Alexandra - Athènes 2015Alexandra Bacopoulos-Viau is a cultural historian of the ‘mind sciences’ (psychiatry, psychology, psychoanalysis). Her first monograph project is entitled Scripting the Mind: Technologies of Writing, Gender, and Selfhood in Modern France. The book is based on her doctoral thesis, which she completed at the University of Cambridge and which was awarded the 2014 Dissertation Prize from the Forum for History of Human Science (History of Science Society). Alexandra has published various articles on the history of the ‘psy’ disciplines and has edited, with Aude Fauvel, a special issue of Medical History on the history of psychiatry from the patient’s perspective. She is a Clinical Instructor at Weill Cornell’s Department of Psychiatry.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGreg Eghigian is Professor of History and the former Director of the Science, Technology, and Society Program at Penn State University. He writes and teaches on the history of madness, the human sciences, and social deviance. He is the editor and author of numerous books, including The Routledge History of Madness and Mental Health (Routledge, 2017) and From Madness to Mental Health: Psychiatric Disorder and its Treatment in Western Civilization (Rutgers University Press, 2010).

Benoît Majerus is Associate Professor for European History at the Centre for Contemporary and Digital History at the University of Luxembourg. He mainly works on the history of the two world wars and the history of psychiatry in the 20th century. He has recently co-edited a volume with Iris Loffeier and Thibauld Moulaert entitled Framing Age: Contested Knowledge in Science and Politics, London, Routldedge, 2017.

Section editors

Fatih.ArtvinliFatih Artvinli (Turkey / Ottoman Empire) is Assistant Professor of History of Medicine and Ethics at Acibadem University in Istanbul, Turkey. He graduated from Yusufeli Health Vocational High School (Department of Public Health) and worked as a nurse at several medical institutions including Bakırköy Hospital for Psychiatry, Neurology and Neurosurgery. He received his Ph.D. in Modern Turkish History and spent a year as a post-doctoral Fogarty Fellow at Harvard Medical School and the Boston Children’s Hospital. His research interests lie at the intersection of the history of psychiatry, bioethics and politics. Besides a number of journal articles, he is the author of two books in Turkish: Osman Bölükbaşı: A Life Spent for a Mirage (Kitap Yayınevi, 2007), Madness, Politics and Society: Toptaşı Mental Asylum (1873-1927) (Boğaziçi University Press, 2013).

arnout_de_cleeneArnout De Cleene (Exhibitions) studied Cultural Studies at the University of Maastricht and obtained a PhD in Literature at KU Leuven. In his dissertation on outsider literature, he analyzed the reception of Dutch- and French-language literary authors in the second half of the twentieth century, in relation to the biographical madness that was attributed to them. He writes on literature, photography and visual art, often, but not always, in relation to psychiatry. Together with Michiel De Cleene, he published the art book F#1-13 (Art Paper Editions, 2017). He works at Dr. Guislain Museum in Ghent,  a museum for the history of psychiatry, where he co-curated exhibitions such as Shame, Another World, Angst and (Photo)sensible – Psychiatrists Patients Portraits.

Mark_GallagherMark Gallagher (Great Britain) has worked in the voluntary sector with mental health charities in Scotland. With M.A. degrees in Philosophy (University of Glasgow) and Philosophy and Mental Health (University of Central Lancashire), he completed his PhD research on psychiatric deinstitutionalisation and the history of collective action by psychiatric patients in Scotland. Currently he is exploring the career of the psychiatrist Dr Ronald Sandison and the clinical use of LSD at Powick Hospital, Worcestershire in the 1950s and 1960s, supported by a Wellcome Trust Research Bursary. His main interests are in the history of patient activism, 20th century psychiatry, philosophy of psychiatry, madness and religion and the history of psychoactive drugs.

Max_GawlichMax Gawlich (German-speaking Europe) studied History and Jewish Studies at the University of Heidelberg, where he received an M.A. degree with a Thesis on “Mescalin Intoxication and Model Psychosis in Weimar Psychiatry”. His PhD research focused on the development and implementation of ECT devices in Swiss, German and British Psychiatry during the 1930s and 1940s. The thesis combines the history of technology, psychiatry and media to study, how ECT was used and which influences shaped therapeutic practices in psychiatry. The research was conducted in London, Munich and Bern and was funded by the German National Academic Foundation and the German Historical Institute London. Presently, he pursues a research project on care and early childhood in the 1970s.

Andreas_KillenAndreas Killen (Book reviews) teaches the history of modern Germany and of the human sciences at the City College of New York and the CUNY Graduate Center. He is the author of numerous works, including most recently Homo Cinematicus: Science, Motion Pictures and the Making of Modern Germany (University of Pennsylvania Press 2017), and is currently working on a project about the history of the brain sciences in the 1950s.

