Author Archive

Performing Medicine Festival – New York Academy of Medicine, April 5th

Performing Medicine: An all-day celebration of medically inclined theater, music, and dance

New York Academy of Medicine

Performers include Dr. Richard Kogan with a musical performance and lecture on creative genius and psychiatric illness; Brian Lobel on his comedic adventures as a cancer patient; Parkinson’s coach and dancer Pamela Quinn on reading bodies; David Leventhal with DANCE FOR PD® from Mark Morris Dance Group/Brooklyn Parkinson Group, and Mount Sinai’s Academy for Medicine and the Humanities on the art of listening. Dr. Danielle Ofri leads a panel discussion, and musicians from Weill Cornell’s Music and Medicine Initiative provide musical interludes.

Throughout the day there will be guided behind-the-scenes tours, your opportunity to get an introduction to our Coller Rare Book Reading Room and Gladys Brooks Book & Paper Conservation Laboratory. Spaces are limited to 20 people per tour; make sure to get your tickets early!

Schedule: April 5th, 11-6pm, more details here.

$15 for NYAM Fellows, Members and Friends of the Rare Book Room, $25 for general admission, Free for students and house staff (ID required).

Collection tours (limited to 20 people per tour) $5, 11 AM, 12 noon, 1:30 PM, 2:30 PM, 4 PM

All prices are $5 higher the day of the event.

See more at:


BBC News Article: Craiglockhart Hospital and Shell Shock

An article entitled “Did Craiglockhart hospital revolutionize mental healthcare?” was published yesterday on the BBC News website. It discusses the pioneering treatment(s) of shell shock offered to patients in that Scottish War Hospital during and after WWI, Craiglockhart’s literary legacy, the different cures for shell shock in various other hospitals at the time, as well as the legacy of shell shock in modern culture.

To access the article and podcast, presented by Claudia Hammond, click here.

Freud: New graphic novel by Corinne Maier and Anne Simon

From the website Brain Pickings:

Freud’s Life and Legacy, in a Comic

While Freud may have engineered his own myth and many of his theories may have been disputed in the decades since his heyday, he remains one of the most influential figures in the history of psychiatry and psychology. And yet for many, Freud is more metaphor than man and his name summons only a vague idea of his work — “something to do with penises,” our marginally informed collective conscience might whisper — rather than a true understanding of just how profoundly he influenced contemporary culture, from our mechanisms of consumerism to our notions about the self.

In recent years, the comic book genre has been applied to a wealth of graphic nonfiction for grownups, ranging from famous biographies to philosophy, but nowhere does the genre shine more exquisitely than in Freud (public library) — a magnificent biography-as-graphic-novel of the founding father of psychoanalysis by Swiss-born writer, economist, historian, and psychoanalyst Corinne Maier, illustrated by celebrated French cartoonist Anne Simon. Published by British indie press Nobrow — which also gave us Blexbolex’s brilliant No Man’s Land and some gorgeous illustrated chronicles of aviation and the Space Race — this unusual illustrated biography takes us through Freud’s life and legacy with equal parts scientific-historical rigor, sociocultural insight, and disarming wit, both visual and narrative.

For more information, click here.

Inaugural Conference for New Journal of Deconstruction and Psychoanalysis @ The New School (NYC, April 2014)






The Inaugural Conference for the New Journal from


The University of Nebraska Press:




A Journal of Deconstruction and Psychoanalysis


April 18-19, 2014


Friday, April 18: 9 AM–6PM


Saturday, April 19: 9:30 AM–5:30 PM


66 West 12th Street, Room 510, New York




Alan Bass Geoffrey Bennington


Arkady Plotnitsky Gabriele Schwab




Simon Critchley Adam Rosen-Carole Gregg Lambert




Leo Bersani Donald Moss Gayle Salamon



New issue – Bulletin for the History of Medicine

The latest issue of the Bulletin for the History of Medicine contains a number of articles that might be of interest to H-Madness readers, including a piece by Beth Linker on “The Borderland of Medical and Disability History” (followed by two comments by Daniel J. Wilson and Julie Livingston), and an article by David Wright et al. about mental asylums in Victorian Canada.

