Archive for the ‘ book ’ Category

New book: Freud in Cambridge

51+1VWKEa6L._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_Cambridge University Press has published a book on Freud that might be of interest to readers of h-madness. Freud in Cambridge, written by John Forrester and Laura Cameron, wants to shed light on his influence on Cambridge intellectuals.

The abstract reads as follows:

Freud may never have set foot in Cambridge – that hub for the twentieth century’s most influential thinkers and scientists – but his intellectual impact there in the years between the two World Wars was immense. This is a story that has long languished untold, buried under different accounts of the dissemination of psychoanalysis. John Forrester and Laura Cameron present a fascinating and deeply textured history of the ways in which a set of Freudian ideas about the workings of the human mind, sexuality and the unconscious, affected Cambridge men and women – from A. G. Tansley and W. H. R. Rivers to Bertrand Russell, Bernal, Strachey and Wittgenstein – shaping their thinking across a range of disciplines, from biology to anthropology, and from philosophy to psychology, education and literature. Freud in Cambridge will be welcomed as a major intervention by literary scholars, historians and all readers interested in twentieth-century intellectual and scientific life.

New book: Mental Health in Asia and the Pacific: Historical and Cultural Perspectives.

9781489979971

The book Mental Health in Asia and the Pacific: Historical and Cultural Perspectives, edited by Harry Minas and Milton Lewis (Springer 2017) could be of interest to readers of h-madness.

The abstract reads:

This far-reaching volume analyzes the social, cultural, political, and economic factors contributing to mental health issues and shaping treatment options in the Asian and Pacific world. Multiple lenses examine complex experiences and needs in this vast region, identifying not only cultural issues at the individual and collective levels, but also the impacts of colonial history, effects of war and disasters, and the current climate of globalization on mental illness and its care. These concerns are located in the larger context of physical health and its determinants, worldwide goals such as reducing global poverty, and the evolving mental health response to meet rising challenges affecting the diverse populations of the region. The different chapters focus on countries in East, Southeast, and South Asia plus Oceania and Australia, describing national history of psychiatry and its acceptance; present-day mental health practice and services; mental/physical health impact of recent social change; disparities in accessibility, service delivery, and quality of care; collaborations with indigenous and community approaches to healing; current mental health resources, the state of policy, and areas for intervention.

 

 

“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.

Book announcement – Law and the Modern Mind Consciousness and Responsibility in American Legal Culture

9780674048935-lgSusanna L. Blumenthal, Professor of Law and Associate Professor of History at the University of Minnesota, has published a book on “the jurisprudence of insanity” across the long nineteenth century in the United States. The blurb reads:

In postrevolutionary America, the autonomous individual was both the linchpin of a young nation and a threat to the founders’ vision of ordered liberty. Conceiving of self-government as a psychological as well as a political project, jurists built a republic of laws upon the Enlightenment science of the mind with the aim of producing a responsible citizenry. Susanna Blumenthal probes the assumptions and consequences of this undertaking, revealing how ideas about consciousness, agency, and accountability have shaped American jurisprudence.

Focusing on everyday adjudication, Blumenthal shows that mental soundness was routinely disputed in civil as well as criminal cases. Litigants presented conflicting religious, philosophical, and medical understandings of the self, intensifying fears of a populace maddened by too much liberty. Judges struggled to reconcile common sense notions of rationality with novel scientific concepts that suggested deviant behavior might result from disease rather than conscious choice. Determining the threshold of competence was especially vexing in litigation among family members that raised profound questions about the interconnections between love and consent. This body of law coalesced into a jurisprudence of insanity, which also illuminates the position of those to whom the insane were compared, particularly children, married women, and slaves. Over time, the liberties of the eccentric expanded as jurists came to recognize the diversity of beliefs held by otherwise reasonable persons.

In calling attention to the problematic relationship between consciousness and liability, Law and the Modern Mind casts new light on the meanings of freedom in the formative era of American law.

To get more information, click here.

Book announcement – Freud by Elisabeth Roudinesco

9780674659568-lg

The French Freud biography by Elisabeth Roudinesco has now be translated and published by Harvard University Press. The blurb reads

Élisabeth Roudinesco offers a bold and modern reinterpretation of the iconic founder of psychoanalysis. Based on new archival sources, this is Freud’s biography for the twenty-first century—a critical appraisal, at once sympathetic and impartial, of a genius greatly admired and yet greatly misunderstood in his own time and in ours.

Roudinesco traces Freud’s life from his upbringing as the eldest of eight siblings in a prosperous Jewish-Austrian household to his final days in London, a refugee of the Nazis’ annexation of his homeland. She recreates the milieu of fin de siècle Vienna in the waning days of the Habsburg Empire—an era of extraordinary artistic innovation, given luster by such luminaries as Gustav Klimt, Stefan Zweig, and Gustav Mahler. In the midst of it all, at the modest residence of Berggasse 19, Freud pursued his clinical investigation of nervous disorders, blazing a path into the unplumbed recesses of human consciousness and desire.

Yet this revolutionary who was overthrowing cherished notions of human rationality and sexuality was, in his politics and personal habits, in many ways conservative, Roudinesco shows. In his chauvinistic attitudes toward women, and in his stubborn refusal to acknowledge the growing threat of Hitler until it was nearly too late, even the analytically-minded Freud had his blind spots. Alert to his intellectual complexity—the numerous tensions in his character and thought that remained unresolved—Roudinesco ultimately views Freud less as a scientific thinker than as the master interpreter of civilization and culture.

For more information, click here.

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