Author Archive

“Appily Ever After: A Smartphone Shrink” (NYTimes)

The New York Times recently published an article by Judith Newman entitled “Appily Ever After: A Smartphone Shrink”, which H-Madness readers might enjoy. An excerpt reads as follows:

“I worry my work won’t be good enough,” I write.

“Why is that?” the machine asks.

“Because my parents were so critical,” I answer.

“Why is that?” the machine asks.

“Because they were Jewish,” I reply.

“Why is that?”

“Because they don’t believe Jesus Christ is our savior.” I feel my iPad is getting a little personal.

Then the machine triumphantly concludes: “This is what is really holding you back: because they don’t believe Christ is our savior.”

“So what are you going to do about it?” the machine asks.

“Uh, convert?” I tap.

Then the machine smugly asks: “Did this tool help you get unstuck?”

Conclusion: I spent about an hour and a half learning that I am Jewish, which does, in fact, explain a lot.”

To access the entire article, click here.

Special issue of Schizophrenia Bulletin: One century of Karl Jaspers’ Allgemeine Psychopathologie (1913-2013)

The journal Schizophrenia Bulletin is celebrating one century of Karl Jaspers’ Allg. Psychopathol. with a special issue:


Assen Jablensky

Karl Jaspers: Psychiatrist, Philosopher, Humanist


Mario Maj

Karl Jaspers and the Genesis of Delusions in Schizophrenia

Special Features

First Person Account

Adam Timlett

Controlling Bizarre Delusions

Schizophrenia in Translation-Feature Editor: Thomas H. McGlashan

Gregory P. Strauss

The Emotion Paradox of Anhedonia in Schizophrenia: Or Is It?

Environment and Schizophrenia-Feature Editor: Jim van Os

Nikos C. Stefanis, Milan Dragovic, Brian D. Power, Assen Jablensky, David Castle, and Vera Anne Morgan

Age at Initiation of Cannabis Use Predicts Age at Onset of Psychosis: The 7- to 8-Year Trend


Cochrane Corner-Feature Editor: Clive E. Adams

Richard Morriss, Indira Vinjamuri, Mohammad Amir Faizal, Catherine A. Bolton, and James P. McCarthy

Training to Recognize the Early Signs of Recurrence in Schizophrenia

At Issue

Michael F. Green, William P. Horan, and Catherine A. Sugar

Has the Generalized Deficit Become the Generalized Criticism?

Commentary on Green et al. (This Issue)

James M. Gold and Dwight Dickinson

“Generalized Cognitive Deficit” in Schizophrenia: Overused or Underappreciated?


Commentary on Green et al. (This Issue)

Emilio Fernandez-Egea, Clemente Garcia-Rizo, Jorge Zimbron, and Brian Kirkpatrick

Diabetes or Prediabetes in Newly Diagnosed Patients With Nonaffective Psychosis? A Historical and Contemporary View

Theme: One Century of Allgemeine Psychopathologie (1913 to 2013) by Karl Jaspers Guest Editor: Paolo Fusar-Poli

Theme Introduction

Paolo Fusar-Poli

One Century of Allgemeine Psychopathologie (1913 to 2013) by Karl Jaspers

Josef Parnas, Louis A. Sass, and Dan ZahaviRediscovering Psychopathology: The Epistemology and Phenomenology of the Psychiatric Object


Aaron L. Mishara and Paolo Fusar-Poli

The Phenomenology and Neurobiology of Delusion Formation During Psychosis Onset: Jaspers, Truman Symptoms, and Aberrant Salience


Giovanni Stanghellini, Derek Bolton, and William K. M. Fulford

Person-Centered Psychopathology of Schizophrenia: Building on Karl Jaspers’ Understanding of Patient’s Attitude Toward His Illness

As well as the above thematic pieces, the issue also contains a number of regular articles. Click here for more information.

CfP – Colloquium “Sexual Futures: Versions of the Sexual Past, Visions of the Sexual Future” (University of Exeter, September 2013)

University of Exeter

5th & 6th September 2013

Call for Papers

The future offers a critical space to negotiate sexual possibilities. It can serve as a doomsday warning, provide utopian fantasies or aspirational goals for real reform. Such visions of the sexual future are often achieved through an imaginative reworking of motifs and elements from the past. This colloquium investigates how and why sexual knowledge, articulated in science, literature, art, politics, law and religion, turns to the past to envision the future.

