Archive for May, 2017

Conference – Medikalisierte Kindheiten. Die neue Sorge um das Kind vom ausgehenden 19. bis ins späte 20. Jahrhundert (29/06/17-01/07/17, Innsbruck)

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The conference Medikalisierte Kindheiten. Die neue Sorge um das Kind vom ausgehenden 19. bis ins späte 20. Jahrhundert could be of interest to H-Madness readers. The conference will take place from 29.06.2017 until 01.07.2017 and will be held at Innsbruck, Institut für Erziehungswissenschaft. You can register here. The abstract and programme are as follows:

Abstract

Die jüngere Forschung im Umfeld der Auseinandersetzungen über den gewaltförmigen Umgang mit Kindern und Jugendlichen in Fürsorgeerziehungseinrichtungen der Nachkriegsjahre stellt die Sorge um das “erziehungsschwierige” Kind als ein trans-disziplinäres Projekt der Moderne heraus, in welchem differente Wissensordnungen wie die Psychiatrie und die Pädiatrie, die Pädagogik und die Psychologie, die Kriminologie und Jurisdiktion sowie die Sexual- und Bevölkerungswissenschaften das diskursiv auszuhandeln begannen, was am Kind als gesund oder krank, normal oder abweichend anzusehen sei. Voreinem medikalen Hintergrund und in wechselnder Leaderschaft prägten diese Wissenschaftszweige die Debatten über Kinderschutz und Kindergesundheit und fanden in Schulen, Heimen, Kliniken, Kinderbeobachtungsstellen oder Einrichtungen der Säuglings- und Kinderfürsorge ihre räumliche Gestalt und institutionalisierte Wirkung. Ihr regulatorisches Interesse richtete sich auf den Körper, den Geist und die Ausdrucksformen von Kindern (und Jugendlichen) in Entwicklungs- und/oder Erziehungs-schwierigkeiten. Als besonders einflussreich haben sich dabei die medizinischen Fächer Pädiatrie und Psychiatrie sowie hybride Teilfächer wie die Heil- oder Sonderpädagogik erwiesen.

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Conference – The Intersection of Psychology and History: Psychohistory In The Age Of Trump (31/05/17 to 2/06/17, New York University)

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The 40th Annual Conference of the International Psychohistorical Association about The Intersection of Psychology and History: Psychohistory In The Age Of Trump, might be of interest to H-Madness readers might be of interest to H-Madness readers. The conference wil be held from 31/05/17 to 2/06/17 at the New York University’s Kimmel Center. The extensive programma of the conference can be found here.

The primary theme will be The Intersection of Psychology and History with an emphasis on The Age of Trump. There will be 15 presentations concerning the President or related topics. These include Trump and Foreign Policy by historian Peter Kuznick, co-author of The Untold History of the United States, written with director Oliver Stone, and Gaslighting from the Personal to the Political, by Yale’s Robin Stern and psychoanalyst Judith Logue. Dr. Stern is author of The Gaslighting Effect.  Narcissism in the Age of Trump will be presented by Elizabeth Lunbeck, author of The Americanization of Narcissism.

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Review – Michal Shapira, The War Inside: Psychoanalysis, Total War, and the Making of the Democratic Self in Post-War Britain (Cambridge 2013)

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Paul Lerner, University of Southern California

The psychological impact of modern war on civilians remains a little studied topic, even as the already prodigious historical scholarship on war trauma continues to expand rapidly. Michal Shapira’s recent book makes great strides in redressing this gap, vividly depicting the emotional strains of war on women, children and other non-combatants and revealing the enormous and sustained expert attention the topic received in Britain in the 1940s and beyond.  Dealing with populations such as juvenile evacuees during Germany’s brutal air assault, Jewish children rescued from Nazi-controlled Europe, and civilians separated from their loved ones in uniform, thrust psychoanalysts, a group once reticent about taking political stands, into public debates about mental health, trauma, and child development.  Indeed, Shapira shows that as Britain sought to emerge from the war as a stable, intact and democratic society in a devastated and fiercely divided Europe, psychoanalysts became key contributors to general discussions about the family, violence, criminality and sexuality.

