Archive for the ‘ Uncategorized ’ Category

The Future of the History of the Human Sciences

brain_mapThe Future of the History of the Human Sciences

University of York

Thursday 7th & Friday 8th April 2016

This two-day meeting, hosted jointly by Dr Chris Renwick and History of the Human Sciences, gathers together established scholars and early-career researchers to consider changes wrought in the broad interdisciplinary field of the history of the human sciences by new developments in the medical humanities, biological sciences, and literary/cultural theory. Marking the end of James Good’s 15-year tenure as HHS editor and the beginning of a new editorial team, comprising Dr Felicity Callard, Dr Rhodri Hayward, and Dr Angus Nicholls, the meeting will survey the field’s development since the foundation of HHS almost 20 years ago, and offer provocations – from various disciplinary perspectives – about the directions that it might take in the future.

Speakers include Roger Smith, Steve Fuller, Peter Mandler, Marianne Sommer, Amanda Rees, Michael Finn, Elizabeth Toon, Jessica Hendy, Maurizio Meloni, Des Fitzgerald, Alexandra Bacopoulos-Viau, and Jonna Brenninkmeijer.

There will be four intensive sessions:

  1. The Problem of the Archive: biological data, digital media, material culture, and their impact upon the archive and human nature;
  2. The Problem of the Human: how the neurosciences are challenging conventional approaches to history;
  3. The Problem of the Social: How do models of ‘the social’ in the life sciences challenge those in the social sciences and humanities?
  4. Practice in the Human Sciences: new methods and approaches in medical humanities and science studies.

These sessions will be followed by a roundtable in which the outgoing and incoming History of the Human Sciences editors, plus speakers from the conference, discuss the state of the field and its future.

In keeping with the field’s history and the future challenges that will be discussed, the conference organisers wish to encourage scholars from a wide range disciplinary backgrounds to participate. Attendance is free but places are limited. To register, please visit the conference registration page.

As part of the conference organisers’ commitment to encouraging discussion about the future of the field, six bursaries covering the costs of attending the conference are available for postgraduate students. More information about how to apply for one of these bursaries is available on the postgraduate bursaries page of the conference website.

Further information about the event is available on the conference website.

Conference organizing team:

Chris Renwick

Felicity Callard

Rhodri Hayward

Angus Nicholls

Chris Millard

Des Fitzgerald

Assisted by Daniel Johnson

This conference is possible thanks to the generous support of the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Wellcome Trust, History of the Human Sciences, and the University of York

Exhibition – States of Mind: Tracing the edges of consciousness

wellcome

States of Mind: Tracing the edges of consciousness

EXHIBITION

4 February 2016 – 16 October 2016

Following on from ‘States of Mind: Ann Veronica Janssens‘, this changing exhibition will examine perspectives from artists, psychologists, philosophers and neuroscientists to interrogate our understanding of the conscious experience.

Exploring phenomena such as somnambulism, synaesthesia, and disorders of memory and consciousness, the exhibition will examine ideas around the nature of consciousness, and in particular what can happen when our typical conscious experience is interrupted, damaged or undermined.

‘States of Mind: Tracing the edges of consciousness’ will feature a series of changing installations. The first one will be ‘The Whisper Heard’ by Imogen Stidworthy, from 4 February until 24 April. Find out more about this and future installations.

The exhibition will also feature work by artists Carla MacKinnon, Louise K Wilson, A. R. Hopwood, Mary Kelly and Aya Ben Ron.

For more information, see http://wellcomecollection.org/exhibitions/states-mind-tracing-edges-consciousness

Siggy meets Krafft-Ebing

New Doc 2

In the Xmas-edition 2015 of the New Yorker, cartoonist Jack Ziegler imagines an encounter between Sigmund Freud and Richard von Krafft-Ebing. Both psychiatrists regularly exchanged ideas in the Vienna of the late 19th century.

To all h-madness readers, a stimulating 2016.

Obituary: Gerald N. Grob (1931-2015)

635858802429544084-GrobCR

We are saddened to report the passing of historian Gerald N. Grob. Grob was Henry E. Sigerist Professor of the History of Medicine (Emeritus) at Rutgers University and its Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research. He was a pioneering historian of American psychiatry, the author of such influential works as The Mad Among Us, From Asylum to Community: Mental Health Policy in Modern America, and Mental Institutions in America: Social Policy to 1875. Colleagues and former students remember him especially fondly for his generosity, commitment to teaching, and measured analysis.

