Author Archive

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.

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.

CfP: “Patient Voices” symposium (Oxford, September 2017)

Patient Voices

Historical and Ethical Engagement with Patient Experiences of Healthcare, 1850–1948

An interdisciplinary, policy-focused symposium
New College, University of Oxford
18–19 September 2017

In 1948, diverse health provisions in Britain were consolidated into a single, state-directed service. After almost seventy years of the NHS—the bedrock of modern welfare—there is great concern about any return to a mixed economy of healthcare. The proposed privatisation of health services is controversial because it threatens to destabilise the complex relationships of patients with medical professionals and the state. It calls into question the structure and accessibility of healthcare, as well as the rights of patients, both as medical consumers and sources of medical data. Yet these are questions that equally shaped the development of the NHS prior to its foundation. Historical perspectives on pre-NHS healthcare—perspectives that are increasingly informed by the experiences of patients—are fundamental to understanding not just the past but also the choices before us.

Social historians of medicine have responded in various ways to Roy Porter’s 1985 call for histories incorporating the patient view. But despite work across diverse fields, patient voices before 1948 are yet to be fully integrated into historical scholarship. This symposium brings together historians, medical ethicists and archivists with interdisciplinary expertise to explore questions relating to the accessibility and ethics of the study of patient voices and data in the specific context of pre-NHS provisions. Through research presentations, roundtable discussions and interactive sessions, participants will explore the collection and qualitative use of historical medical records. The symposium will focus on methodological issues by investigating a range of available archives and piloting new strategies for retrieving as-yet-unheard historical patient voices. It will also address ethical issues arising from these pilot strategies, including questions of data protection, informed consent and the implications of new technologies in storing and analysing information.

Following the symposium, participants will be invited to submit articles for a special issue.

We welcome proposals for 20-minute papers that address one or more of the following questions:

  • How should historians access and interpret the experiences of patients, particularly those with stigmatising conditions?
  • How can historians negotiate archival ‘silences’ when locating patient voices?
  • What can patient experiences tell historians about past, present and future interactions between healthcare consumers and providers?
  • How can the study of historical patient experiences inform the social, political and clinical dimensions of healthcare in the future?
  • What ethical considerations should inform the collection, maintenance and use of sensitive medical archives, including digitisation, data analytics and discourse analysis?
  • How can attention to these ethical considerations shape the study of healthcare and facilitate high-quality medical-humanities research?

Proposals should not exceed 300 words and should be accompanied by a short biography. Please submit them to Anne Hanley (University of Oxford) and Jessica Meyer (University of Leeds) at patientvoicesproject@gmail.com by 1 April 2017.

This symposium is supported by the Ludwig Humanities Research Fund.

“Cold War Freud” and “Freud: An Intellectual Biography” reviewed by Lisa Appignanesi (The Guardian)

H-Madness readers might be interested in the following article by Lisa Appignanesi. The piece, which was published today in The Guardian, is a review of Dagmar Herzog’s Cold War Freud (Cambridge University Press, 2016) and Joel Whitebook’s Freud: An Intellectual Biography (Cambridge University Press, 2016).

Still many strands to pursue … Sigmund Freud.

Cold War Freud and Freud: An Intellectual Biography review – the politics of psychoanalysis

A pair of rich, illuminating studies epitomise a new wave of thinking about the Freud wars and the history of analysis

If Freud, as Auden wrote in his 1939 elegy, is “a whole climate of opinion / under whom we conduct our different lives”, then it would be fair to say that the local weather patterns around him shift from temptestuous to clement with uncanny regularity. Geography inevitably plays into the picture.

There are actually only two (relative) constants in the diffusion of Freud’s invention, psychoanalysis, from 1906 on. One is the acceptance of the fact that each of us has an unconscious life: parts of ourselves that are hidden from our own view inform dreams, and shape unwitting remarks and behaviour. The second is the talk and listening technology of two people – the free-associating patient and the analyst engaged in an intimate therapeutic conversation. The rest of the huge and often subtle panoply of Freud’s ideas, developed and revised over a lifetime of practice and writing, has been – and is – up for grabs.