Shapira frames these discussions broadly, drawing on Nikolas Rose’s Foucault-inspired work on the historicitiy and constructedness of the modern self, indeed furthering his argument that the individual with psychological depth and an “inner life” emerged in the middle of the twentieth century, due in part to the emergence of the “psy” disciplines.  Shapira builds on this insight with parallel interventions in the history of childhood, focusing on a crucial transitional moment from Victorian attitudes toward children as pure and innocent to more modern, developmental and psychologically-nuanced ideas, which saw childhood more as a precursor to adulthood where nascent sexual urges, aggression, and psychodynamic conflicts leave a lasting imprint on the psyche.  Child rearing and education then became bound up with Britain’s larger national project of emerging from the trying ordeal of war and returning to a normal domestic order.  This order, propped up by psychoanalysts, social scientists and the postwar social democratic state, involved re-inscribing traditional gender roles and emphasizing the centrality of the mother to healthful child development and domestic tranquility.

A great many of these elements can be traced back to the First World War and the interwar period.  Shapira’s first chapter goes back to that era to argue that wartime experiences helped chip away at the strict division between healthy and pathological psyches, and most significantly, that medical and psychological professions became more accepting of fear and anxiety as normal, healthy reactions to wartime experiences.  Psychoanalysts in particular played a pronounced role in this shift.  Their work with war neurotics, along with Freudian ideas about trauma, helped remove the stigma from sufferers of anxiety-induced conditions.  By the beginning of World War II, Shapira argues, these changes had taken root in lay attitudes as well, and amid Germany’s aerial bombing campaigns, many Britons openly expressed their terror and anxieties or confided them to psychologists frankly and without shame.

Most of the book’s subsequent sections focus on children as subjects of psychological treatment and expert intervention.  Its second chapter foregrounds the work Anna Freud and other psychoanalysts conducted with child evacuees and refugees.  Here the theme of the “war inside” begins to emerge, as contemporaries equated the potentially traumatizing consequences of bombardment, violence and separation with the internal turmoil of the child’s psyche.  For Anna Freud, then, violence and aggression were normal childhood tendencies, stages that all children navigate through as part of the maturation process.  The problem then was not that war-produced violence threatened to shatter fragile, beatific babes, rather that external violence could stunt children’s psychological development, that it could seem like a normative state and that kids therefore would not learn how to manage their emotions and overcome it.  Plumbing rich collections of case histories, Shapira tells of children equating German military aggression with adult anger, or bombing with parental punishment, suggesting the extent to which external danger and internal dynamics were intertwined.  The solution lay in (re)-establishing parenting and familial bonds which Anna Freud and her colleagues saw as crucial for the resolution and management of these childhood conflicts.

The famous Anna Freud – Melanie Klein dispute takes center stage in the third chapter, in which Shapira covers tensions between the existing British psychoanalytic community and the newer cohort of Central European émigré analysts.  As is familiar to scholars of psychoanalysis, Melanie Klein considered children’s play to be akin to adult psychoanalysis, in other words a setting for transference, rife with symbolic meanings for the analyst to decode. Freud viewed this notion skeptically, doubting that children were sufficiently psychologically developed for these dynamics and emphasizing instead the need for corrective pedagogy, betraying her indebtedness to Austrian educational theory from the 1920s and 30s.  Shapira’s contribution to the historiography of this debate is to call attention not to the disparity in the two positions, but to stress the common ground between the famous rivals (and the many “independent” analysts in the middle), in their shared representation of the emotional dynamics of childhood and the articulation of psychoanalytic therapeutics for children.  Shapira credits Klein with playing a crucial role in the creation of modern selfhood as she developed a deep psychological approach to understanding the impact of war and violence, in implicit contrast to the more sociological analyses of Erich Fromm and his Frankfurt School colleagues or the more materialist and mechanical theories of mainstream psychology and psychiatry.  Her key point here is that despite their theoretical and clinical differences, together Freud, Klein and others turned the child into an object of technical expertise and state intervention and made their care a matter of national concern.