Sarah_MarksSarah Marks (Eastern Europe / Russia) is a historian of the psy professions during the Cold War period. She writes on the Soviet sphere of influence, with a particular focus on Czechoslovakia and East Germany. She was awarded her PhD from UCL in 2015, and held a research fellowship at Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge before joining Birkbeck, University of London in October 2016. Her recent publications include Psychiatry in Communist Europe (edited with Mat Savelli, Palgrave, 2015), a special issue of History of the Human Sciences on ‘Psychotherapy in Historical Perspective’ (April 2017), and articles for History Workshop Journal and Cahiers du monde russe.

Cheryl_McGeaghanCheryl McGeaghan (Great Britain) is lecturer in Human Geography in the School of Geographical & Earth Science, University of Glasgow. Her ongoing research interests concern historical and cultural geographies of mental ill-health and asylum spaces, history of psychiatry and psychoanalysis, histories of science, medical humanities, life-writing and biography, and psychotherapeutic practices such as art therapy and outsider art. Methodologically, she is interested in critically investigating the practices of the ‘archive’ and using visual methods to capture situated memories. Previous work includes the creation of a geographical biography of psychiatrist R.D. Laing, unpicking transcultural psychiatry, mapping Art Extraordinary and uncovering the practices of the police surgeon in the 19th century. Her work strongly involves working with a range of communities and recent collaborative projects with the Open Museum in Glasgow include work with Barlinnie Prison, Leverndale Hospital and Castlemilk Stables.

Manuella_MeyerManuella Meyer (Latin America) is a historian of both the human sciences and modern Latin America, Meyer is interested in how state and civil societies, and Latin American societies specifically, wrestle with notions of modernity through medicine and public health. Her research has largely focused on the nature of power and the relationship between the state, science, and medicine in understanding and managing mental illness, deviance, and security. Her first book Reasoning against Madness: Psychiatry and the State in Rio de Janeiro, 1830-1944 (Rochester Studies in Medical History, 2017) examines the emergence of Brazilian psychiatry, looking at how its practitioners fashioned themselves as the key architects in the project of national regeneration.  She is currently at work on a book project on the psychiatry of childhood in early twentieth century Brazil.  Meyer is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Richmond.

katariina_faceKatariina Parhi (Nordic countries) is a historian of science and ideas at the University of Oulu in Finland. Her dissertation dealt with the history of the diagnosis of psychopathy in Finland. She works in a project that investigates birth cohort studies as a form of scientific knowledge-production. She is also working on a book about drugs and psychiatry in the 1960s and 70s.

Associate Professor Hans PolsHans Pols (Southeast Asia and Australia / New Zealand) is interested in the history of psychiatry outside mental hospitals, from mental hygiene and prevention efforts to out-patient care. He has written on American mental hygiene, psychiatry in Australia, war neuroses during World War II, and colonial psychiatry. He is currently engaged in a project assessing the current state of psychiatry in Indonesia and contemplating, with local mental health practitioners, its future.

michael_rembisMichael Rembis (Disability Studies and USA) is the Director of the Center for Disability Studies and an Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University at Buffalo (SUNY). Rembis has authored or edited many books, articles, and book chapters, including: Defining Deviance: Sex, Science, and Delinquent Girls, 1890-1960 (University of Illinois Press, 2011/2013); Disability Histories co-edited with Susan Burch (University of Illinois Press, 2014); The Oxford Handbook of Disability History co-edited with Catherine Kudlick and Kim Nielsen (Oxford University Press, forthcoming); and Disabling Domesticity (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016). In 2012, Rembis and co-editor Kim Nielsen launched the Disability Histories book series with University of Illinois Press. The Organisation of American Historians honored Rembis by naming him a Distinguished Lecturer in 2014. In 2015, Rembis was named to the Fulbright Roster of Specialists. His research interests include the history of institutionalisation, mad people’s history, and the history of eugenics. He is currently working on a book entitled, ‘A Secret Worth Knowing’: Living Mad Lives in the Shadow of the Asylum.

Chiara Thumiger bio H-MadnessChiara Thumiger (Ancient history) is a classicist and a historian of science. In particular, her current interests are in ancient medicine and mental health; patient history; history of psychiatry; (ancient) disability studies; cultural history. She has also worked on other areas of ancient literatures and culture (Greek tragedy, ancient animals, ancient emotions). The goal of her present research project is to give a comprehensive account of discussions and representations of an ancient disease concept, phrenitis, one of the most important and earliest medical syndromes associated with mental disorder from ancient medicine onwards. She examines discussions of the disease in ancient medical texts, as well as its representations in non-medical Greek and Latin sources, seeking to highlight the important place of phrenitis in the development of medical ideas of mental illness in the Western tradition. This importance resulted in the persistence of phrenitis as a disease concept until as late as the nineteenth century.

