Bill Bynum on Roy Porter

To mark the 75th anniversary of the death of Henry Wellcome, the Wellcome Trust, is  publishing a series of features on people who have been significant in the Trust’s history. Medical historian Bill Bynum looks at his former colleague Roy Porter, who was for years a linchpin of the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine and who played in important role in the history of psychiatry.

“De l’histoire de la psychiatrie au surréalisme” – Vente publique de la bibliothèque Julien Bogousslavsky

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Paris Vente publique 
16 juin 2011 à 14 h

De l’aliénisme et la neuropsychiatrie au surréalisme

De la bibliothèque Julien Bogousslavsky et à divers amateurs

Cette bibliothèque, rassemblée par un grand neurologue depuis une vingtaine d’années, fin connaisseur de l’histoire de sa discipline, est un ensemble unique que l’on pourrait très difficilement reconstituer. 

Il est axé sur les débuts de la psychologie dynamique moderne. Toute l’histoire de la psychiatrie y est présente, de Pinel et Esquirol à Clérambault et Lacan, dans des documents très rares. Elle croise l’Age d’or de la neurologie moderne qui prend naissance avec Charcot dont toute l’école est ici rassemblée : Babinski, Déjerine, Pierre Marie. Enfin, du creuset de la Salpêtrière, nous suivons et remontons la trace de trois autres fleuves : celui de la psychanalyse, un ensemble unique de publications originales de Freud est ici proposé, nombreuses comportent des envois autographes ; celui de la psychologie, avec les  travaux importants de l’école de Pierre Janet, ainsi que de nombreux ouvrages provenant de sa bibliothèque ; enfin la naissance de la psychiatrie française moderne qui s’est difficilement séparée de la neurologie. 

D’autres approches plus transversales sont également présentes, l’art et la folie, avec les premiers ouvrages de Prinzhorn, Morgenthaler, Vinchon et Rogues de Fursac. Et last but not least, quelques météorites inclassables : L’Enfant Sauvage d’Itard dédicacé à Madame Récamier ; L’introduction à la Médecine Expérimentale de Claude Bernard signé lui aussi, et la clef des songes d’Hervey de Saint-Denis. 

Ce dernier ouvrage nous ouvre l’inévitable échappée vers les surréalistes.  Tous se sont intéressés à la médecine mentale, par intérêt, pour la décrier, ou par nécessité, comme patients. André Breton, Salvador Dali, André Masson, Yves Tanguy sont remarquablement représentés ici. Malgré les rejets et attirances réciproques – un  « Je t’aime moi non plus », vraisemblablement emprunté à Salvador Dali – les psychanalystes, psychiatres et surréalistes sont ici mêlés et proposés dans une juste association de savoir, de talent, voire de génie.

 

Exposition mercredi 15 juin 2011 de 11 h à 18 h et jeudi 16 juin 2011 de 11 h à 12 h 

Paris, Hôtel Drouot, salle 8

Et à l’Espace Berggruen, sur rendez-vous, de 14 h à 18 h, du mardi 7 au vendredi 10 juin 2011

9 rue Duras – 75 008 Paris Tel : 01 40 06 06 08 – Fax : 01 42 66 14 92 contact@auctionartparis.com

http://www.auctionartparis.com/>

Espace Berggruen 68-70 rue de l’Université – 75007 Paris Tel : 01 42 22 12 51 – Fax : 01 42 22 14 44 Mobile : 06 03 13 07 68 contact@espaceberggruen.com

From Kirchner till this day – artist reaction of the Prinzhorn Collection

In 2001, the Museum Prinzhorn Collection opened in a refurbished lecture building. It celebrates its 10th anniversary with an extensive exhibition on the resonance of its collection, in which several Heidelberg institutions participate. With works by more than 60 artists, it shows the differences in the critical responses to the famous collection, from Prinzhorn’s time until the present.
In the Prinzhorn Collection Museum, works from the historic fund are mainly juxtaposed with works by more senior artists. The Expressionists Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Alfred Kubin are represented, as well as Paul Klee and the Surrealist Max Ernst. The post 1945 response is shown in works by more contemporary ‘classic’ figures like Richard Lindner, Georg Baselitz, Walter Stöhrer, Arnulf Rainer, Wolfgang Petrick, Emil Siemeister, and Edgar Schmandt, but also by younger artists like Lisa Niederreiter and Jennifer Gilbert. The cabinets contain different responses to textile works like the little jacket by Agnes Richter and to the iconic drawings of August Natterer. The foyer and reading area of the City Library is taken over by a Peter Riek installation; the DAI exhibition space shows unexpected views on and into the museum by the photographer Jochen Steinmetz. The Museum Haus Cajeth sees an encounter of several draughtsmen and women: Jörg Ahrnt, Julia Kuhl, Stefan Lausch, and Dorothee Rocke. And the Forum für Kunst brings together the responses of 27 artists of the BBK.
Thus the exhibition gives an overview of art in the 20th and 21st century from an eccentric but revealing perspective.