The complete table of contents is below:

Table of Contents

Editors’ Note
Positioning Paper
“On the Borderland of Medical and Disability History: A Survey of the Fields”
Beth Linker
Daniel J. Wilson
Catherine Kudlick

Julie Livingston

“The Invention of Infertility in the Classical Greek World: Medicine, Divinity, and Gender”
Rebecca Flemming

“Dying to Get Out of the Asylum: Mortality and Madness in Four Mental Hospitals in Victorian Canada, c. 1841–1891”
David Wright, Laurie Jacklin, and Tom Themeles

“Benevolent Tyranny of Biostatistics: Public Administration and the Promotion of Biostatistics at the National Institutes of Health, 1946–1970”
Sejal Patel

“Plow, Town, and Gown: The Politics of Family Practice in 1960s America”
Dominique Tobbell

News and Events

Book Reviews
Anthony Cerulli. Somatic Lessons: Narrating Patienthood and Illness in Indian Medical Literature
Reviewer: Hartmut Scharfe

Esther Cohen, Leona Toker, Manuela Consonni, and Otniel E. Dror, eds. Knowledge and Pain
Reviewer: Joanna Bourke

John Parascandola. King of Poisons: A History of Arsenic
Reviewer: P. W. J. Bartrip

Sylvia A. Pamboukian. Doctoring the Novel: Medicine and Quackery from Shelley to Doyle
Reviewer: Michael Brown

Nancy Cervetti. S. Weir Mitchell, 1829–1914: Philadelphia’s Literary Physician
Reviewer: Helen L. Horowitz

<>Guy R. Hasegawa. Mending Broken Soldiers: The Union and Confederate Programs to Supply Artificial Limbs
Reviewer: J. T. H. Connor

Pratik Chakrabarti. Bacteriology in British India: Laboratory Medicine and the Tropics
Reviewer: Christoph Gradmann

Marian Moser Jones. The American Red Cross from Clara Barton to the New Deal
Reviewer: Julia F. Irwin

David S. Jones. Broken Hearts: The Tangled History of Cardiac Care
Reviewer: Allen B. Weisse

Paul Starr. Remedy and Reaction: The Peculiar American Struggle over Health Care Reform
Reviewer: Daniel M. Fox

Guenter B. Risse. Plague, Fear, and Politics in San Francisco’s Chinatown
Reviewer: Myron Echenberg

<>William C. Summers. The Great Manchurian Plague of 1910–1911: The Geopolitics of an Epidemic Disease
Reviewer: Carol A. Benedict

Beth Linker. Warʼs Waste: Rehabilitation in World War I America
Reviewer: Jeffrey S. Reznick

Sarah G. Mars. The Politics of Addiction: Medical Conflict and Drug Dependence in England since the 1960s
Reviewer: Stephen Snelders

Kaushik Sunder Rajan, ed. Lively Capital: Biotechnologies, Ethics, and Governance in Global Markets
Reviewer: Todd Meyers

Jonathan Kahn. Race in a Bottle: The Story of BiDil and Racialized Medicine in a Post-Genomic Age
Reviewer: Anne Pollock

For more information, click here.

CfP: French Autopathography: Disability, Disease and Disorders from First-Person Perspectives (Queen’s University Belfast, November 2014)

French Autopathography: Disability, Disease and Disorders

from First-Person Perspectives

Queen’s University Belfast, 21-22 November 2014

Keynote Speaker: Dr Hannah Thompson (Royal Holloway, University of London)

Call for Papers

Coinciding with the rise in cases of cancer and AIDS from the 1980s onwards, the modern outbreak of patient-authored narratives of ill-health or incapacity has provided fresh perspectives to complement traditional medical literature and third-person illness narratives. Known as autopathographies, these patients’ tales give voice to the embodied experience of illness, suffering, disease and, following Thomas Couser’s definition, disability too. Acknowledging that the French tradition of autopathography can be traced back as far as Montaigne, this conference explores a rich but often-neglected corpus of first-person accounts across time-frames and disciplines in an effort to understand more fully what the sociologist Arthur Frank has called people’s need to ‘tell their stories’, be they of the plague, smallpox, syphilis, tuberculosis, leukaemia, cardiac disease, cancer, AIDS, motor neurone disease, eating disorders, stress disorders, or forms of disability (physical, cognitive, sensory, etc.), to name but a few. In this way, it interprets the term autopathography in its broadest sense, and embraces not only literature and creative writing, but also first-person documentary, visual, digital (eg. blogs) and other artistic and creative forms such as performance, dance, montage, sculpture, self-portraits or photography. Areas to be discussed may include, but are not limited to:

–          The structural and ideological issues that characterise French/francophone autopathographies

–          The subject as ‘narrative wreck’ [Frank]

–          Personal perspectives on French/francophone healthcare institutions and treatment processes

–          The ways in which the French language communicates pain, following Elaine Scarry’s remark that ‘physical pain does not simply resist language but actively destroys it’

–          The use of metaphor in self-authored accounts of illness or disability

–          French/francophone literature and/or art’s ‘restorative’ function [Deleuze]

–          Autopathography as genre? A challenge to the tenets of autobiographical writing? A new ‘pact’?

