornell University.

For more information, click here.

Symposium “Body and Mind: Mesmerism in Nineteenth Century Culture and Literature” (Barts Pathology Museum, October 2013)

Thursday 17th October 2013, 6-9 pm

Body and Mind: Mesmerism in Nineteenth Century Culture and Literature

Barts Pathology Museum

This symposium will seek to explore the relationship between the sciences and Victorian mesmerism, psychical research and parapsychology.

This event has been kindly sponsored by the British Society for Literature and Science.


Prof. William Hughes (Bath Spa University) ‘The Theatre of His Beastly Exhibitions’: The Erotic Nature of Early Victorian Magnetism’

Andreas Sommer (UCL Centre for the History of Psychological Disciplines) ‘Mesmerism, hypnotism and the formation of modern psychology in Germany’

This event is free but tickets will need to be booked in advance. Book online here.

The event will take place at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, Pathology Museum and Gallery, 3rd Floor, Robin Brook Centre, West Smithfield, London, EC1A 7BE 

Nearest tube: St Paul’s

Doors open at 6pm, when there will be a chance to view the exhibits in the museum. The event will run from 6.30 – 8.30pm

Refreshments provided; Admission free

This event is part of the Damaging the Body series. For more information, click here.

Parution de numéro : Clio, « Quand la médecine fait le genre »

Nous annonçons la parution d’un nouveau numéro de Clio, revue semestrielle francophone d’histoire des femmes qui a pour ambition de rendre visibles les femmes et de proposer une lecture sexuée des sociétés. Ce numéro thématique sur l’histoire de la médecine comporte des textes de plusieurs spécialistes, dont Nicole Edelman, Aude Fauvel, Jean-Baptiste Bonnard, Ilana Löwy et Dominique Cadinot :

Quand la médecine fait le genre

Responsables du numéro
Nicole Edelman & Florence Rochefort

Nicole Edelman, Éditorial

Jean-Baptiste Bonnard, Corps masculin et corps féminin chez les médecins grecs

Aude Fauvel, Cerveaux fous et sexes faibles (Grande-Bretagne, 1860-1900)

Ilana Löwy, Le genre du cancer

Emilia Sanabria, Hormones et reconfiguration des identités sexuelles au Brésil

Véronique Moulinié, Andropause et ménopause : la sexualité sur ordonnance

Actualité de la recherche

Sylvie Chaperon & Nahema Hanafi, Médecine et sexualité, aperçus sur une rencontre historiographique

Delphine Gardey, Comment écrire l’histoire des relations corps, genre, médecine au xxe siècle ?


L’anthropologue, les médecins et l’expérience transgenre. Questions posées à Laurence Hérault par Sylvie Steinberg

Dominique Cadinot, Reconfiguration des rapports de genre et discours féministe syro-américain dans l’espace transnational du second xixe siècle

Benoît Grenier & Catherine Ferland, « Quelque longue que soit l’absence » : procurations et pouvoir féminin à Québec au xviiie siècle

Pour plus d’informations, cliquer ici.

Call for contributions: The Male Body in Victorian Literature and Culture

The Male Body in Victorian Literature and Culture

Call for Contributions

There exists a considerable amount of research focused on the female body in the Victorian period, from seminal texts such as Krugovoy Silver’s exploration of anorexic female bodies (2002), Talairach-Vielmas’ examination of the female body and femininity (Moulding the Female Body in Victorian Fairy Tales and Sensation Novels, 2007) through to Sondra Archimedes’ Gendered Pathologies: The Female Body and Biomedical Discourse in the Nineteenth-Century English Novel (2005).

However, the representations of and discourses surrounding the physicality of her male counterpart have begun to be examined only recently. Critics such as Andrew Dowling have questioned whether it is anachronistic to discuss masculinity in the nineteenth century because ‘the topic did not exist in the way we conceive it today’ (Manliness and the Male Novelist, 2001, p.1). He concludes that, while it was not a topic of contemporary debate, the idea of what constituted manliness was deeply embedded within Victorian culture, not least through images of male deviance in the literature of the period. Despite the work completed by Dowling and others (such as John Tosh, James E. Adams and Sander L. Gilman, for example)the breadth and depth of scholarship on Victorian men and masculinities leaves much to be explored.

Focusing approximately on the period between 1830 and 1910, this edited collection of essays aims to contribute to the bridging of this gap in existing Victorian scholarship. The collection intends to explore the male body as represented in Victorian literary and cultural texts, from visual culture to the periodical press, fiction, poetry and drama, and from art to advertisement and fashion. In doing so, the editors seek to navigate the diversity of representations of physical maleness, manliness, and masculinities in the Victorian period in order to illuminate further this little examined field.

Topics for essays may include, but are by no means limited to:

  • Extreme physicalities (starving, corpulence, physical ideals);
  • Regulation of the male body (diet, exercise, science, and medicine);
  • Military or ‘heroic’ bodies;
  • Muscular Christianity and the cult of exercise;
  • Deviant or queer male bodies;
  • The foreign and/or ‘other’ male body as represented in discourses of nationhood, nationality, and empire;
  • Dress, fashion, and the male body;
  • Modified male bodies (body building, tattoos, etc.);
  • Disability and the male body.

The editors invite 500-word proposals for chapters of up to 7,000 words, accompanied by a short biographical note, to be submitted to both Dr Nadine Muller ( and Joanne Parsons ( no later than 31 August 2013. If you have any questions about this project or about a potential proposal, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us via email.

Fall 2013 Richardson History of Psychiatry Seminar (Weill Cornell, NYC)

The Richardson History of Psychiatry Research Seminar

Convenes on the 1st & 3rd Wednesdays from September through May

New York Presbyterian Hospital

2:00 PM Baker Tower Conference Room F-1200

September 18
Siovahn Walker, Ph.D., Columbia University
“What is a liber de anima? Understanding the genesis and purpose of psychology’s oldest genre”
October 2
Ruth Leys, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University
“Problems of Affect and the Neurosciences of Emotion”
October 16
Mary Bergstein, Ph.D., Rhode Island School of Design
“Science to Eros: Visual Culture in Freud’s Vienna”
November 6
Kristen Lane, Ph.D., Bard College
“Attitudes Across Time”
November 20
Ben Flarris, Ph.D., University of New Hampshire
“The Marx-Freud Debate in American Psychiatry, 1930-1956”
December 4
Debbie Weinstein, Ph.D., Brown University
“War and the Mind in 20th Century America”
December 18
No Seminar — Holiday Party

For more information, click here.

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