There is a wealth of material to pick over. From Freud’s first book, On Aphasia, published when he was 35, to his last, Moses and Monotheism, written just before his death at 83, there are 23 volumes of the standard edition, not to mention many thick tomes of reflective and revealing letters to his fiancee (then wife), Martha, and to friends andcolleagues, plus proceedings of international psychoanalytic meetings. Followers, interpreters, critics and bashers, reinventors and film-makers, slipper and watch manufacturers, in America, India, China, Europe, Africa and Latin America, can thus dispute, develop or make jokes about everything from the importance of the sex drive or libido to the dynamics of memory and repression; the relations between ego, id and superego; identification; therapeutic practice; cultural liberation and much more, including, of course, Freud’s own integrity – his scientific and medical status.

To read the rest of the article, click here.

 

New book – “Psyche on the Skin. A History of Self-Harm” (Sarah Chaney)

Psyche on the Skin

A HISTORY OF SELF-HARM

Psyche on the Skin

SARAH CHANEY

(University of Chicago Press, 2017)

It’s a troubling phenomenon that many of us think of as a modern psychological epidemic, a symptom of extreme emotional turmoil in young people, especially young women: cutting and self-harm. But few of us know that it was 150 years ago—with the introduction of institutional asylum psychiatry—that self-mutilation was first described as a category of behavior, which psychiatrists, and later psychologists and social workers, attempted to understand. With care and focus, Psyche on the Skin tells the secret but necessary history of self-harm from the 1860s to the present, showing just how deeply entrenched this practice is in human culture.

Sarah Chaney looks at many different kinds of self-injurious acts, including sexual self-mutilation and hysterical malingering in the late Victorian period, self-marking religious sects, and self-mutilation and self-destruction in art, music, and popular culture. As she shows, while self-harm is a widespread phenomenon found in many different contexts, it doesn’t necessarily have any kind of universal meaning—it always has to be understood within the historical and cultural context that surrounds it. Bravely sharing her own personal experiences with self-harm and placing them within its wider history, Chaney offers a sensitive but engaging account—supported with powerful images—that challenges the misconceptions and controversies that surround this often misunderstood phenomenon. The result is crucial reading for therapists and other professionals in the field, as well as those affected by this emotive, challenging act.

For more information, click here.

New book – “The Inkblots: Hermann Rorschach, his Iconic Test, and the Power of Seeing” (Damion Searls)

inkblotsH-Madness readers might be interested in the newly published book The Inkblots: Hermann Rorschach, his Iconic Test, and the Power of Seeing by Damion Searls (Penguin Random House, 2017).

The publisher’s website reads:

The captivating, untold story of Hermann Rorschach and his famous inkblot test

In 1917, working alone in a remote Swiss asylum, psychiatrist Hermann Rorschach devised an experiment to probe the human mind: a set of ten carefully designed inkblots. For years he had grappled with the theories of Freud and Jung while also absorbing the aesthetic movements of the day, from Futurism to Dadaism. A visual artist himself, Rorschach had come to believe that who we are is less a matter of what we say, as Freud thought, than what we see.

After Rorschach’s early death, his test quickly made its way to America, where it took on a life of its own. Co-opted by the military after Pearl Harbor, it was a fixture at the Nuremberg trials and in the jungles of Vietnam. It became an advertising staple, a cliché in Hollywood and journalism, and an inspiration to everyone from Andy Warhol to Jay Z. The test was also given to millions of defendants, job applicants, parents in custody battles, and people suffering from mental illness or simply trying to understand themselves better. And it is still used today.

In this first-ever biography of Rorschach, Damion Searls draws on unpublished letters and diaries and a cache of previously unknown interviews with Rorschach’s family, friends, and colleagues to tell the unlikely story of the test’s creation, its controversial reinvention, and its remarkable endurance—and what it all reveals about the power of perception. Elegant and original, The Inkblots shines a light on the twentieth century’s most visionary synthesis of art and science.

For more information, click here.

For a recent NPR interview with the author, click here.