–          The relationship between autopathography and trauma narrative/testimony

–          Interfaces between autopathography and science/medicine in France/the French-speaking world

–          The impact of gender and/or class on illness formulations, attitudes to therapies etc.

250-word proposals for 20-minute papers (or three-paper panels), in French or English, should be sent to Dr Steven Wilson by email attachment at the following address:

The deadline for receipt of proposals is Friday 30 May 2014.

For more information:

Parution de livre : Sabine Arnaud, L’Invention de l’hystérie au temps des lumières (1670-1820)

L’invention de l’hystérie au temps des Lumières (1670-1820)

Sabine Arnaud
Editions de l’EHESS
L’invention de l’hystérie nous porte au 18e siècle, lors de l’élaboration des maladies nerveuses frappant les gens du monde, hommes et femmes, et les lettrés en particulier. Qu’est ce qui se joue dans l’écriture de ce diagnostic ? À travers des textes de médecins, de patients, d’écrivains, Sabine Arnaud déchiffre toute une société.
L’hystérie au 18e siècle nous mène loin des mises en scène de Charcot et des cures de Freud. C’est le moment même de l’invention d’une catégorie pour identifier une maladie nerveuse frappant les gens du monde, hommes et femmes, et les lettrés en particulier. Mais comment établir une pathologie dont la caractérisation commence par le nombre infini de symptômes ? Des textes médicaux aux ouvrages littéraires, métaphores, citations, et anecdotes sont mises à contribution. De l’animal indocile emprunté au Timée, à un « je ne sais quoi », d’un protée à un caméléon, ou à une hydre, médecins et hommes de lettres rivalisent dans son écriture. Un jour courtisans, ils s’inventent le lendemain citoyens fervents d’une nation nouvelle ; leurs écrits déclinent l’hystérie au fur et à mesure des modes et des passions et cristallisent les craintes et les rêves d’un temps.
Découvrir ces conceptions nous porte à apprécier la médecine telle qu’elle s’écrivait au dix-huitième siècle. S’éloignant à grand pas des traités à systèmes, les médecins s’adressent alors à leurs patients au nom d’une sensibilité partagée, et publient dialogues, autobiographies et correspondances pour faciliter cet échange. Ils présentent ainsi une image de l’acte médical fondée dans la prévenance et le récit de soi. A nous de déceler les enjeux d’un diagnostic pour une médecine en pleine transformation.


Nommer (Introduction)
Première partie. De l’usage des diagnostics, des divisions du savoir
Pathologie et différence sexuelle
Affection vaporeuse et classe sociale
Rencontres entre la sphère médicale et la sphère religieuse

Partie II. Les métaphores, ou comment donner figure à l’indéfinissable
D’un répertoire d’images : Protée, caméléon, hydre
De la répétition d’une citation, des divergences de lecture

Partie III. Mises en écrit d’une pathologie et pratiques de diffusion : L’emprunt de genres rhétoriques
Le dialogue
La correspondance fictionnelle
Les consultations par correspondance

Partie IV. Code, vérité ou ruse ? Descriptions littéraires de troubles en quêtes de lecteurs
Troubles de circonstance et persiflage
Corps-vérité en attente d’exégèse
Tours de vapeurs et paroles obliques

Partie V. Mise en récit de cas pathologiques et création d’énigmes, les fonctions du narratif
À l’ombre du conte fantastique
Pièges et contre-pièges
La construction d’un secret
De l’authenticité du corps au savoir du patient

Partie VI. Jeux de rôles et redéfinitions de la médecine

Démystifier ou mystifier ? Fonder le rôle du médecin thérapeute
Stratégies de légitimation et définition du patient à venir

À rebours (Conclusion)

Cliquer ici pour de plus amples informations

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