In 2012, Grob took part in our series “How I Became a Historian of Psychiatry.” His concluding comments there seeming a fit way to remember him:

In closing I must concede that a series of personal beliefs have clearly shaped my scholarly work. I have never held to the modern belief that human beings mold and control their world in predetermined and predictable ways. This is not in any way to suggest that we are totally powerless to control our destiny. It is only to insist upon both our fallibility and our inability to predict all of the consequences that follow our actions. Nor do I believe that human behavior can be reduced to a set of deterministic or quasi-deterministic laws or generalizations, or that solutions are readily available for all our problems. Tragedy is a recurring theme in human history and defines the parameters of our existence. I have always tried, therefore, to deal sympathetically with our predecessors who grappled–so often in partial and unsuccessful ways as we still do ourselves–with their own distinct problem.

Obituary: John Forrester (1949-2015)

 

forrester-books

Today we received sad news of the passing of Professor John Forrester, one of the leading historians of psychoanalysis. The University of Cambridge Department of History and Philosophy of Science has posted a thoughtful obituary by Simon Schaffer, also published in The Independent (see Professor John Forrester: Philosopher and historian widely celebrated for his work on Sigmund Freud and much-loved as an inspiring teacher).

New Book: “Localization and its Discontents” (Katja Guenther)

localization and discontentsLocalization and Its Discontents

A GENEALOGY OF PSYCHOANALYSIS AND THE NEURO DISCIPLINES

Katja Guenther

University of Chicago Press

Psychoanalysis and neurological medicine have promoted contrasting and seemingly irreconcilable notions of the modern self. Since Freud, psychoanalysts have relied on the spoken word in a therapeutic practice that has revolutionized our understanding of the mind. Neurologists and neurosurgeons, meanwhile, have used material apparatus—the scalpel, the electrode—to probe the workings of the nervous system, and in so doing have radically reshaped our understanding of the brain. Both operate in vastly different institutional and cultural contexts.

Given these differences, it is remarkable that both fields found resources for their development in the same tradition of late nineteenth-century German medicine: neuropsychiatry. In Localization and Its Discontents, Katja Guenther investigates the significance of this common history, drawing on extensive archival research in seven countries, institutional analysis, and close examination of the practical conditions of scientific and clinical work. Her remarkable accomplishment not only reframes the history of psychoanalysis and the neuro disciplines, but also offers us new ways of thinking about their future.

For more information on this book, see the University of Chicago Press website.

Workshop announcement: Brainwashing, Film, and the Psy Sciences

The Hidden Persuaders Project and the Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image cordially invite you to:

Brainwash: History, Cinema and the Psy Professions

3rd and 4th of July 2015, 10:00am-6:00pm

Birkbeck Cinema
43 Gordon Square
WC1H 0PD London

The history of cinema, like the history of psychoanalysis, psychiatry and psychotherapy, percolates with Western suspicions that our minds are susceptible to covert, even unconscious manipulation. Cinema and psychoanalysis—two essential exponents of subjectivity in the twentieth century—have been celebrated as royal roads to the unconscious, catalysts for our dreams, and means of self-discovery and human emancipation. But cinema and psychotherapy, Freudian or otherwise, have also been castigated for their special capacity to tap the unconscious, and as tools for mind control, even as they have depicted and shaped understanding of what it means to have or to manipulate a mind.

In this workshop we ask whether the Cold War obsession with brainwashing was a break with past narratives and anxieties over mental manipulation and suggestion. We consider how far cinema, television and video have been caught up in this history of hidden or coercive persuasion, and how far they have changed the terms of debate. What forms of human experimentation inspired interest in brainwashing, and vice versa?  And how and why did depictions of automatism on screen so often connect to fears of the ‘psy’ professions?

In addressing these questions we revisit some iconic and obscure brainwashing sagas of the past. By re-examining Cold War films and some of their precursors, we invite discussion of the representation of coercively altered states of consciousness—the dangerous spell that film and ‘the talking cure’ have been said to exert.

Workshop Programme

3 July

Raymond Bellour (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique): Cinema and Hypnoses: Mabuse as an example

Laura Mulvey (Birkbeck, University of London): From Momism to The Feminine Mystique
Maya Oppenheimer & Rod Dickinson (University of West England):  Re-enacting Obedience: laboratory on film

Jelena Martinovic (Geneva University of Art and Design): Depatterning desire: Aversion therapy on film
Laura Marcus (University of Oxford): Flicker

Marcie Holmes (Birkbeck, University of London): Flickering lights: mind control on screen

4 July

Ian Christie (Birkbeck, University of London): The Soviet story: From interrogation to confession

Ana Antic (Birkbeck, University of London): Cinema and education: Building the new communist person
Erik Linstrum (University of Virginia): Interrogating The Interrogator: Cyprus, the BBC, and the performance of violence

Gavin Collinson (BBC): Brainwashing on the Box: Depictions of brainwashing on British TV
Daniel Pick (Birkbeck, University of London): Suddenly: Some thoughts about assassination at the cinema

Simon Schaffer (University of Cambridge): Manchurian Automata

The full programme and free registration for this event can be found on Eventbrite.

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