For more information, click here.

Two recent articles

The UC Davis Disability Studies blog contains a list of recently-published historical articles dealing with disability (broadly defined). This month, the authors have included the following two articles of interest to historians of psychiatry:

Reaume, Geoffrey. “Psychiatric Patient Built Wall Tours at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Toronto, 2000-2010,”  Left History 15(1)(Fall-Winter 2010-2011), 129-148. The article begins thus:

The purpose of the wall tours described in this article is to remember the men and women asylum patients who built, lived, worked and died behind the last remaining structures that still exist on the grounds of the former Asylum for the Insane, Toronto. The tours first started with a conversation. In spring 2000, Heinz Klein, one of the organizers for the Psychiatric Survivor Pride Week events, and an activist whom I have known since 1993, asked me to give a talk about the history of people who lived in the Toronto Asylum for the upcoming annual event organized to celebrate the contributions of psychiatric survivors/consumers in our community. I was skeptical and said a lot of people had recently seen a play based on my research which did a better job than I could of speaking about patients’ lives. Heinz then suggested I could give a talk outside by the 19th century patient built wall at the present day Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), not far from where the play had been performed in April, 2000. As we continued to talk the idea of a wall tour came up, though I can’t remember who suggested it first. Instead of a stationary talk by the wall, the idea was to give talks all along the wall about patients’ lives where they lived. The wall would be the central site of multiple talks woven together by the common theme of describing a history of patients’ life and labour on this site. And so began the wall tours with the first one held on July 14, 2000, Mad Pride Day as it is now called. To my amazement and delight, about fifty people showed up for the first wall tour, a harbinger of things to come in the following years.

The full article can be accessed at http://activehistory.ca/2011/04/new-paper-geoffrey-reaume-on-psychiatric-patient-built-wall-tours-at-torontos-camh/

Stebbings, Chantal. “An Effective Model of Institutional Taxation: Lunatic Asylums in Nineteenth-Century England,” Journal of Legal History 32(1)(2011): 31-59. The abstract reads:

The compulsory establishment of large public lunatic asylums under Act of parliament in the nineteenth century to address the enormous increase in the number of the insane raised legal and practical challenges in relation to their status within the law of tax. As a result of their therapeutic and custodial objectives, these novel institutions required extensive landed property and very specific systems of governance, the fiscal consequences of which potentially undermined those very objectives. This article examines and analyses the nature and legal process of the application of the tax regime to these asylums, concluding that it constituted a rare and effective model of institutional taxation.

Special issue of the Journal História, Ciências, Saúde – Manguinhos

Special issue of the Brazilian journal História, Ciências, Saúde – Manguinhos is dedicated to “Hospice and Psychiatry in the First Republic – Diagnosis in Historical Perspective”.

Grand mal seizures in the Cemetery of the Living: the diagnosis of epilepsy at Brazil’s National Hospital for the Insane by Margarida de Souza Neves. The abstract reads:

This study in the social history of medical thought analyzes the articles on epilepsy published in the journal Archivos Brasileiros de Psychiatria, Neurologia e Medicina Legal in 1915 and 1918. Through these texts, I identify some of the ways in which early twentieth-century Brazilian medicine addressed this syndrome, particularly the direct association that medical science then drew between epilepsy and a propensity to violence and crime. The texts, which contain clinical observations on patients diagnosed as epileptics, also afford us a brief glimpse into these individuals’ life stories.

Nervousness as a nosographic category in the early twentieth century by Luiz Fernando Duarte The abstract reads:

The paper presents the conceptual framework surrounding the category of nervousness in Brazilian psychiatry in the early twentieth century as represented in an article by Henrique Roxo published in Arquivos Brasileiros de Psiquiatria, Neurologia e Medicina Legal in 1916, and contextualizes it in the history of psychiatric classifications and representations about nerves and the nervous system. As such, it intends to contribute towards mapping out physicalistic naturalism (or epiphenomenalism), which can be seen throughout the representations of the human person and their disturbances in modern western culture.