When it comes to imagining the future, the past can be cast in manifold ways. It can appear as mythical, traditional, ancestral, atavistic, hereditary, primitive, classical, or historical. It can also serve a number of purposes. It can lend weight or authority; it can provide a rhetoric of objectivity, neutrality and empiricism to support visions of the future. It can galvanise calls for reform by appearing to offer visions of realistic possibility, alternative social worlds that have existed in the past and are therefore more than idle fantasy. The past can also be deployed in narratives about progress and decline, civilization and evolution, which lead towards a utopian or dystopian future. It can be marshalled as evidence to articulate universalising claims about humanity, provide evidence of variability across time, illustrate future possibilities or legitimise change. In addition, the past can offer a space of forgetting and loss and therefore a means of rejecting or engaging critically with the very concept of the future. It is the aim of the colloquium to examine how such uses of the past in the service of the future intersect with sexual knowledge and experience.

Forming part of the Sexual Knowledge, Sexual History project, this colloquium invites scholars from a range of disciplines to examine any aspect of the nexus between past, future and sex. Central questions might include, but are not limited to:

- Why and how have people throughout history turned to the past to imagine sexual futures?
– How does the past facilitate the imagination of future sexualities? Conversely, how does the past restrict what is considered to be a possible future?
– Which aspects or elements of the past are used in the construction of sexual futures?
– What authority does the past hold in the articulation of future visions of sexuality?
– How is the relation between past and future conceptualised differently over time and how does this change the way in which sexuality is understood and experienced?
– How do uses of the past in the service of the future compare across different areas of sexual knowledge, including science, literature, art, politics, law or religion?

Please contact Kate Fisher (, Rebecca Langlands ( or Jana Funke ( for further details or to discuss possible research papers.

Abstracts to be emailed to Jana Funke by 24th April 2013.

Image credit: Andrew Junge, “Pandora’s Box” (2005)

Conference – “Credulity: Enchantment and Modernity in the 19th-Century U.S.” (Heyman Center, Columbia University, 29-30 March 2013)

Credulity: Enchantment and Modernity in the 19th-Century U.S.

Heyman Center for the Humanities

Columbia University

Friday, March 29, 2013 – Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Heyman Center, Second Floor Common Room

What is the place of enchantment in nineteenth-century America?  Scholars of the secular have been accumulating a rich description of what it meant in this period to “aim for ‘modernity,'” in Talal Asad’s phrase. This conference asks about the persons and knowledges which appeared as excessive, even dangerous, to this project—while assuming that this excess cannot simply be described as “religion.” Credulity, a frequent term of abuse in antebellum sources, meant believing too readily and too well, often with the implication of bodily mismanagement: the credulous person’s nerves or brain did her down. So who were the credulous, and what did they know?  Detractors saw an ad-hoc collection of gullible scientists, political patsies, occult practitioners, religious enthusiasts, fiction readers, and superstitious primitives, all of them behind the times.  But how were such alleged failures distinctively modern?  Did connections develop between forms of credulity at first linked only by their bad reputations? How should we understand credulity’s angle on the rational—as symptom, queering, disability, doubling? Working on the assumption that modern enchantment is as much in need of historical description as secularity is, we are interested in topics including, but not limited to:

  • seductive literature and its credulous readers, literary frauds, lying memoirs;
  • queer beliefs and excessive epistemic desires;
  • the occult, magic, wonder shows, witchcraft;
  • contested sciences and contested scientific methods;
  • hysteria, nervousness, and models of the body;
  • revivals, “primitive” religion, Spiritualism;
  • defenses of credulity, attacks on skepticism, conventions of the exposé;
  • eighteenth-century precursors (enthusiasm debates, the Great Awakening) and twentieth-century aftermaths (the crowd, suggestion, surrealism)

Speakers include Emily Ogden, John Tresch, Dana Luciano, and many others.

RSVP Suggested:

For more information and to view the complete schedule of events, click here.

Conference: The Psy-ences and Mental Health in East Central Europe and Eurasia (Chicago, April 2013)

The Psy-ences and Mental Health in East Central Europe and Eurasia

April 29–30, 2013, University of Chicago

Over the past decades, the professions and disciplines concerned with the human mind, brain and behavior (“the psy-ences”) have undergone significant changes in the countries of East Central Europe and Eurasia. Throughout much of the state-socialist period these professions were closely linked to the party-state’s project of producing the “new socialist person.” Today, these professions bear a more complex relationship to the state as they manage transformations ranging from psychiatric reform and attempts to introduce principles of “global mental health” and harm reduction to the region, to the growing influence of biopsychiatry and pharmaceutical companies in determining definitions of health, to the rising popularity of psychological expertise in the development of human capital.