Call for chapter proposals: Literature, Trauma and the Self

CALL FOR CHAPTER PROPOSALS–LITERATURE AND PSYCHOLOGY: WRITING, TRAUMA AND THE SELF

Centuries ago, Aristotle fashioned a term that brought literature and psychology face to face: catharsis (psychological or mental purification of the feelings). From that time onwards, literature and human psyche have been correlated either by various writers, philosophers, critics, or by means of several techniques or movements. Not only was it tragedy that combined the elements of psychology with literary production, it was also novel, poetry, short story and even some psychoanalytical theories that brought psyche and literature together. There has always been a mutual partnership of the two: psychology of men and literature of men.  It was Sigmund Freud, for instance, who introduced Oedipus complex from what Sophocles held as the plot of Oedipus the King. It was Samuel Richardson who carried the earlier features of sentimental novel and the early flashes of psychological novel through his Pamela. It was Henry James who borrowed the stream of consciousness technique from psychology and introduced it to be used in literature, and then was subtly employed by James Joyce in Ulysses and by Virginia Woolf in Mrs. Dalloway. Charles Dickens, with his famous industrial novel Great Expectations, reflected the well-established norms of psychological realism. George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion was named after the mythological figure of Greek Pygmalionand the name was also adapted into the Pygmalion effect to emphasize the observable phenomena related to the psychology and performance of men. Similarly, Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita became a focal work that impacted the birth of Lolita complex. Friedrich Nietzsche’subermensch (just as it is employed by Bernard Shaw in Superman)MartinEsslin’s theatre of the absurd (employed by Samuel Beckett in Waiting for Godot), Antonin Artaud’s theatre of cruelty (employed by Edward Bond in Saved) and etc. all could be tackled in terms of interrelation of human psyche and literariness.
Psychology has also some observable impacts on the writer’s writing skill. Causing extreme changes in mood, bipolar disorder is addressed by many critics to be the central origin behind creativity. Such writers and critics as John Ruskin, Virginia Woolf, Edgar Allan Poe, Alan Garner, Hams Christian Anderson and Sherman Alexei among others are known to have bipolar disorder that impacted their literary creativity. Feminist urges also produced the female creativity within some genres of literature. It was Emily Dickenson, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Virginia Woolf, George Eliot, and Bronte Sisters that embraced the psychology of the power of female creativity on the way to writing. For that reason, psychology and literature live in each other’s pockets.
This proposal suggests a forum of differing ideas on the link between literature and psychology, psychology of writing, traumatic literature, the construction of the Self within literature, the psychology of characterization, psychoanalytical approaches, and the psychology of literary creativity.
The topics of interest include but not limited to the following titles:
Psychology of Literature
Literature of Psychology
Psychology and literary genres
Psychological theories and movements
Traumatic literature
Literature and psyche
Auto/biography and  psyche
Psychoanalytical approaches
The psychology of Self and Literature
The Psychology of Writing
Trauma and Writing
The Self and Writing
Psychology and  Creativity
Submission Procedure
Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit on or before March 31, 2017, a chapter proposal of 1,000 to 2,000 words clearly explaining the mission and concerns of his or her proposed chapter. Authors will be notified by April 30, 2017 about the status of their proposals and sent chapter guidelines. Full chapters are expected to be submitted by October 30, 2017, and all interested authors must consult the guidelines for manuscript submissions athttp://www.cambridgescholars.com/t/AuthorFormsGuidelines prior to submission. All submitted chapters will be reviewed on a double-blind review basis. Contributors may also be requested to serve as reviewers for this project.
Note: There are no submission or acceptance fees for manuscripts submitted to this book publication, Cambridge Scholars Publishing. All manuscripts are accepted based on a double-blind peer review editorial process.
Publisher
This book is scheduled to be published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing, UK. For additional information regarding the publisher, please visit http://www.cambridgescholars.com/. This publication is anticipated to be released in 2018.
Important Dates
March 31, 2017: Proposal Submission Deadline
April 30, 2017: Notification of Acceptance
October 30, 2017: Full Chapter Submission
December 30, 2017: Review Results Returned
January 30, 2018: Final Acceptance Notification
February 15, 2018: Final Chapter Submission
April 15, 2018:Manuscript delivery date
Inquiries
Editor’s Name: Önder Çakırtaş
Editor’s Affiliation: PhD, Assistant Professor, Bingol University (Turkey), Department of English Language and Literature
Editor’s Contact Information
Bingöl Üniversitesi
Fen Edebiyat Fakültesi
Oda No:D2-8 12000 Bingöl/TÜRKİYE
callforliteraturepapers@gmail.com
cakirtasonder@gmail.com
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