The fourth chapter broadens out to the popularization of psychoanalytic expertise, which Shapira traces through a series of radio broadcasts created by Donald Winnicott and the BBC between 1943 and 1966.  Detailing the collaboration between Winnicott and his BBC producer Janet Quigley, she shows how psychoanalytic ideas about child development buttressed the new emphasis on family in postwar Britain and placed responsibility for children’s emotional wellbeing firmly on the mother, a theme she takes up again near the book’s end.  Winnicott and his BBC sponsors thus fed into postwar pronatalism and the emerging conception that the family was the bedrock of a healthy democratic state.  The gender-political implications of this stance are clear, and given the mobilization of British women in the armed services and wartime work, psychoanalytic expertise here served the larger political aim of bringing women back into the domestic sphere and blaming working women for their children’s emotional struggles.

Chapters five and six treat the Institute for the Scientific Treatment of Delinquency (ISTD) first during the war and then amid the establishment of the postwar “therapeutic” welfare state.  Here she traces the transition from more punitive approaches to a new emphasis on treatment and rehabilitation, in part, due to the influence of psychoanalysts who were strongly represented in the ranks of the ISTD researchers.  No less a figure than Sigmund Freud himself, along with Ernest Jones, Otto Rank and Carl Jung, among others, served as ISTD vice presidents.  Criminality represents a kind of bridge, an issue which brought psychoanalytic perspectives on childhood and development into the public sphere and into the administrative apparatus of the postwar welfare state.  As she moves into the postwar period, her discussion shifts to issues like prostitution, homosexuality and deviance.. Shapira elucidates the psychoanalytic side of the discussion but also surveys the work of state officials, social scientists and members of the judicial system, revealing that not only were psychoanalysts addressing these issues, but that people in power were listening to them.  Consequently, the postwar years saw a broader acceptance of psychological, as opposed to moral or economic, approaches to crime and deviance.

In her concluding chapter on child hospitalization and attachment theory, Shapira comes full circle.  Having begun with the evacuation of children during wartime bombing and their resulting separation from their parents, she ends with the broader embrace of the salubriousness of the  mother – child bond, as demonstrated, for example, in the reversal of older policies that kept hospitalized children sequestered from their mothers and fathers.  Using media sources and letters from parents, she is able to document the wider diffusion of psychoanalytic ideas about childhood and parenting not only in official circles but also among the general public.  Indeed this book’s varied source base is one of its great strengths.  Based on case histories, archival sources, professional journals, and radio, television and newspapers, the book operates on many levels and provides a broad overview of many of the ways a psychoanalytic sensibility crept into public discourse in these years and meshed with the goals of the nascent welfare state.  At the center of their concerns was of course the mother and the importance placed on her presence as a domestic anchor, the fundament of the healthy family and the restored nation.

Carefully researched and tightly argued, this book makes broad and intriguing claims about postwar British subjectivity and the origins of modern, psychoanalytically informed notions of the self.  While generally persuasive, these claims could have been further substantiated with additional discussion of British political culture.  Whereas Shapira gives some attention to the ascent of Labour after the war, she completely neglects the loss of empire which, as other historians have argued, was deeply intertwined with the emergence of the welfare state and which certainly influenced notions of Britishness, citizenship and selfhood in the postwar period.  Parallel to her discussions of sexuality, gender and the family in the reconstitution of British political life, including race and post-imperial identity could have deepened the analysis and broadened its appeal.  It would also have been interesting to place the British case, at least speculatively, in a broader context with some acknowledgement of parallel developments in North American and on the European continent.  These points notwithstanding, The War Inside is a vital addition to the study of psychoanalysis and its diffusion, the history of childhood, and the rise of the therapeutic-administrative state.  It successfully gets at the fundamental but extremely elusive process by which our emotions, feelings, and drives became things for us to manage, part of the individual’s project, helping show how the modern self emerged from the rubble of the middle of the twentieth century.

New book – Screwing Around with Sex: Essays, indictments, anecdotes and asides

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The book Screwing Around with Sex: Essays, indictments, anecdotes and asides might be of interest to H-Madness readers as it includes two chapters (chapter 1 and 4) on the history of sexual rights related to deinstitutionalisation and consent for disabled adults. The book is written by Paul R. Abramson and published by Asylum 4 Renegades Press.