Claire TreneryClaire Trenery (Medieval) specialises in the history of medieval madness and medicine, with a focus on the influence of wider medical developments on monastic representations of mad pilgrims in medieval miracle collections, which were compiled as witness to the wonders of the saints. She was awarded her PhD from Royal Holloway, University of London in February 2017 for her thesis entitled ‘Miracles for the Mad: Representations of Madness in English Miracle Collections from the Long Twelfth Century’ and has published several articles on medieval madness and demonic possession. Claire is particularly interested in the perceived influence of madness on the bodies, minds and souls of sufferers within the cultural and intellectual climate that accompanied the development of Scholastic learning in Western Europe. She joined the School of History at Queen Mary, University of London in 2017, and now works there as Research Manager. She has previously taught in research-led history departments at the University of Leeds, King’s College London and Royal Holloway, University of London. She is also an Affiliated Research Scholar at the Centre for the History of Emotions and has recently published her first monograph with Routledge entitled ‘Madness, Medicine and Miracle in Twelfth-Century England’ 

janet_westonJanet Weston (Great Britain) is a Research Fellow at the Centre for History in Public Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where she is part of the team working on ‘Prisoners, Medicine, and Entitlement to Health in England and Ireland, 1850-2000’ . Her focus is HIV/AIDS in prisons over the 1980s and 1990s, and she has written about prison policy on HIV/AIDS, condoms in prisons, addiction treatment, and human rights. She obtained her PhD from Birkbeck and a book based on this work is out in late 2017: ‘Medicine, the Penal System, and Sexual Crime in England 1919-1960s: Diagnosing Deviance’ . Janet is particularly interested in forensic psychiatry in the twentieth century, histories of disability and rights, and public health.

harry_wuHarry Yi-Jui Wu (East Asia) is Assistant Professor and Deputy-Director of Medical Ethics and Humanities Unit at the University of Hong Kong. He received medical training in Taiwan before obtaining a DPhil in Modern History from Oxford University. He had taught medical humanities and the history of medicine in Singapore and Hong Kong. His research interests include history of psychiatry, end-of-life studies, narrative medicine and medical humanities. Harry has published in journals such as History of Psychiatry, Medical History and East Asian Science, Technology and Society, The Lancet Psychiatry. Currently, he is writing up a book about the WHO’s first effort to conduct an international social psychiatry project.

Advisory Board

waltraud_ernstWaltraud Ernst is Professor in the History of Medicine (1700-2017) at Oxford Brookes University. She has been trained as a cultural psychologist in Germany and worked as Senior Clinical Psychologist and as a psychotherapist in New Zealand during the early 1990s. Her publications include Mad Tales from the Raj (1991), Colonialism and Transnational Psychiatry (2015), and Health and Medicine in the Indian Princely States (2017) as well as several edited books on race and medicine (1999); plural medicine (2002); the normal and the abnormal (2007); the Indian Princely states (2007); transnational psychiatries (2010); colonial and indigenous medicines (2010); work and psychiatry (2016); and drinking cultures and alcohol flows across cultures (2018; 2019).

Henckes_NicolasNicolas Henckes is a historian and sociologist at the CNRS and the Centre de Recherche Médecine Science, Santé, Santé mentale et Sociétés (CERMES3). In the past he has been working on the reform of the psychiatric hospitals in 20th century France as well as on the history of the French association of parents of people with mental handicap. He is now working on a manuscript over the history and current status of psychosis risk. His more recent project is an investigation of the transforming boundaries of social and mental health policy at the turn of 21st century in France. (Photo by Serge Cannasse)

Volker_HessVolker Hess studies the History of Medicine as science and practice. Trained in medicine and philosophy, he entered the academia with analyzing the hospital as institution and space of knowledge. Hist first book, Von der semiotischen zur diagnostischen Medizin (1992) developed an intellectual history of the rise of modern medical thinking. The second book Der wohltemperierte Mensch (2000) transferred the concept of „thick description“ into the history of medicine with focussing on the „little instrument“ of measuring temperature. More recently, he has turned to the cultural history of medicine. He is engaged in the research training group „Gender as a category of knowledge“ at the Culture Studies, he is chairing a DFG research group on the „Cultures of madness“, who is studying the borderlands of normality in the growing Berlin metropole at 1900. In 2011, he has been receipt the Advanced Investigator Grant from the European Research Council for a collaborative project (with Andrew Mendelsohn) in reconstructing the „paper technologies“ of medical practices (Case and Series in History of Science 2010). He is the chair of the Institute for the History of Medicine at the Charité Medical School and also affiliated professor at the History Department of the HU.

elizabeth_lunbeckElizabeth Lunbeck is Professor of the History of Science in Residence at Harvard University, where she teaches courses in the history of psychoanalysis, psychiatry, and the psychotherapies. She is the author of a number of books, including most recently The Americanization of Narcissism (Harvard, 2014) and, with Lorraine Daston, Histories of Scientific Observation (Chicago, 2011), and has written widely on the history of the personality disorders.  Before joining the Harvard faculty, Lunbeck taught at the University of Rochester (2 years), Princeton (18 years), and, most recently, Vanderbilt, where she was Chair of the history department.