Classifying differences: the dementia praecox and schizophrenia categories used by Brazilian psychiatrists in the 1920s by Ana Teresa A. Venancio. The abstract reads:

This article analyzes how the Brazilian psychiatrists Henrique Roxo and Murillo de Campos understood and differentiated between the diagnostic categories dementia praecox and schizophrenia at the end of the 1920s in scientific articles published in the principal psychiatric journal of the time. We note how the aforementioned psychiatrists incorporated the European knowledge that created these diagnostic categories and how they represented them in the context of the institutionalization of psychiatry in Brazil. We seek to understand how this scientific diagnostic naming and defining process developed in conjunction with the definition of the difference between what should and should not be considered phenomena, with respect to mental pathologies.

The emergence of manic depressive psychosis as a diagnosis in Brazil by Joel Birman. The abstract reads:

This essay examines the early twentieth-century interpretation of manic depressive psychosis in Brazil, during a moment when Brazilian psychiatry witnessed a theoretical shift from the French to German traditions. It calls special attention to how the problem of hysteria was replaced by manic depressive psychosis within this historical context.

Hysteria and psychiatry under Brazil’s First Republic by Sílvia Alexim Nunes. The abstract reads:

The article problematizes Brazilian psychiatric thought on hysteria in the early decades of the twentieth century, a time when a biopolicy of population management was lending impetus to the growth of social medicine. This notion is situated within the context of the nineteenth-century debate on hysteria that took place in major European centers and served as the main reference for Brazil’s fledgling field of psychiatry. The debate found expression in Brazilian psychiatric discourse as part of the era’s project for medical reform and prevention in Brazil. The work of Brazilian neurologist Antônio Austregésilo (1876-1960) within this project is also addressed, since he played a fundamental role in dismantling hysteria as a diagnostic category in psychiatry, a process that continued through the entire Old Republic.

Syphilis and the aggiornamento of organicism in Brazilian psychiatry: notes on a lesson by Dr. Ulysses Vianna by Sérgio Carrara and Marcos Carvalho. The abstract reads:

Taking as its point of departure the lesson published by Brazilian psychiatrist Ulisses Vianna in the Arquivos Brasileiros de Neuriatria e Psiquiatria in 1919, the article analyzes the development of that day’s medical discussions about ‘syphilis of the nervous system’ and ‘cerebral syphilis,’ situating Vianna’s work within its broader intellectual scenario. The article also examines the impact of this disease category on psychiatric thought, especially how it strengthened the organicist or somatological concepts of mental illness and adjusted them to the new scenario created by bacteriology.

Alcoholism and psychiatric medicine in early twentieth-century Brazil by Fernando Sergio Dumas dos Santos and Ana Carolina Verani. The abstract reads:

Based on a study of the construction of psychiatric knowledge and practices regarding alcoholism, the article explores the development of psychiatry in Brazil from the close of the nineteenth century through the first three decades of the twentieth. It examines both the role that psychiatry assigned to alcohol in manifestations of madness as well as the hypothesis that the concept of “alcoholic psychosis” was an attempt to encompass the symptoms and problems triggered within someone with chronic alcoholism. Defining the latter as a “social disease” tended to link it with the lower classes and their customs, practices, and living conditions. In an analysis of confinement to asylums, the article also captures echoes of the era’s medical discussions and uses the reflections of writer Lima Barreto as a counterpoint to medical knowledge at that time.

Psychasthenia by Rafaela Teixeira Zorzanelli. The abstract reads:

The article analyzes the medical category of psychasthenia, used by French psychiatry from the late nineteenth through the early twentieth centuries. It describes the clinical profile of psychasthenia and the main hypotheses meant to account for symptoms as defined and advanced by Pierre Janet, the central figure in systematization of this category. The article also looks at how this diagnosis was used in Brazil and how it related to the profile of neurasthenia within the context of Brazilian psychiatry.

Neurasthenia by Rafaela Teixeira Zorzanelli. The abstract reads:

The article addresses the medical category of neurasthenia, developed in the United States by neurologist George Beard at the close of the nineteenth century. Points of discussion include the principle features of the category’s clinical presentation, the main hypotheses advanced to account for symptoms, and the treatment alternatives suggested in Beard’s works. The article also looks at how the diagnosis was received outside the United States, both in Europe and, more specifically, in Brazil.

