Author Archive

New Issue – L’esprit créateur

L'Esprit_Fall12_Covers.qxpThe winter issue 2016 of the journal “L’esprit créateur”, coordinated by Florence Vatan and Anne Vila, is entitled L’esprit (dé)réglé: Literature, Science, and the Life of the Mind in France, 1700–1900. It contains the following articles:

L’esprit (dé)réglé: Literature, Science, and the Life of the Mind in France, 1700–1900 by Florence Vatan and Anne Vila. The abstract reads:

The case studies presented in this special issue illustrate the unique appeal that the puzzle of the mind exerted across fields of knowledge in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. They highlight the diversity of approaches and perspectives that the exploration of the mind elicited in literature, philosophy, and the sciences de l’homme. They also testify to the conceptual challenges and persistent nebulousness that surrounded the notion of esprit and its close associates. That fluidity of meaning was, in its way, productive: it provoked debates about the nature of the self, the precarious status of consciousness, and the relevance of human exceptionalism.

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Conference – Spectacular Evidence: Theatres of the Observed Mind


24 Mar 2017 – 11am to 6pm

A one-day symposium, Spectacular Evidence, will include presentations, performances, screenings and talks from the fields of visual art, medicine and critical theory.

Drawing upon histories of madness and its exhibition, and considering how it has been staged as cultural performance, this event will consider behaviours and ‘performances’ exchanged between viewer and physician in relation to patient.

Confirmed contributors to the event include:
Caterina Albano
Sal Anderson
Monika Ankele
Zoe Beloff
Rosemary Cronin
Eddy Dreadnought
Michelle Williams Gamaker
Anna Harpin
Zoe Mendelson
Joanne Morra
Florence Peake

Convened by Dr Zoë Mendelson and presented by Camberwell, Chelsea, Wimbledon Graduate School Public Programme.

The symposium will take place at ArtsAdmin, Toynbee Studios, London, on 24 March 2017.

Booking via

Call for Abstracts – Alcohol, Psychiatry and Society


International Research Symposium – St Anne’s College, Oxford, 29 – 30 June 2017

The medicalisation of alcohol use has become a prominent discourse that guides policy makers and impacts public perceptions of alcohol and drinking. This symposium intends to map the historical and cultural dimensions of these phenomena. Emphasis is on medical attitudes and theories regarding alcohol and the changing perception of alcohol consumption in the fields of psychiatry and mental healing. The intention is to explore the shift from the use of alcohol in clinical treatment, as part of dietary regimens, incentive to work and reward for desirable behaviour during earlier periods to the emergence of alcoholism as a disease category that requires medical intervention, is covered by medical insurance and considered as a threat to public health. Continue reading

Thinking in Cases – call for submissions to History of the Human Sciences

Dialogue with John Forrester’s work in a special issue of HHS

Dialogue with John Forrester’s work in a special issue of HHS

As part of our celebration of the work of the incomparable John Forrester, History of the Human Sciences (HHS) is hosting a review symposium around John’s final work: Thinking in Cases (Polity: 2017). The first essay in this collectionwas originally published in HHS back in 1996: (

As part of our efforts to showcase the work of new and emerging scholars, HHS invites expressions of interest from all early career researchers (a flexible definition) whose work bears in some way upon the work John started with ‘Thinking in Cases’. We welcome anyone who would like to contribute to such a dialogue with John’s work, and with each other.

If interested, please send a short expression of interest (max 200 words) to the email address below, outlining your strengths as candidate for inclusion in such a review symposium. Depending upon response, we anticipate final contributions of c.3,000 words.



Expressions of Interest: Monday 13th March, 2017.

Submission of Contributions: 31st October, 2017.

Publication in HHS: 2018.


If you have questions, please email Chris Millard: c[dot]millard[at]Sheffield[dot]ac[dot]uk

We look forward to hearing from you,

Felicity Callard (Editor-in-Chief) & Chris Millard (Reviews Editor)

New Issue – History of Psychiatry


Today Bangour Village, one of the famous Scottish asylums of the 20th century, is completely abandoned. Photo by Mark Sutherland

The March 2017 issue of History of Psychiatry is now out. Chris Philo and Jonathan Andrews, as guest editors, have compiled a special issue entitled Histories of asylums, insanity and psychiatry in Scotland.

“Introduction: histories of asylums, insanity and psychiatry in Scotland,” by Chris Philo and Jonathan Andrews. The abstract reads:

This paper introduces a special issue on ‘Histories of asylums, insanity and psychiatry in Scotland’, situating the papers that follow in an outline historiography of work in this field. Using Allan Beveridge’s claims in 1993 about the relative lack of research on the history of psychiatry in Scotland, the paper reviews a range of contributions that have emerged since then, loosely distinguishing between ‘overviews’ – work addressing longer-term trends and broader periods and systems – and more detailed studies of particular ‘individuals and institutions’. There remains much still to do, but the present special issue signals what is currently being achieved, not least by a new generation of scholars in and on Scotland.

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New Issue – Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte


The first 2017 issue of Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte is now out and includes at least one article that may be of interest to H-Madness readers.