Moreover, the shifts in disciplinary objects of knowledge and intervention – namely, mental illness and addictions – can be linked to the repeated social disruptions individuals, families and populations in all of these countries have experienced. While the most recent disruptions have emerged from the economic contraction and related austerity measures, the social upheaval, economic depression, abrupt cultural change, and in some cases, violent conflict, of the immediate postsocialist period are not necessarily distant memories for many living in the region.

This conference brings together scholars from across the health and social sciences and the humanities to conference will examine the psy-ences and their shifting objects of knowledge and intervention in the countries of East Central Europe and Eurasia.

Sponsored by CEERES, Dept. of Anthropology, Franke Institute for the Humanities, Center for International Studies Norman Wait Harris Fund, International House Global Voices Program, Dept. of Comparative Human Development, and the Workshop on Self and Subjectivity.

Free and open to the public. If you plan to attend please send an email to (or call 773-702-0866).

Persons with disabilities who may need assistance should contact the Office of Programs & External Relations in advance of the program at 773-753-2274.

Conference Program

April 29

Location: Gordon Center for Integrative Science Corner of 57th St. and Drexel (map<;)

9:00 – 9:15 Welcome and introduction Susan Gal (Anthropology, CEERES, University of Chicago) Eugene Raikhel (Comparative Human Development, University of Chicago)

9:15 – 10:45  Panel 1: Expertise enacted and transformed · Benjamin Zajicek (History, Towson University) “Insulin Shock Therapy and the Construction of Therapeutic Effectiveness in Stalin’s Soviet Union.” · Kateřina Lišková (Sociology, Masaryk University), “Socialist Person Normalized: Sexological Discourses in Czechoslovakia Between the 1950s and 1980s.” · Jessica Robbins (Anthropology, University of Michigan), “Socialist and Postsocialist Dimensions of the Geronto-/Psy-ences in Poland: The Case of Universities of the Third Age.” Discussant: Susanne Cohen (Anthropology, University of Chicago)

10:45 — 11:00 Break 11:00 – 12:30 Panel 2: Politics and the clinic · Rebecca Reich (Russian Literature and Culture, University of Cambridge), “Diagnosis, Dissidence and Self-Definition in the Late Soviet Period.” · Shelly Yankovskyy (Anthropology, University of Tennessee), “Political and Economic Transformations in Ukraine: the View from Psychiatry.” · Jack R. Friedman, (Anthropology, University of Oklahoma), “The Sad, The Mad, and The Bad: The Romanian Psychiatric Hospital as Neoliberal Assemblage of Pathology.” Discussant: Tomas Matza (Anthropology, Duke University)

12:30 – 2:30 Lunch

2:30 – 4:00 Panel 3: The politics and ethics of addiction and treatment · Peter Meylakhs, (Higher School of Economics, St. Petersburg, Russia), “The Logic of Symbolic Pollution in the Russian Media Discourse on Drugs.” · Jennifer J. Carroll (Anthropology, University of Washington), “For Lack of Wanting: Addiction, Desire, and Personhood in Ukraine.” · Vladimir D. Mendelevich (Psychiatry, Kazan State University) “Bioethical Differences Between Drug Addiction Treatment Professionals Inside And Outside The Russian Federation.” Discussant: Eugene Raikhel (Comparative Human Development, University of Chicago)

4:00 – 4:30 Break

4:30 – 6:00 Keynote address “Trotsky’s Daughter and the Politics of Psy-ence” Alexander Etkind (University of Cambridge)

6:00 – 8:00 Dinner

April 30

Location: Home Room, International House 1414 East 59th Street (map<;)

9:00 – 10:30 Panel 4 – Trauma and care · Hanna Kienzler (Social Science, Health and Medicine, King’s College London) “Health-seeking and healing in the aftermath of war.” · Peter Locke (Anthropology/Global Health, Princeton University), “Surviving the aftermath: trauma, resilience, and chronic insecurity in postwar Sarajevo.” · Namrita S. Singh, (Department of International Health, Social & Behavioral Interventions, Johns Hopkins), “Constructing care-seeking spaces and pathways: identity, integration, and mental illness experiences among protracted internally displaced persons in Georgia.” Discussant: Michael Rasell (Health and Social Sciences, University of Lincoln)

10:30-11:00 Break

11:00 – 12:30 Panel 5 – Subjectivities in transformation · Tomas Matza (Anthropology, Duke University), “Psychological Becoming after Socialism.” · Sonja Luehrmann, (Anthropology, Simon Fraser University), “Innocence and Demographic Crisis: Transposing post-Abortion Syndrome into a Russian Orthodox Key.” · Grzegorz Sokol, (Anthropology, The New School for Social Research), “Mutuality and Selfhood: Depression, the twelve steps, and civil society in Poland” Discussant: Jack R. Friedman (Anthropology, University of Oklahoma)

