Archive for the ‘ article ’ Category

New article: Marianna Scarfone, ‘La psychiatrie Italienne au front: l’expérience fondatrice de la guerre de Libye, 1911-1912’.

LMS_257_L204This article explores how Italian psychiatrists faced the pathologies that affected soldiers on the frontline as well as in the hospitals, and describes the debate that arose regarding wartime psychological disorders.

Marianna Scarfone, ‘La psychiatrie Italienne au front. L’expérience fondatrice de la guerre de Libye (1911-1912)’, Le Mouvement social, 257, 2016, 4, p. 109-126.


“Pendant la guerre menée par l’Italie pour la conquête de la Libye (1911-1912), les psychiatres, militaires et civils, sont confrontés pour la première fois aux pathologies qui peuvent affecter les soldats en temps de guerre. Prenant appui sur leur expérience au front ou dans les hôpitaux italiens qui reçoivent les militaires rapatriés, ils réfléchissent à l’étiologie de ces manifestations et à leur classification. Un débat se dessine alors sur le rôle des émotions ou de la prédisposition dans le cadre de la psychopathologie en contexte de guerre, qui s’inspire des auteurs Russes et Français. Fondé sur les publications des psychiatres impliqués, cet article rend compte de ce débat, mais aussi des interrogations que cette première confrontation aux troubles psychiques de guerre fait émerger, telles que la sélection des combattants ou la formation psychiatrique des médecins. Il s’attache également à l’organisation de l’assistance psychiatrique des hôpitaux de campagne. Grâce à l’exploitation des dossiers médicaux de l’ancien asile de Gênes, l’article présente enfin certains cas cliniques de soldats rapatriés de Tripolitaine et de Cyrénaïque, pour tenter de restituer au plus près l’expérience vécue par les militaires de ces perturbations de leur existence”.


“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 Articles first online – Social History of Medicine

4-coverSocial History of Medicine has prepublished online two articles that may interest the readers of h-madness.

Katariina Parhi and Petteri Pietikainen “Socialising the Anti-Social: Psychopathy, Psychiatry and Social Engineering in Finland, 1945–1968.” The abstract reads as follows:

This article argues that in Finland during the two decades after the Second World War, the diagnosis of psychopathy represented a failed attempt to adjust ‘difficult’ individuals to the social order. Discussing the social and medical character of the diagnosis, we examine psychopathy using the analytic and historical framework of social engineering in post-war Finland. We utilise patient records, official documents and psychiatric publications and analyse the diagnostic uses of psychopathy and its associations with social maladjustment. We also address the question of how mental health care in the less-developed northern part of Finland grappled with behavioural deviance, and especially with behaviour deemed ‘anti-social’. Contextualising psychopathy as a marker of individual disorganisation within the development of social organisation, this article contributes to historical scholarship that maps mental disorders onto the historical development of the nation.

Steven J. Taylor: “‘She was frightened while pregnant by a monkey at the zoo’: Constructing the Mentally-imperfect Child in Nineteenth-century England.” The abstract reads as follows:

Classifications and concepts of insanity during the nineteenth century were constructed by numerous professional, quasi-professional and lay observers. Consequently, ideas of mental ill health and its causes were varied. This article explores how ‘insanity’ in children was observed, explained and evolved following 1845. It focuses on medico-cultural exchanges between families and doctors to plot shifts in how child mental health was understood. Numerous causes of insanity were given at admission including terrifying dogs, out of control lunatics and even visits to the zoo shocking expectant mothers so severely that they produced mentally-imperfect children. Such narratives were superseded by a dialogue that still included the family and their ideas, but also served the professional and intellectual agenda of medical men in consolidating their expertise over the insane. The article examines varied ideas of insanity, highlights the importance of the family in influencing medical understanding and introduces the experience of asylums for children.

Found thanks to Advances in the History of Psychology.

