Documentary on Alfred Binet

Screenshot from 2014-10-11 17:40:25Philippe Tomine and Alexandre Klein have realised a documentary on Alfred Binet. A public presentation is organized October 15, 2014 at 5 pm in the amphitheater Lucien Cuénot at the Museum-Aquarium of Nancy (entry rue Godron) in the presence of the two authors. The film can also be visioned under this link.

Mad Studies to replace (history of) psychiatry?

Screenshot from 2014-10-11 09:58:09In a recent article, the Guardian presented Mad Matters, a Canadian movement that pleads for taking into account “the lived experience of madness”. Mad Matters brings together academics and “mental health survivors”, among them the well-known historian George Reaume. Kathryn Church, one of the initiator, challenges the way historians are writing over madness:

What we’re trying to do is offer a counterpoint to the history of psychiatry, which is sort of a professional and a disciplinary history, with the lived experience of madness,

The titles of the different classes, h-madness has assembled on the history of psychiatry, show how historians have tried to handle the tensions between “psychiatry”, “madness”, “mental health”, “medicine”….

Conference: “Histories and Theories of the Unconscious” (London, November 2014)

Event Information

Date of Event
Saturday, 22nd November 2014, 10am – 5pm
Last Booking Date for this Event
16th November 2014
Places Available
A day conference on the unconscious mind from its early-modern philosophical origins to its diverse articulations in literature, art and social policy, and its controversial history within the psychoanalytic tradition.
Speakers: Angus Nicholls (Queen Mary UL), Alexandra Bacopoulos-Viau (New York University), Matt Ffytche (University of Essex), Andreas Mayer (Centre A. Koyré, CNRS/EHESS Paris), Madeleine Wood (Queen Mary UL), Sonu Shamdasani (University College London), John Fletcher (University of Warwick), Elsa Richardson (Queen Mary UL), Emma Sutton (University College London), Rhodri Hayward (Queen Mary UL), Arthur Eaton (University College London).For a full conference programme please email conference is sponsored by the Raphael Samuel History Centre and the Centre for the History of the Emotions (QMUL), with the generous financial support of the Wellcome Trust.

For a map and directions, please click here:

PLEASE NOTE: The Arts 2 Building is building number 35 on the campus map. Entrance to Arts 2 is via campus (there is no entrance on the main road!)-please enter via East Gate (Westfield Way) and look for the Novo Burial Ground.

To book tickets to this event, click here.

Book announcement – Les libérés. Mémoires d’un aliéniste, histoire de fous by Ricciotto CANUDO

Screenshot from 2014-10-02 06:36:44The blurb reads

Paru en 1911 pour la première fois, ce roman magistral sur la folie anticipe, avec génie, les mouvements antipsychiatriques. Sa réédition critique offre un regard neuf sur la trajectoire d’un psychiatre atypique qui, refusant d’enfermer ses patients dans des catégories médicales, les soigne par la sexualité et la musique.
Face à la crise de la psychiatrie actuelle, sa réédition a paru nécessaire à Jean Malaurie, directeur de collection, à l’ethnopsychiatre Tobie Nathan et à Anouck Cape.
Les Libérés sont les Mémoires d’un aliéniste révolutionnaire. Conscient de la misère de la psychiatrie dans les années 1900 qui ose livrer les fous à une science sourde et aveugle, Ricciotto Canudo nous fait vivre, dans une écriture très moderne, le quotidien d’un hôpital antipsychiatrique, annonçant avec des accents visionnaires les années 1960 dont il est le précurseur ignoré. Dans ce phalanstère libertaire, ou la sexualité et la musique participent aux pratiques thérapeutiques, s’engage une lutte de pouvoir entre le médecin aliéniste et son patient qui s’achèvera dramatiquement. Nous – les soi-disant bien portants – sommes esclaves de nos préjugés.

For more information, click here.