The degenerate by Octavio Domont de Serpa Jr. The abstract reads:

The article discusses the theory of degeneration as presented in the works of Benedict-Augustin Morel, situating it within the scientific and cultural context of its day. It underscores the roles played by the notions of heredity and environment in grounding this theory and how it related to the mid-nineteenth century French understanding of psychiatric medicine. It also explores the ramifications of this theory, particularly the works of Valentin Magnan, with the ultimate progressive transition from the notion of degeneration to that of degenerate. Other points of analysis include French psychiatry’s concepts of imbalance and constitution and German psychiatry’s concept of endogeneity as heirs to degeneration in twentieth-century psychiatry, as well as the Neo-Lamarckian appropriation of this debate in Brazil.

Emil Kraepelin and the problem of degeneration by Sandra Caponi. The abstract reads:

When Kraepelin laid the foundations of what we now understand as psychiatry, he was faithful to the nineteenth-century hygienist’s penchant for approaching social problems in terms of medical categories. With Kraepelin’s writings on the issue of degeneration as a backdrop, the article analyzes how the methodology he introduced for researching psychiatric illnesses is indebted to Morel’s theory of degeneration. The article explores not only Kraepelin’s concern with defining a classification of mental pathologies just as well grounded as the classifications of biological pathologies, but also his use of comparative statistics and his explanations of morbid heredity.

Bringing order to the Babel of psychiatry: Juliano Moreira, Afrânio Peixoto, and paranoia in Kraepelin’s nosography (Brazil, 1905) by Ana Maria Galdini Raimundo Oda. The abstract reads:

The article explores the meanings of paranoia and its use as a disease category. Juliano Moreira and Afrânio Peixoto’s article “A paranoia e as síndromes paranoides” is used to show how these two scientists differentiated between this clinical construct and dementia praecox. Delineating the diagnostic boundaries of “legitimate” paranoia was their way of demarcating their theoretical stances and their alignment with Kraepelin, thereby justifying the scientific stance that they deemed essential to making Brazilian psychiatry modern. The article also discusses aspects of the conceptual history of paranoia (its relation to personality) in terms of the theoretical references used by the Brazilian authors of the article.

This study in the social history of medical thought analyzes the articles on epilepsy published in the journal Archivos Brasileiros de Psychiatria, Neurologia e Medicina Legal in 1915 and 1918. Through these texts, I identify some of the ways in which early twentieth-century Brazilian medicine addressed this syndrome, particularly the direct association that medical science then drew between epilepsy and a propensity to violence and crime. The texts, which contain clinical observations on patients diagnosed as epileptics, also afford us a brief glimpse into these individuals’ life stories.

Capgras Syndrome

Psychiatric Times has posted a case description by Jeremy Matuszak and Matthew Parra (University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine) involving a 40 year-old woman apparently suffering from Capgras syndrome.  While not recognized in the DSM-IV-TR as a discrete diagnosis, Capgras syndrome refers to a “delusion (or fixed false belief) in which the affected individual believes that another person, generally a family member or close acquaintance, has been replaced by a look-alike imposter.” As Matuszak and Parra note, the syndrome was first described by Joseph Capgras and Jean Reboul-Lachaux in 1923 and has historically been interpreted from both neuropsychological and psychodynamic vantage points.

SCIENTIFICA Digital Library

by Claire Jullion

The Library for Science and Industry of The Centre for Science and Industry in Paris has undertaken the digitalization of a selection of its Old Books Collection.

This selection expands online materials in the field of psychology and psychiatry belonging to the library of Serge Wasersztrum, a private collection of 2000 volumes on psychiatry, madness, medical doctors, representations and theories of mental illnesses, the majority of which has been published in the 19th century.

128 holdings on the field of “Mental Hygiene, Social Hygiene” are currently available on Scientifica platform.

Through this selection on hygiene, it seemed important to us to restore the “hygienist movement of the 19th century” in its capacity to mobilize not only doctors, but also the administration, the legislation, the police forces, education, architecture, town planning.

Indeed, the very great diversity of forms and contents of publications witness this restoration.

Thus the selected corpus includes scientific books, medical dissertations, administrative reports for scientists and state authorities, as well as books on popular hygiene and handbooks for youth.

Three other corpora are also available in the following categories: “Phrenology” (18 documents), “The Theory of degeneration” (19 documents) and “Women and sexuality in the 19th century” (71 documents).

Scientifica prospectively announces “The Children’s Corner” scientific books and albums for children and “the Curiosity Cabinet” a representative anthology of the library’s diverse sources on science and technology.

http://www.cite-sciences.fr/bsi/scientifica

Scientifica project has been accomplished by the Library for History of Sciences of the Centre for Science and Industry

http://www.universcience.fr/fr/bibliotheque-bsi/contenu/c/1239022148242/etudiants-chercheurs-en-histoire-des-sciences-/

 Claire Jullion is working for Scientifica

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