New articles — Social History of Medicine

In the ‘advance articles’ section of the journal Social History of Medicine two articles appeared that might be of interest to H-Madness readers. In the new issue of the Social History of Medicine you can also find some book reviews that might be useful.

Benoît Majerus, A Chemical Revolution as Seen from below: The ‘Discovery’ of Neuroleptics in 1950s Paris.

“The ‘success story’ of chlorpromazine on an international level has been told over and again. The prominence of Sainte Anne in Paris often features in these depictions. It played a critical role as a ‘laboratory’ between 1952 and 1954 in the narrative of the ‘invention’ of chlorpromazine as an antipsychotic. This paper intends to complete these global narratives by taking a closer look at the local therapy practice. The sources explored—from the systematic analysis of publications by Sainte-Anne psychiatrists and patient records—enable us to go beyond overused labels such as ‘discovery’, ‘revolution’ and ‘invention’ and glimpse inside the black boxes that these terms actually conceal. An analysis of the use of therapeutic tools reveals the level of ‘tinkering’ that occurred in medical practice. While the therapeutic arsenal was unquestionably diverse at the beginning of the 1950s, it was even more so by the end of the decade”.

Ryan Ross, Between Shell Shock and PTSD? ‘Accident Neurosis’ and Its Sequelae in Post-War Britain.

“This article focuses on the concept of ‘accident neurosis’, popularised by neurologist Henry Miller in studies published in 1961. It aims to realise two goals. First, it introduces Miller’s concept of accident neurosis to the broader history of trauma—to a field, that is, more preoccupied with military traumata and clear-cut psychiatric aetiologies. Secondly, I use Miller’s studies, and the considerable legacy they created, to reflect on how historians of trauma construct historical narratives, asking whether there is sufficient appreciation of the ways in which events seem to leak into or retroactively animate one another”.





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