Conference – Emotions and Medicine in the 20th century

mpiThe Max Planck Institute for Human Development is hosting an international conference at the end of September on “Emotions and Medicine in the 20th century” with the following program:

Thursday, September 22nd

13.45 – 14.15 Welcome
Ute Frevert
Opening remarks
Bettina Hitzer / Anja Laukötter

Panel 1: Theorizing emotions within the body
Chair: Benno Gammerl

14.15 – 16.15 Eric Engstrom (Berlin)
Emil Kraepelin on affective disorders
Claudia Wassmann (Berlin)
“If you are a failure, change your personality” –
JB Watson and the Behaviorist view of the emotions

16.15 – 16.30 Coffee break

16.30 – 18.00 Otniel E. Dror (Jerusalem/California)
What is a “physiological” emotion?
Christopher Lane (Chicago)
How shyness became an illness,
and other cautionary tales about the DSM

Friday, September 23rd

Panel 2: Working with emotions. Medical research and practice
Chair: Rob Boddice

9.00 – 10.30 Bettina Hitzer (Berlin)
Emotions that matter. Preventing and detecting cancer
Wolfgang Gaissmaier (Berlin)
Emotions as an obstacle to evidence-based practice

10.30 – 11.00 Coffee break

11.00 – 12.30 Susanne Michl (Greifswald)
(De-)Emotionalizing the doctor-patient
relationship in Germany in the 20th century
Susanne Kreutzer (Osnabrück)
Comfort and security as healing factors. Christian and scientific
in the West German nursing practice

12.30 – 14.00 Lunch break
Panel 3: Campaigning with emotions
Chair: Jan Plamper

14.00 – 16.00 Anja Laukötter (Berlin)
Moral threats and emotional addressing.
From venereal diseases to AIDS in educational films
Patrice Pinell (Paris)
Converting emotions into militantism: the rise and development
of the AIDS mobilizations in France
Antje Kampf (Mainz)
Probing the history of emotions: ‘narratives of unease’ in
of androgen-deprivation therapy, prostate cancer and the aging male

16.00 – 16.30 Coffee break

17.15 – 18.30 Thomas Schnalke (Berlin)
Guided tour in the Museum of Medical History,
Berlin: Museums Objects and Emotions

Saturday, September 24th
Panel 4: Harming emotions / Curing emotions
Chair: Uffa Jensen

9.00 – 10.30 Wilfried Witte (Berlin)
Concepts of pain and the development
of pain management in the 20th century
Christine Holmberg (Berlin)
Emotions in doctor-patient relationships. Asymptomatic diseases

10.30 – 10.45 Coffee break

10.45 – 12.15 Rhodri Hayward (London)
Psychology and the pursuit of serenity in Post-War Britain
Matthias Leanza (Freiburg)
Emotional immunisation: Emotion as threat and preventive resource
in the theory of salutogenesis

12.15 – 12.45 Lunch break

12.45 – 13.45 Concluding discussion

For info and registration, email
For general information, see

One thought on “Conference – Emotions and Medicine in the 20th century

  1. clarespark says:

    I would have been pleased to see some attention to mind-management before,during, and after the second world war. I wrote about that here:, and here: And that is not all one can say about social psychology in America as led by progressives. For instance,

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