The description reads:

This book explains the inexplicable: sexual assault on campus, affirmative consent, sexual violence against vulnerable populations, sexual rights, obscenity, and the three fundamental truths of sex. It is written by a UCLA Psychology Professor who spent 40 years as an expert witness in criminal, civil, and constitutionally relevant litigation, while simultaneously immersed in cutting edge sex research. The public policy perspective that accrued from all of that work is a significant part of this book as well. Screwing Around with Sex ends intriguingly with a chapter on music and love.

 

 

Freud in Cambridge Conference (London, 1 July 2017)

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Freud in Cambridge
Hidden Histories of Psychoanalysis

Day Conference
Saturday 1 July 2017  9.30am – 5.00pm

What kind of project is psychoanalysis? In this conference speakers from a variety of disciplines investigate surprising hidden histories of psychoanalysis and their relevance for today.

SPEAKERS
Lisa Appignanesi (Writer, researcher and broadcaster)
Laura Cameron (Co-author Freud in Cambridge)
Felicity Callard (Professor in Social Science for Medical Humanities, Durham University)
Matt Ffytche (Director of the Centre for Psychoanalysis, Essex University)
Daniel Pick (Psychoanalyst and Professor of History, Birkbeck College, London)
Bob Hinshelwood (Psychoanalyst, Psychiatrist and author)
Philip Kuhn (Poet and independent researcher)
Brett Kahr (Psychotherapist, author and broadcaster)

Further information   /  Online Booking

N.B. The code to access the special rate tickets is BURSARY1 but please use an academic email.

Journée d’étude – “Le temps de l’histoire”: Foucault à l’épreuve de la psychiatrie et la psychanalyse

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The journée d’étude “Le temps de l’histoire” : Foucault à l’épreuve de la psychiatrie et la psychanalyse, can be of interest to H-Madness readers. The conference is organised by the IEA-Collegium de Lyon-EURIAS and UMR 5206 Triangle, and will take place on June 6 2017 at the ENS de Lyon. Fore more information you can contact: Elisabetta Basso (elisabetta.basso14@gmail.com) or Laurent Dartigues (laurent.dartigues@gmail.com). The programme of the conference is as follows:

MATINÉE  présidée par Laurent Dartigues (Triangle, UMR 5206 – ENS de Lyon)

9h-9h15  Ouverture par Michel Senellart (Triangle, UMR 5206 – ENS de Lyon)

9h15-9h30  Présentation de la Journée par Elisabetta Basso et Laurent Dartigues

9h30-10h10 Emmanuel Delille: “Relire Foucault à la lumière du fonds Ellenberger :le tournant historiciste des années 1950” (Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Berlin et CAPHÉS, UMS 3610 – ENS Paris)

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Book Launch Interview: Greg Eghigian (ed.), Routledge History of Madness and Mental Health (2017)

routledge greg eghigianWe are delighted to announce the publication of the Routledge History of Madness and Mental Health edited by Greg Eghigian, Professor of History at Penn State University and H-Madness co-editor.

The Routledge History of Madness and Mental Health explores the history and historiography of madness from the ancient and medieval worlds to the present day. Global in scope, it includes case studies from Africa, Asia, and South America as well as Europe and North America, drawing together the latest scholarship and source material in this growing field and allowing for fresh comparisons to be made across time and space.

Thematically organised and written by leading academics, chapters discuss broad topics such as the representation of madness in literature and the visual arts, the material culture of madness, the perpetual difficulty of creating a classification system for madness and mental health, madness within life histories, the increased globalisation of knowledge and treatment practices, and the persistence of spiritual and supernatural conceptualisations of experiences associated with madness. This volume also examines the challenges involved in analysing primary sources in this area and how key themes such as class, gender, and race have influenced the treatment and diagnosis of madness throughout history.

Chronologically and geographically wide-ranging, and providing a fascinating overview of the current state of the field, this is essential reading for all students of the history of madness, mental health, psychiatry, and medicine.

With this opportunity, we have asked Greg a few questions about his new book.

Why did you feel it important to begin with the ancient world rather than with the creation of psychiatry as a distinct medical discipline in the 19th Century?

There are a number of reasons I wanted to begin with the ancient world rather than with the 19th century, but let me give you two. First, I think the historiography of mental health suffers from an over-emphasis on the modern period. Now, this is certainly not unique to the field of the history of psychiatry. In many (maybe even most) sub-fields and academic departments in history, specialists in modern history tend to outnumber those in, say, ancient and medieval history. Of course, this is as much a function of demand and general interest as anything else, but it does have the intellectual consequence of skewing research toward the developments of the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries.

