Archive for June, 2015

Post-Doctoral Followship – Placing Schizophrenia on the Global Agenda: India – EHESS (Paris)


CERMES3 announces an 18 month Post-Doctoral Fellowship (Jan. 2016-June 2017) financed through the European Research Council project GLOBHEALTH, “From international to global: Knowledge and diseases and the post-war government of health”.
This post-doctoral research will centre on a critical history of the development of international research on schizophrenia and other severe mental disorders and the role of WHO, which may include WHO international research programme on schizophrenia, national and local efforts and programs since the 1960s. The research may address scientific findings and controversies; the relationship of this research to international public health, epidemiology, psychiatry and other branches of medicine; intersections with traditional medicines; the changing nature of expertise. The project may also focus on more recent histories of the incorporation of schizophrenia into global health through new alliances (e.g. NGOs, universities, pharmaceutical markets), metrics (e.g. Global Burden of Disease), and movements for health and human rights. The nature of the project may be historical, anthropological or sociological. However, it should focus on local-global exchanges, particularly outside Europe and North America. The doctoral project falls into the domain, “Placing mental health on the world health agenda: the globalization of a refractory problem”, one of four being examined by the ERC programme GLOBHEALTH.

The project will be located at CERMES3, Villejuif/Paris, but will involve on-site research in Geneva (WHO) and site(s) in Africa or Asia. The project will be conducted in collaboration with Anne M. Lovell (medical anthropologist) and Jean-Paul Gaudillière (historian). The Post-doctoral Fellow will participate in one or more CERMES3 Global Health Seminars in Paris. They will receive some travel funds for these and fieldwork.
Applicants should hold a PhD in anthropology or history, but other disciplines will be considered. Some background or interest in mental health, psychiatry, pharmaceuticals or public health is preferable. Excellent mastery of written and spoken English is required; knowledge of French and language of the proposed field-site are assets.

Applicants should include the following in their application:

CV (degrees, educational/training experiences, work history, skills, honours/awards, publications)
transcripts from university diplomas
letter of motivation
draft project of 5 to 10 pages. Include: subject, rationale, materials, methods, field-site, expected outcomes, dissemination and a 1-year 18 month calendar for the project.
Sample of writing the applicant deems relevant to the project.
Names and contact details of two references

Information on CERMES3 is available through
Description of the ERC Project is accessible through
The complete applications to be sent to and
Please indicate “Globalizing Schizophrenia – GLOBHEALTH” in the subject line.

Deadline for applications is September 30, 2015
Selection will completed in November and the successful candidate is expected to start employment on January 1, 2016

Post-Doctoral Followship – Placing Depression on the Global Agenda: India – EHESS (Paris)

logo-cermes3CERMES3 announces an 18-month Post-Doctoral Fellowship (Jan. 2016-June 2017) financed through the European Research Council project GLOBHEALTH, “From international to global: Knowledge and diseases and the post-war government of health”.
This post-doctoral research will centre on the introduction of depression as a mental health category in India beginning in the 1980s, as part of the broader global transformation of depression from a minor psychiatric category focused on clinical severity to a widely diagnosed, moderate disorder, and of its status as an iconic disorder of social and health disparities, gender, work and unemployment, development policies and other social and economic relations. This project should critically consider the breadth and impact of the conceptualization, screening and treatment of depression within the larger socio-historical context of India. Research will include archival work, document analyses, interviews and fieldwork. The latter will take place at least one national site, and at a local site (e.g. psychiatric clinic, primary health care centre, home for elderly). Continue reading

New Article: Eghigian on the History of Psychopathy in Germany

So-called "Asocials" in Nazi Germany. From: Foto: Der nichtseßhafte Mensch, München 1938

So-called “Asocials” in Nazi Germany. From: Google Images. Foto: Der nichtseßhafte Mensch, München 1938

The latest issue of the journal Isis features an article by co-editor of h-madness Greg Eghigian entitled “A Drifting Concept for an Unruly Menace: A History of Psychopathy in Germany.” The abstract reads:

The term ‘psychopath’ has enjoyed wide currency both in popular culture and among specialists in forensic psychiatry. Historians, however, have generally neglected the subject. This essay examines the history of psychopathy in the country that first coined the term, developed the concept, and debated its treatment: Germany. While the notion can be traced to nineteenth-century psychiatric ideas about abnormal, yet not completely pathological, character traits, the figure of the psychopath emerged out of distinctly twentieth-century preoccupations and institutions. The vagueness and plasticity of the diagnosis of psychopathy proved to be one of the keys to its success, as it was embraced and employed by clinicians, researchers, and the mass media, despite attempts by some to curb its use. Within the span of a few decades, the image of the psychopath became one of a perpetual troublemaker, an individual who could not be managed within any institutional setting. By midcentury, psychopaths were no longer seen as simply nosological curiosities; rather, they were spatial problems, individuals whose defiance of institutional routine and attempts at social redemption stood in for an attributed mental status. The history of psychopathy therefore reveals how public dangers and risks can be shaped and defined by institutional limitations.