New Issue – Themenportal Europäische Geschichte


The 2016 December issue of the Themenportal Europäische Geschichte includes one article that may be of interest to H-Madness readers.

Heike Karge, Patientenakten aus dem Ersten Weltkrieg als Quelle historischer Forschung in Südosteuropa. The abstract reads:

Gab es in und nach dem Ersten Weltkrieg im jugoslawischen Raum Soldaten, die psychisch am Krieg erkrankten? Die wie in West- und Mitteleuropa als Kriegsneurotiker, als Kriegszitterer, als „shell-shocked soldiers“ mit einer vom Krieg schwer gezeichneten Psyche von den Fronten zurückkehrten? Anders als im angloamerikanischen, west- und mitteleuropäischen Raum sind in der südosteuropäischen Historiografie solche psychiatriegeschichtlichen Fragestellungen ausgesprochen rar. Dabei hat gerade die historiografische Beschäftigung mit dem Ersten Weltkrieg gezeigt, wie fruchtbar eine Perspektive ist, die Psychiatriegeschichte als Kulturgeschichte begreift, also nach dem Verhältnis von Psychiatrie und Gesellschaft in Kriegs- und Nachkriegszeiten fragt. In diesen Studien wurden insbesondere die engen Verwebungen von psychiatrischer Wissenschaft und staatlicher Politik aufgezeigt. Auch für den jugoslawischen Raum liegt nun eine erste diesbezügliche Fallstudie vor.
Mit dem vor drei Jahrzehnten durch Roy Porter eingeleiteten patient’s turn gerieten zunehmend auch die Patientenakten in den Blick der kulturwissenschaftlichen Forschung. War der ursprüngliche Ansatz der Arbeit mit Patientenakten, den bis dahin unsichtbaren Patienten eine Stimme zurückzugeben, hat sich dieser Optimismus an die Quellen inzwischen wieder gelegt. Die Aufzeichnungen in den Patientenakten sind in der Regel Aufzeichnungen über den Patienten, gefiltert durch den Blick des Arztes und des Pflegepersonals. Zugleich sind Patientenakten aber auch materialisierter Ausdruck einer verwaltungstechnischen „Buchhaltung des Wahnsinns.“

To read the entire article, click here.


Neue Ausgabe – Medizinhistorisches Journal

1e5962967dIn der aktuellen Ausgabe des Medizinhistorischen Journals finden sich zwei Artikel, die von Interesse für die H-Madness Leser sein könnten. Es handelt sich zum einen um einen Beitrag von Alexa Geisthövel, wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin am Institut für Geschichte der Medizin und Ethik in der Medizin an der Berliner Charité, mit dem Titel Aktenführung und Autorschaft: Ärztliches Schreiben in der Subjektmedizin Viktor von Weizsäckers (1920er bis 1950er Jahre).


(de) In der ersten Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts artikulierten viele Ärzte das Bedürfnis nach einer erneuerten Medizin, die der leibseelischen ,,Ganzheit“ des Menschen Rechnung tragen sollte. Dies bezog sich nicht nur auf den Patienten, sondern auch auf den Arzt, dessen emotionale und hermeneutische Kompetenzen verstärkt zur Geltung kommen sollten. Anhand der ,,Subjektmedizin“ Viktor von Weizsäckers (konzeptionell und im Alltag der von ihm geleiteten klinischen Abteilungen) stellt sich die Frage nach der Umsetzung dieses Programms in einer zentralen ärztlichen Praxis, dem Schreiben, das zwischen arbeitsteiliger Aktenführung und der individuellen Autorschaft elaborierter Krankengeschichten changierte.

(en) Many physicians in the first half of the 20th century were seeking to create a renewed medicine which would promote psychophysical unity in humans. This related not just to the patient but also to the physician who was expected to make use of his / her emotional and hermeneutic faculties. Viktor von Weizsäcker’s “subject medicine“ (both its theory and the clinical departments he headed) offers an opportunity to examine how this program was put into practice. Focusing on writing as a central feature of medical routines, this paper asks to what extent physicians’ individual authorship of elaborate medical histories and management of records based on hospital labor divisions succeeded in shaping a new professional identity.