In doing so – and this was my second consideration – we reinforce the widely accepted impression that before psychiatry emerged as a discipline, all that existed in the treatment of madness was superstitious belief and abusive interventions. Yet, not only do we know that this is very far from the truth, but when we take a longer view, we can see how ideas, attitudes, and regimens forged centuries ago still cast a shadow today (e.g., the ancient Greek idea of psychagogia as an art of persuasion). We also, however, can note how some of our present-day assumptions about mental illness need to be corrected (e.g., the malady of melancholy is mentioned very little in ancient Greek texts, and the symptoms associated with it over the centuries cannot be linked to the contemporary idea of clinical depression in any kind of direct, linear fashion).

What, in your opinion, is the main novelty of this volume?

It’s really a combination of things. Taken together, the temporal and geographical scope certainly makes it different from most edited volumes I know of. The idea was to give the reader a sense of the state of the field today and the new directions in which it is moving. One cannot do this, in my estimation, without capturing long-term trends and patterns as well as recognizing that the history of madness and its treatment is no longer the preserve of historians of the North Atlantic world. This last point bears repeating. Like our colleagues in other sub-fields, historians of mental health have come to recognize the need for a more global understanding of the subject. The contributions here aim at helping to promote the transnational, cross-cultural, and comparative study of the history of mental disorders and their treatment.

At the same time, I thought it crucial that the volume reflect the growing interest in new topics (e.g., the material culture of psychiatry) and that it also show how perspectives are undergoing some modification about familiar topics, such as psychotherapy and somatic treatments.

Choosing how to separate this vast history into thematic sections is no doubt arbitrary. How did you go about selecting these topics? Are there any other topics you would have liked to see included?

You’re quite right that the task of framing a subject matter so vast is daunting. I began by reflecting on the important epochs and developments historians of madness have flagged as well as themes and regions that often have been overlooked. I then began seeking out scholars with recognized experience in these areas.

What naturally happens in a volume like this, with so many contributors, is that some authors end up having to bow out, leaving some unforeseen gaps. So as editor, one has to improvise a bit and look for connecting threads in what you have before you. In the end, it seemed to me that the connections were there, often in some intriguing ways (e.g. the section on perspectives and experiences).

I would like to have been able to incorporate some contributions on other parts of the world, such as the Middle East, Russia/USSR, and eastern Europe. But in the end, one does the best one can under the circumstances.

I notice you have a rather international list of contributors. Was this intentional, from a theoretical/historiographical perspective?

Oh, yes, this was quite intentional. The historical study of mental health is now an international enterprise, and I considered it essential that the volume reflect this. This means not just including scholars from all over the world, but recruiting scholars with the requisite language and analytical skills to evaluate relevant primary and secondary sources.

In this context, I should also mention that I considered it vital to include contributions from scholars at various stages in their professional development. Senior, mid-career, and junior scholars may well be engaged in a common enterprise, but they often bring different interests, talents, and perspectives to the table. So I wanted to be sure that the volume reflected some of this diversity as well.

And finally—could you tell us more about that beautiful cover image?

Yes, this was done by the German artist Paul Goesch (1885-1940) and is entitled Traumphantasie (Dream Fantasy). Over 300 of Goesch’s works are now featured in the collection of the Prinzhorn Museum in Heidelberg, Germany (as many readers know, the collection began as a project of psychiatrist Hans Prinzhorn during the interwar years to assemble various artistic works created by mentally ill patients). Goesch himself was an active member of the avantgarde, and over the years, he ended up spending two decades in a number of different psychiatric facilities. Tragically he was murdered by German authorities in 1940 in what appears to have been an act that was part of the Nazi regime’s so-called T-4 “euthanasia” program, one that killed over 200,000 mentally and physically disabled individuals. I thought that a book that purports to explore the history of madness (an experience) – and not just, say, the history of psychiatry (a discipline) – needed to give the first word to someone who had to grapple with that experience.

Thank you so much, Greg, for this insightful interview. I think I speak on behalf of everyone at H-Madness when I say we are much looking forward to reading the book!

For more information on this book, click here.

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