Richard_NollRichard Noll (Ph.D. 1992, The New School for Social Research) is a clinical psychologist and Associate Professor of Psychology at DeSales University in Center Valley, PA.  In the mid-1990s he was a postdoctoral fellow and Lecturer on the History of Science at Harvard University and a 1995-1996 Resident Fellow at the Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology at MIT. He is the author of numerous articles and books on the history of psychiatry, including The Jung Cult: Origins of a Charismatic Movement (Princeton University Press, 1992) and most recently American Madness: The Rise and Fall of Dementia Praecox (Harvard University Press, 2011), which won a BMA Medical Book Award—Highly Commended in Psychiatry, from the British Medical Association. In addition to his historical scholarship he occasionally collaborates on experimental work in schizophrenia. Shamanism is another ongoing focus of research, and he has conducted anthropological fieldwork among Tungus (Oroqen and Ewenki) shamans in Manchuria and Inner Mongolia (1994), and among Buryat, Darhad and Khalkh shamans in Mongolia (2017) where he also lectured on shamanism at the Mongolian Academy of Sciences at the invitation of Mongolia’s Minister of Education and Culture. In 2018 he will be conducting research among shamans/mediums in Okinawa in addition to lecturing on shamanism at Kyoto University and the National Museum for Ethnology in Osaka.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPetteri Pietikäinen is Professor of the History of Science and Ideas at the University of Oulu, Finland. His research interests include history of madness and mental health; history of evolutionary theories; history of Utopian thought; and relations between the human sciences and society/politics. He has written five books, edited four books and published about 80 articles. His major publications include Alchemists of Human Nature: Psychological Utopianism in Gross, Jung, Reich and Fromm (Pickering & Chatto, 2007), Neurosis and Modernity: The Age of Nervousness in Sweden (Brill, 2007), and Madness: A History (Routledge 2015).

sadowskyJonathan Sadowsky is Theodore J. Castele Professor of Medical History at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. He is a former chair of the History Department, holds secondary appointments in Psychiatry and Bioethics, and serves as Associate Director of the Program in Medicine, Society, and Culture. His interests include the history of colonial psychiatry, the history of somatic treatments in psychiatry, the history of psychoanalysis, and the history of depression. He is the author of Imperial Bedlam: Institutions of Madness and Colonialism in Southwest Nigeria (University of California Press, 1999) and Electroconvulsive Therapy in America: The Anatomy of a Political Controversy (Routledge, 2016).

Sally_SwartzSally Swartz is Associate Professor of the University of Cape Town’s Psychology Department training faculty in the clinical psychology programme, and a practicing psychoanalytic psychotherapist. She is a member of the Cape Town Psychoanalytic Self/Relational Psychology group, and writes, teaches and supervises from a relational psychoanalytic perspective. She has a particular interest in the ways in which psychoanalytic thinking might be used to reflect on and contain situations of political conflict and trauma. Her research is in the fields of colonial psychiatric history, decolonisation and psychoanalytic psychotherapy in South Africa. The monograph, Homeless Wanderers: Movement and Mental Illness in the Cape Colony in the Nineteenth Century was published in 2015.

Editorial assistants

Eva_AndersenEva Andersen has a PhD in history from the University of Luxembourg and is a former researcher of the Centre for Contemporary and Digital History (C2DH) at the University of Luxembourg. Her research focused on psychiatric knowledge circulation in Europe during the mid-19th and mid-20th centuries. Currently, she is affiliated with the University of Antwerp as a post-doc researcher in the ERC-funded project “Science at the fair” at the University of Antwerp where she studies the circulation of knowledge among itinerant showpeople.


Samuel Dal Zilio is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Contemporary and Digital History C2DH) at the University of Luxembourg. His research focuses on the history of psychiatric deinstitutionalization in Brussels after the Second World War. This doctoral project is part of a multidisciplinary research program supported by the German Scientific Research Fund (DFG). Entitled “Normal#Verrückt. Zeitgeschite einer erodirenden Differenz”, this program aims to study the question of the erosion of the border between madness and normality in European societies in the second half of the 20th century.