Der zweite Artikel trägt den Titel ,,Auf strengster wissenschaftlicher Grundlage“. Die Etablierungsphase der modernen Konstitutionslehre 1911 bis 1921 und ist von Nadine Metzger verfasst, die als wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin am Institut für Geschichte und Ethik der Medizin an der Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg tätig ist.


(de) In den Jahren zwischen 1911 und 1921 etablierte sich die moderne Konstitutionslehre als interdisziplinäres Forschungsprogramm im deutschsprachigen Raum. Noch kaum berührt durch eine spätere holistische Interpretation und weit vor der ,,Krise der Medizin“ der mittleren und späten 1920er Jahre besaß ihr naturwissenschaftlich ausgerichtetes Konzept große Attraktivität, die ihren fächerübergreifenden Erfolg bedingte. Diese Arbeit untersucht Geschichte und inhaltliche Grundlinien der modernen Konstitutionslehre im deutschsprachigen Raum zwischen 1911, dem Jahr der öffentlichen Thematisierung auf dem Internistenkongress in Wiesbaden, über den Ersten Weltkrieg bis zu den ersten Lehr- und Einführungswerken von 1921.

(en) In the years between 1911 and 1921, modern constitutional medicine established itself as an interdisciplinary research program in German-speaking countries. Untouched by later holistic interpretations and still far from the ,,crisis of medicine“ of the late 1920s early constitutional medicine was very attractive due to its scientific self-characterisation. Thus, it became influential across the medical disciplines. This paper examines history and subject matter of German modern constitutional medicine in its first decade, starting in 1911, the year constitutional medicine was first publicly discussed by the Wiesbaden congress for internal medicine, including its development during World War I and closing with the first textbooks for medical students in 1921.


New article – “The mirror image of asylums and prisons: A study of institutionalization trends in France (1850–2010)”

home_coverOn July 26th, Punishment & Society published an article in it’s OnlineFirst section that might be interesting for h-madness readers: Sacha Raoult, Aix-Marseille University, France and Bernard E Harcourt, Columbia University, USA, write about the “The mirror image of asylums and prisons: A study of institutionalization trends in France (1850–2010)“.


This article analyzes trends in prison rates and mental hospital rates in France since the earliest available statistics. It shows that, on almost two centuries of data and amidst an agitated political history, every asylum trend in France is “countered” by an inverse prison trend, and vice-versa. Both trends are like a mirror image of each other. We reflect on the possible explanations for this intriguing fact and show that the most obvious ones (a population transfer or a building transfer) are not able to account for most of the relationship. After these explanations have been dismissed, we are left with an enigma with wide theoretical and practical implications. How is it that when prisons fall, asylums rise and when prison rise, asylums fall? We suggest possible research avenues drawing on the 1960s and 1970s critical literature on “total institutions” and offer implications for current theories of the “punitive turn” and current quantitative studies of prison rates.

New Issue – Social History of Medicine

3.coverElizabeth Roberts-Pedersen, Western Sydney University, Australia, published an article in the latest issue of Social History of Medicine, which could be of interest for h-madness readers:

The Hard School: Physical Treatments for War Neurosis in Britain during the Second World War


While accounts of the practice of military psychiatry during the Second World War have tended to emphasise the development of psychodynamic innovations such as therapeutic communities and group therapy in treating patients with war neurosis, this article explores the parallel use of ‘physical treatments’ by British practitioners during the conflict. Focusing on the work of William Sargant and his collaborators at the Sutton Emergency Hospital, it argues for the importance of these treatments not only for understanding the tenor of wartime psychiatry, but for demonstrating the attractions of physical treatments for managing large patient cohorts during wartime and in the post-war decades.

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