Claudia Moisel: Geschichte und Psychoanalyse. Zur Genese der Bindungstheorie von John Bowlby

Die Geschichte der Psychoanalyse sowie psychologisch-psychiatrische Expertendiskurse werden im angloamerikanischen Sprachraum gegenwärtig vielfältig erforscht, auch im Kontext der dezidiert interdisziplinär angelegten und rasch expandierenden „Childhood Studies“. Der Beitrag erläutert diese Zusammenhänge am Beispiel der laufenden Forschung zur Bindungstheorie des renommierten britischen Kinderpsychiaters John Bowlby. Bowlbys einflussreiche Studien über Heimkinder für die Weltgesundheitsorganisation (WHO) etablieren in den fünfziger Jahren „Mutterentbehrung“ (Deprivation) als zentrale Analysekategorie der frühen Kindheit; sein eingängiges Erklärungsangebot zur Entstehung und Prävention psychischer Probleme entfaltete in der Familienpolitik große Wirkung. Der Beitrag verfolgt darüber hinaus das Ziel, das Verhältnis von Geschichte und den „Psychowissenschaften“ in zweifacher Hinsicht methodisch auszuloten, nämlich zum einen den Konstruktionscharakter psychologischer, psychiatrischer und psychoanalytischer Konzepte sichtbar zu machen, zum anderen Aufmerksamkeit zu generieren für eine Fülle zeithistorischer relevanter Quellen und Literatur, die in diesen Zusammenhängen entstanden ist, aber in der Forschung zu wenig Berücksichtigung findet.

Appel à communication – Les infirmières de la folie

Drawing of staff member represented as a pig Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images Patton State Hospital, San Bernardino, California: a staff member represented as a pig, asleep in a chair. Drawing by D.R. Wilder, ca. 1954. Wilder, Dudley Raymond, 1916-1957.  "The superior type (you know who)" One drawing of twelve in a sketchbook inscribed "Dudley R. Wilder". There is a record of a Dudley Raymond Wilder (1916-1957) who worked as a commercial artist in California from the 1930s to the 1950s and served as a staff sergeant in the US Marine Corps in 1943-1944. The quality of the drawings, and some of the military references, suggest they could well be by him, possibly in the last years of his life where confinement preceded an early death at the age of 41. Pencil drawing 1954 By: Dudley Raymond WilderPublished: [1954?] Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons by-nc-nd 4.0, see

Drawing of staff member represented as a pig Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images Patton State Hospital, San Bernardino, California: a staff member represented as a pig, asleep in a chair. Drawing by D.R. Wilder, ca. 1954.

Les infirmières de la folie*

Histoire et évolution des soins infirmiers en psychiatrie au sein de l’espace francophone


85e congrès de l’ACFAS

Université McGill, Montréal

8 et 9 mai 2017


Responsables :

Alexandre Klein, Université Laval

Marie-Claude Thifault, Université d’Ottawa

Karine Aubin, Université d’Ottawa

Organisé dans le cadre du 85e Congrès de l’ACFAS, ce colloque propose de réunir des historiennes mais aussi des professionnelles de santé, afin d’étudier l’évolution du rôle de l’infirmières dans la prise en charge de la santé mentale. Il entend tout particulièrement se pencher sur l’expérience des infirmières en milieu psychiatrique comme dans les autres contextes de soin. Son ambition est de mettre en lumière les conditions de naissance et de transformations, dans l’espace francophone, des soins infirmiers psychiatriques en tant que spécialité à part entière. Il abordera pour ce faire l’histoire de la figure de l’infirmière psychiatrique ainsi que de l’ensemble des pratiques, discours et représentations qui participent à son travail de prise en charge de la folie. Il s’attardera également sur l’évolution de l’enseignement et de la formation qui lui sont offerts, ainsi que sur les éléments contribuant à l’affirmation de son champ de compétence comme d’une spécialité infirmière à part entière (création de revues spécialisées, de sociétés dédiées, organisation de congrès, etc.). Si les espaces canadiens, et plus particulièrement québécois, seront au centre de cette manifestation, les travaux ouvrant à la comparaison avec d’autres pays francophones seront tout particulièrement valorisés.


Les propositions attendues pourront concerner (liste non exhaustive) :

§  L’évolution de la figure de l’infirmière d’asile et de ses représentations

§  Les institutions de formation spécialisée et les enseignements qui y étaient proposés

§  Les revues spécialisées et les manifestations scientifiques dédiées au nursing psychiatrique

§  Les enjeux professionnels et syndicaux propre à cette spécialité

§  Le rôle spécifique de l’infirmière psychiatrique dans les équipes multidisciplinaires

§  L’impact du genre dans le développement des stratégies gouvernementales et institutionnelles en santé mentale

§  Les défis infirmiers entourant le projet de désinstitutionnalisation psychiatrique

§  Les relations du nursing psychiatrique comme spécialité avec le domaine général des sciences infirmières


Les chercheures ou professionnelles de santé intéressées sont invitées à soumettre avant le 20 février 2017 et à l’adresse suivante des propositions de communication individuelle de 20 minutes contenant :

·         Les noms et prénoms du (des) auteur(s)

·         Une adresse courriel de référence

·         L’université ou établissement de rattachement

·         Le titre de la communication envisagée

·         Un résumé de 250 mots maximum

·         Une courte biobibliographie des auteures


* Afin de faciliter la lecture du présent texte, nous avons employé le féminin comme genre neutre pour désigner aussi bien les femmes que les homme

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