Book announcement – Madness. A History

Screenshot from 2015-06-21 20:13:23Petteri Pietikäinen, professor at the History of Science and Ideas department from the University of Oulu (Finland), publishes on ambitious history of madness at Routledge. The blurb of the book entitled Madness. A History – for Roy Porter fanboys the title sounds quite familiar – announces:

Madness: A History is a thorough and accessible account of madness from antiquity to modern times, offering a large-scale yet nuanced picture of mental illness and its
varieties in western civilization. The book examines the social and cultural forces shaping the medical and lay perspectives on madness, the invention and development of diagnoses as well as the theories and treatment methods by physicians, and the patient experiences inside and outside of the mental institution. Drawing extensively from primary records written by psychiatrists and accounts by mental health patients themselves, this is an essential read for all students of the history of mental illness and medicine.

Workshop announcement: Brainwashing, Film, and the Psy Sciences

The Hidden Persuaders Project and the Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image cordially invite you to:

Brainwash: History, Cinema and the Psy Professions

3rd and 4th of July 2015, 10:00am-6:00pm

Birkbeck Cinema
43 Gordon Square
WC1H 0PD London

The history of cinema, like the history of psychoanalysis, psychiatry and psychotherapy, percolates with Western suspicions that our minds are susceptible to covert, even unconscious manipulation. Cinema and psychoanalysis—two essential exponents of subjectivity in the twentieth century—have been celebrated as royal roads to the unconscious, catalysts for our dreams, and means of self-discovery and human emancipation. But cinema and psychotherapy, Freudian or otherwise, have also been castigated for their special capacity to tap the unconscious, and as tools for mind control, even as they have depicted and shaped understanding of what it means to have or to manipulate a mind.

In this workshop we ask whether the Cold War obsession with brainwashing was a break with past narratives and anxieties over mental manipulation and suggestion. We consider how far cinema, television and video have been caught up in this history of hidden or coercive persuasion, and how far they have changed the terms of debate. What forms of human experimentation inspired interest in brainwashing, and vice versa?  And how and why did depictions of automatism on screen so often connect to fears of the ‘psy’ professions?

In addressing these questions we revisit some iconic and obscure brainwashing sagas of the past. By re-examining Cold War films and some of their precursors, we invite discussion of the representation of coercively altered states of consciousness—the dangerous spell that film and ‘the talking cure’ have been said to exert.

Workshop Programme

3 July

Raymond Bellour (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique): Cinema and Hypnoses: Mabuse as an example

Laura Mulvey (Birkbeck, University of London): From Momism to The Feminine Mystique
Maya Oppenheimer & Rod Dickinson (University of West England):  Re-enacting Obedience: laboratory on film

Jelena Martinovic (Geneva University of Art and Design): Depatterning desire: Aversion therapy on film
Laura Marcus (University of Oxford): Flicker

Marcie Holmes (Birkbeck, University of London): Flickering lights: mind control on screen

4 July

Ian Christie (Birkbeck, University of London): The Soviet story: From interrogation to confession

Ana Antic (Birkbeck, University of London): Cinema and education: Building the new communist person
Erik Linstrum (University of Virginia): Interrogating The Interrogator: Cyprus, the BBC, and the performance of violence

Gavin Collinson (BBC): Brainwashing on the Box: Depictions of brainwashing on British TV
Daniel Pick (Birkbeck, University of London): Suddenly: Some thoughts about assassination at the cinema

Simon Schaffer (University of Cambridge): Manchurian Automata

The full programme and free registration for this event can be found on Eventbrite.