12:30-2:00 Lunch

2:00-3:30 Panel 6 — Counter-narratives · Hannah Proctor (Humanities, Birkbeck College, University of London), “Ahistorical Materialism: ‘Neuromania’ in Light of Lev Vygotsky and Alexander Luria’s Cultural-Historical Psychology.” · Eugene Raikhel (Comparative Human Development, University of Chicago), “Fear and coding in St. Petersburg: the affective technologies of addiction treatment.” · Khashayar Beigi (Anthropology, University of California at Berkeley) “All the Languages of the Jinn.” Discussant: William Nickell (Slavic Languages and Literatures, University of Chicago)

3:30-4:00 Break

4:00 – 5:00 Open discussion

New Book – The New Brain Sciences and the Management of the Mind (Nikolas Rose, Joelle M. Abi-Rached)

Neuro: The New Brain Sciences and the Management of the Mind

Nikolas Rose and Joelle M. Abi-Rached

Princeton University Press, 2013

The brain sciences are influencing our understanding of human behavior as never before, from neuropsychiatry and neuroeconomics to neurotheology and neuroaesthetics. Many now believe that the brain is what makes us human, and it seems that neuroscientists are poised to become the new experts in the management of human conduct. Neuro describes the key developments–theoretical, technological, economic, and biopolitical–that have enabled the neurosciences to gain such traction outside the laboratory. It explores the ways neurobiological conceptions of personhood are influencing everything from child rearing to criminal justice, and are transforming the ways we “know ourselves” as human beings. In this emerging neuro-ontology, we are not “determined” by our neurobiology: on the contrary, it appears that we can and should seek to improve ourselves by understanding and acting on our brains.

Neuro examines the implications of this emerging trend, weighing the promises against the perils, and evaluating some widely held concerns about a neurobiological “colonization” of the social and human sciences. Despite identifying many exaggerated claims and premature promises, Neuro argues that the openness provided by the new styles of thought taking shape in neuroscience, with its contemporary conceptions of the neuromolecular, plastic, and social brain, could make possible a new and productive engagement between the social and brain sciences.

Nikolas Rose is professor of sociology and head of the Department of Social Science, Health, and Medicine at King’s College London. His books include The Politics of Life Itself: Biomedicine, Power, and Subjectivity in the Twenty-First Century (Princeton).

Joelle M. Abi-Rached is a PhD candidate in the history of science at Harvard University.

For more information on this book, click here.

UCL Centre for the History of Psychological Disciplines Seminar Series

UCL Centre for the History of Psychological Disciplines Seminar Series* Sponsored by the British Psychological Society


Open to the public

Organiser: Professor Sonu Shamdasani (UCL)

*Tuesday 12th March*

Dr. Hereward Tilton (University of Exeter) – “The Path of the Serpent: Gnosis, Alchemy and the Esoteric Antecedents of Analytical Psychology”

C. G. Jung influentially asserted that the alchemical corpus constituted the missing link in an ‘uninterrupted intellectual chain’ leading from ancient Gnosticism to his own analytical psychology. Nevertheless, recent studies in the history of Western esotericism have problematised both Jung’s interpretation of alchemy and his historiography. Although certain doctrines and practices within the ancient Gnostic milieu can legitimately be considered distant precursors to analytical psychology, in this seminar we will discover that the chief conduit of their transmission to modernity was the Kabbalah in its Jewish, Christian and post-Christian occult incarnations. Particular attention will be directed to techniques for the attainment of heavenly ascent, conceived as a reversal of the cosmogony in the microcosm of the human body and depicted within Gnostic and Kabbalistic traditions — as in Indo-Tibetan Tantra — as ‘the path of the serpent’. Although it would be misleading to use the term ‘alchemy’ to describe what is essentially a species of theurgy, we will also explore the emergence of nineteenth-century Freemasonic and Theosophical notions of ‘spiritual alchemy’ from the Christian Cabalistic tradition of conceiving this heavenly ascent in alchemical terms. As I will argue, it is this alchemically conceived theurgy rather than alchemy /per se /that truly constitutes the ‘secret thread’ of esotericism leading to Jung’s work.

Location: UCL Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology, Room 544,* 5th Floor, 1-19 Torrington Place, London WC1E 7HB

Directions: From the main reception, go through the double doors at the back and turn left, walk the length of this corridor and at the very end turn left again – you will find yourself in front of the ‘West’ Lifts. Take these to 5th Floor. On exiting the lift, turn right through double doors and then left through single door, walk the length of this corridor pass through another door and then turn right – you will see a marble table ahead. Room 544 is straight ahead.

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