Séminaire EHESS – Le nouvel esprit de la psychiatrie et de la santé mentale

Logo-EHESS1-150x148Pierre-Henri Castel, Alain Ehrenberg, Nicolas Henckes (CNRS, CERMES3)

45 rue des Saints-Pères, 75270 Paris Cedex 06,

Bâtiment Jacob, 5e étage, Salle des thèses,


14 octobre 2014: Alain Ehrenberg, Les neurosciences cognitives : une anthropologie de l’action, mais laquelle ?
18 novembre 2014: Alain Ehrenberg, Qu’est ce qu’il peut bien avoir dans la tête ? Les mécanismes du social dans la matrice des sciences cognitives
9 décembre 2014: Denis Forest, Les  neurosciences sociales comme programme de recherche : au-delà de la théorie de l’esprit

Les séances suivantes auront lieu les 13 janvier 2015, 10 février 2015, 10 mars 2015, 14 avril 2015, 12 mai 2015. Le séminaire sera clôturé par une journée d’étude qui se déroulera le 5 juin 2015 : Qu’est-ce la maladie mentale ? Entre intentionnalité folle et déficits cognitivo-cérébraux.

Article: “Why Freud Still Haunts Us”

An article appeared today in The Chronicle of Higher Education with the title:

“Why Freud Still Haunts Us”

The piece, by Michael S. Roth, marks the 75 years since Freud’s death. It starts thus:

For those of us prone to commemorations, it is a rich season. The beginning of the Great War 100 years ago, 70 years since the Normandy invasion, and the 50th anniversary of several major events in the American struggle for civil rights. September 23 marks 75 years since the death of Sigmund Freud.

Should we care? In many respects, Freud seems to be from another world. We know so much more now. Psychotropic medications are big business and are prescribed to ever-growing numbers of the “worried well,” while psychoanalysis and psychodynamic psychotherapy are more of a rarity than ever.

And then there is all that embarrassing stuff about sex and penises, about inescapable aggression and guilt. And mothers. All of that is from another time, isn’t it?

After all, now we know that women are equal to men, even if we scratch our heads when trying to explain how patriarchy gets reproduced, generation after generation, despite our professed ethics. Now we know not only that sex must be deeply consensual but that it should be really healthy—so safe that it is, well, less than desirable.

Freud taught that we could never be sure about our own “consent,” let alone another’s (that’s why we’re turning to new laws to demand that only “yes” really means yes). He insisted that the sexual relation was the discord among fantasies and therefore rarely a terrain of great safety.

To read the full article, click here.

22 September: “Portrait of the psychiatrist as a young man. The early writing and work of RD Laing, 1927-1960″ (London)

UCL British Psychological Society History of the Psychological
Disciplines Seminar Series

Monday 22nd September

Dr. Allan Beveridge (Queen Margaret Hospital, Dunfermline)

“Portrait of the psychiatrist as a young man. The early writing and work
of RD Laing, 1927-1960″


For a period in the 1960s, Ronald Laing was the most famous psychiatrist
in the world. His books sold in millions and were translated into many
languages. In his most celebrated work, The Divided Self, published in
1960, he argued that madness was understandable. Laing’s reputation
subsequently went into serious decline, but in recent years there has
been renewed interest in him and a number of biographies and books have
been published. This interest has been fuelled by a disenchantment with
the claims of the neurosciences and an unease about biotechnology.
Laing’s existential approach of treating the patient as a person rather
than a malfunctioning mechanism has new-found appeal.

This paper will look at Laing’s early career up to the publication of
his first book in 1960. It will begin by looking at the major influences
on his work: psychiatric theory; existential analysis; religion; and the
Arts. It will then examine Laing’s early clinical career, firstly in the
British Army, followed by his time as a junior doctor at Gartnavel Royal
Hospital and the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow, before his
subsequent move to the Tavistock Clinic in London.

Organiser: Professor Sonu Shamdasani (UCL)

Time: 6pm to 7.30 pm.

Location: Arts and Humanities Common Room (G24), Foster Court, Malet
Place, University College London.

From the Torrington Place entrance to UCL, enter the campus on Malet
Place. After fifty metres, you will find Foser court on the right hand
side. Turn right under the underpass, and enter via the second door on
the right. The common room is straight ahead.

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