Upcoming UCL events on history of psychiatry and psychoanalysis

Two upcoming events at the UCL Centre for the History of Psychological Disciplines:

UCL, Tuesday 16th June 2015, 6-7.30pm

Historical trauma studies continue to burgeon, but the work in this
flourishing field of scholarship is derived from a small number of
purely Euro-American catastrophic events, which serve as historical and
psychological paradigms. Micale, who contributed to earlier debates in
the field with his edited collection Traumatic Pasts: History, 
Psychiatry, and Trauma in the Modern Age, 1870-1930, argues that
scholars need now to look beyond the West toward a new, more genuinely
global perspective on the history of trauma. He focuses in particular on
new research being done about Asia.

UCL, Saturday 18th July 2015 2-6pm

How does one write the history of the psychoanalytic movement? This
event marks the publication of Ernst Falzeder’s book, Psychoanalytic
Filiations: Mapping the Psychoanalytic Movement (Karnac Books), with a
series of debates and discussions on this theme.

Written over a span of nearly a quarter century, the “red thread”
running through the book is the network of psychoanalytic “filiations”
(who analysed whom), and how crucial concepts of depth psychology were
developed before the background of those intense relationships: for
example, Freud’s technical recommendations, the therapeutic use of
countertransference and the view of the psychoanalytic situation as a
social, interactive process, the introduction of the anal phase, the
birth of the object-relations-model as opposed to the drive-model in
psychoanalysis, or the psychotherapeutic treatment of psychoses. Several
chapters deal with key figures in that history, such as Sándor Ferenczi,
Karl Abraham, Eugen Bleuler, Otto Rank, and C. G. Jung, their respective
relationships to each other and to Freud, and the consequences that
their collaboration, as well as conflicts, with him had for the further
development of psychoanalysis up to the present day. Other chapters give
an overview on the publications of Freud’s texts and on unpublished
documents (the “unknown Freud”), the editorial policy of the
publications of Freud’s letters.


Dr. Ernst Falzeder (UCL)
Dr. Shaul Bar-Heim (Birkbeck College)
Arthur Eaton (UCL)
Dr. Matt ffytche (University of Essex)
Prof. Brett Kahr (Roehampton University)
Dr. Sarah Marks (University of Cambridge)
Dee McQuillan (UCL)
Dr. Richard Skues (London Metropolitan University)
Chair: Prof. Sonu Shamdasani (UCL)

Full details and registration online here:

New publication: ‘Critical Medical Humanities’, a special issue of BMJ’s Medical Humanities

Posted by Durham’s Centre for Medical Humanities:

It is with great pleasure that we announce the publication of a special issue of Medical Humanities journal, edited by Centre for Medical Humanities researchers William VineyFelicity Callard, and Angela Woods.

Cover image of Medical Humanities 41.1. Matthew Herring, Illustration depicting telemedicine – diagnosis and treatment over the internet (image provided by Wellcome Images).

Exploring the many valences of the word ‘critical’ across and beyond the medical humanities, the special collection champions a ‘critical medical humanities’ characterised by: (i) a widening of the sites and scales of ‘the medical’ beyond the primal scene of the clinical encounter; (ii) greater attention not simply to the context and experience of health and illness, but to their constitution at multiple levels; (iii) closer engagement with critical theory, queer and disability studies, activist politics and other allied fields; (iv) recognition that the arts, humanities and social sciences are best viewed not as in service or in opposition to the clinical and life sciences, but as productively entangled with a ‘biomedical culture’; and, following on from this, (v) robust commitment to new forms of interdisciplinary and cross-sector collaboration. A more detailed account of these arguments can be found in the introductory paper.

The broadest ambition of this collection is to offer an invitation to think carefully about ‘critical’ priorities and to enliven debate about the guiding assumptions of medical humanities research. It does so by publishing work by those who may not ordinarily label themselves as medical humanities researchers. Andy GoffeyJan SlabyMel Y. ChenBronwyn ParryLynne Friedli and Robert Stearn are leading social science and humanities scholars who reflect upon the work of criticism in fields as diverse as immunology, neuroscience, race and disability studies, reproductive and fertility industries, and social policy. We have also invited short responses from Alex Nading, Stacey Smith, Clare BarkerLuna Dolezal, and Sarah Atkinson to draw out the key ideas of each article. We are extremely grateful to all our contributors for their time, energy, and commitment to this publication.

With the support of the journal’s Editor-in-Chief, Deborah Bowman, this special issue of Medical Humanities is free to access online until 15th June 2015. We would like to extend our thanks to Deborah for enthusiastically supporting this project and to Emma Chan and her colleagues at the British Medical Journal for their professionalism and attention to detail.

%d bloggers like this: