Archive for May, 2010

New Issue of Europäische Geschichte

The most recent number of Themenportal Europäische Geschichte contains an article by Benoit Majerus entitled Mapping antipsychiatry. Elemente für die Geschichte einer transnationalen Bewegung.

Swiss Psychiatrist Carl Jung and the “Red Book” Subject of Library Symposium June 19

The Library of Congress announces a conference on Carl G. Jung:

In conjunction with its new exhibition “The Red Book of Carl G. Jung: Its Origins and Influence,” the Library of Congress will sponsor a symposium to examine this seminal work and the Swiss psychiatrist who created it.

The symposium will be held from 9:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 19, in the Coolidge Auditorium of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C. The event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. Pre-registration is required at

Created between 1914 and 1930, the “Red Book” was the product of a technique developed by Jung, which he termed “active imagination.” The 205-page illustrated manuscript—in the author’s own hand—had been locked in a vault after Jung’s death. With permission from Jung’s heirs, W.W. Norton published a facsimile edition in October 2009. Edited by distinguished Jung scholar Sonu Shamdasani of the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at University College, London, the book has already been reprinted to meet the significant demand.

For more information, click here.

Jerome C. Wakefield at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium)

The Institute of Philosophy (University of Leuven, Belgium) organises a public lecture and two seminars by Jerome C. Wakefield, University Professor and Professor of the Conceptual Foundations of Psychiatry at New York University.

1. Public Lecture: The Loss of Sadness. Are We Misdiagnosing Normal Sadness as Depressive Disorder?

Time: Monday, 7 June 2010, 20.15-22.00

Place: Auditorium Zeger Van Hee, College De Valk, Tiensestraat 41, 3000 LEUVEN (Belgium)

2. Expert Seminar: The Concept of Mental Disorder: The Harmful Dysfunction Analysis

Discussants: Leen De Vreese (Philosophy, University of Ghent), Elselijn Kingma (Philosophy, King’s College London), and Andreas De Block (Philosophy, University of Leuven)

Time: Wednesday, 9 June 2010, 16.00-18.00

Place: Raadzaal Hoger Instituut voor Wijsbegeerte, Kardinaal Mercierplein 2, 3000 LEUVEN (Belgium)

3. Research Seminar: Do Unconscious Mental States Exist? Freud and Philosophy of Mind

Time: Thursday, 10 June, 16.00-18.00

Place: Raadzaal Hoger Instituut voor Wijsbegeerte, Kardinaal Mercierplein 2, 3000 LEUVEN (Belgium)

Please register before 1 June 2010.

Enquiries to Pieter R. Adriaens, email:, telephone: +32 16 326 316

Save History of Medicine at UCL

Probably most of you have heard that the Wellcome Trust and UCL plan to close down the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine. A petition has been launched that calls upon “the Trust to reconsider its decision” and “upon UCL to maintain the history of medicine as a visible entity within College”.

To sign the petition, click here.

A new book on the so called ‘T4 operation’

The so called „T4 operation“, so titled for the street address of the office in charge, was the centrally organized „euthanasia“ of national socialist which brought death to more than 70.000 people. This operation was the first systematically planned and realised extermination against a week minority within the „Third Reich“. Mainly inmates and patients of asylums were murdered at six, especially for the purpose equipped hospital grounds, the so-called extermination sites. The people were killed by gas in newly constructed gas chambers. The T4 operation must be seen as a central part of the patient killing during the Nazi period which counted more than 300.000 victims and which was connected with the holocaust due to the fact that the physicians and nurses involved in the patient murder were taken as experts to concentration camps in Eastern Europe for their advise.

This publication presents the current state of research on the organisation of the T4 operation as well as the first results of a large-scale study focussing on the victims and their biographies.

“Science, clinical practice and psychotropic drugs: How do they interact?”

In recent years, the overprescription of psychiatric drugs has become the subject of frequent public debate in Europe and the US. In March 2010, the Belgian Minister of Social Affairs and Public Health, announced to the Senate that a plan to tackle the overconsumption of psychotropic drugs was in preparation.

The symposium will attempt to analyse this social phenomenon along two different lines.

The first issue to be addressed is the scientific basis for the prescription of these drugs; how was it constructed and is there any scope for questioning its validity?

The second issue concerns the question of disease categorization, the distinction between mental pathology and the ups and downs of daily life, and the impact of disease-mongering on how we perceive ourselves.


David Healy, psychiatrist, Professor in Psychological Medicine at Cardiff University School of Medicine, Wales, UK, and Director of the North Wales School of Psychological Medicine.

“The Antidepressant Era”, Harvard University Press, 1999.

“ Psychiatric Drugs Explained”, 5th Edn, Churchill Livingstone, 2008.

Kalman Applbaum, received his PhD from Harvard University in medical anthropology. He teaches at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, USA.

“The Marketing Era: From Professional Practice to Global Provisioning”, Routledge, 2003.

Alain Giami, researcher at INSERM (the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research) in Paris and teaches in the doctoral program in Psychology at Université Paris 8.

Giami A. « De l’impuissance à la dysfonction érectile. Destins de la médicalisation de la sexualité ». pp. 77-108. In Fassin, D. Memmi (eds). Le gouvernement des corps. Paris. Ed. EHESS, 2004

Trudy Dehue, professor of Philosophy and History of Science, University of Groningen, The Netherlands.

“ De depressie-epidemie [The depression epidemic]”, Augustus, 2008.

Walter Vandereycken, M.D., Ph.D, Professor of Psychiatry at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium.

“Psychiaters te koop [Psychiatrists for sale]”, Cyclus, 2006.

Benoit Majerus, PhD in History, is a postdoctoral researcher (FNRS) at the Free University of Brussels (ULB). He is a member of the European Science Foundation program Standard drugs and drug standards. A comparative historical study of pharmaceuticals in the 20th century.

“Revisiting psychiatry in twentieth-century Europe”, European Review of History, 15 (1), February 2008, pp. 55-67.

The symposium will take place on the 12th of october 2010 from 9.00 am to 6.00 pm in the Salle Dupréel on the Solbosch site of the Free University of Brussels (ULB), 44, avenue Franklin Roosevelt, 1050 Bruxelles.

Simultaneous translation into French, English and Dutch will be provided.

For further information and registration, please contact (NB: participation is subject to the availability of places.

Organising Committee

Prof. Philippe Fouchet, ULB ; Prof. Sigrid Sterckx, VUB and Ugent; Dr Philippe Hennaux, l’Equipe; Dr Monique Debauche, Free Clinic.

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