PhD positions: ERC project BodyCapital

Societies, actors and government in Europe, SAGE UMR7363
ERC BodyCapital
Call for PhD funding applications

The ERC Advanced Grant programme “The healthy self as body capital: individuals, market-based societies and body politics in visual twentieth century Europe (BodyCapital)” led by Christian Bonah (Université de Strasbourg) and Anja Laukötter (MPIHD, Berlin) on the understanding of body capital and its history, through the twentieth century history of visual mass media (film, TV, Internet) and inédits (amateur, family and private visuals) is now accepting applications for up to 3 three-year PhD positions.

The application deadline is 20 May 2017.
Interviews will be scheduled on the Monday 26 June 2017 in Strasbourg (in-person interviews will be preferential, with some travel funding provided upon request). The contracts will begin 1 September 2017.

Project description:
Do you know how much rapid eye movement (REM) sleep you need to work efficiently, do you look at food labels to ensure that you are getting all the required vitamins and minerals or know someone who uses a step counter to know if they are getting enough physical activity? These are just a few examples of our perceptions of health and the resulting individual practices in twentieth century Europe. In fact, this century may be characterized by the development of products and techniques for the body and its health. Bodily health has evolved as a new form of capital (Bourdieu 1979): a form of symbolic capital that can be transformed into economic capital. These are not only witnessed by, but contributed to and were affected by, a flood of visual media that circulated transnationally in the advent of a media society. Thus at the center of the research group investigations are moving images that are oriented towards the idea of informing, improving or educating on life and health. Continue reading

Charité – Wie die Medizingeschichte das deutsche Serienprogramm erobert. Und die „Irren“ vorerst aussperrt.

Charite - Die SerieGestern Abend war es wieder soweit: Die ARD strahlte einen weiteren Teil der medizinhistorischen Miniserie Charité aus. Es geht darin um die Berliner Institution der Charité zum wohl prestigeträchtigsten Zeitpunkt in der Geschichte des Krankenhauses. Die Zeitreise führt ins 19. Jahrhundert, in das Dreikaiserjahr 1888. Im Mittelpunkt des Narrativs stehen, auf der einen Seite, die biographischen Skizzen und wissenschaftlichen Errungenschaften der drei späteren Nobelpreisträger Paul Ehrlich, Emil von Behring und Robert Koch. Den medizinischen Stars sind fiktive Personen an die Seite gestellt, wie bspw. die verarmte Arzttochter Ida Lenze, durch die auch kultur- und sozialgeschichtliche Aspekte der Medizin nacherzählbar gemacht werden, wie z.B. das Klassensystem ärztlicher Versorgung, die Arbeit und Lebensverhältnisse der Krankenschwestern und Hilfswärterinnen oder auch der Lehralltag in einer Institution wie der Charité. Auch generelle kulturhistorische Aspekte des Kaiserreichs wie die Rolle der Frau, illegale Abtreibung, Antisemitismus und die Organisation der Studentenschaft in Burschenschaften werden aufgegriffen. Und natürlich, wie es sich für eine Krankenhausserie gehört, gibt es jede Menge Klatsch und Tratsch und eine gehörige Portion Amouröses zu sehen.

Die Geschichte der Psychiatrie an der Charité ist in der Serie ausgeklammert. Lediglich in einer Szene war von den „Irren“ kurz die Rede, in jenem Moment nämlich, als Wilhelm II, der dritte amtierende Kaiser des Jahres, dem Krankenhaus einen Besuch abstattet. In Vorbereitung dieses Besuchs wurde das „größte Elend“ im Krankenhaus – gemeint sind unter anderem die sogenannten Irren – verlegt, um dem Kaiser deren Anblick zu ersparen. Es wäre wohl nicht ganz angebracht, den Serienmachern ähnliche Motive für das Aussparen der Psychiatriegeschichte jener Zeit zu unterstellen. Zwar verfügte diese beileibe nicht über die gleichen Starqualitäten wie die klassische Medizin – es gab weder Nobelpreisträger noch bahnbrechende oder gar lebensverändernde Innovationen. Wahrscheinlicher ist jedoch, dass für weitere Handlungsstränge und schlicht kein Raum mehr blieb. Denn Serie strotzt bereits von historischen Details, Charakteren und Themen.
Ein Blick in die Psychiatriegeschichte ist jedoch höchstwahrscheinlich tatsächlich nur verlegt. Denn durch den großen Erfolg der Serie – knapp über 8 Millionen Zuschauer verfolgten die Doppelfolge zum Auftakt am 21. März – ist eine zweite Staffel bereits beschlossene Sache. Diese wird, soviel ist schon bekannt, in der Zeit des Nationalsozialismus spielen. In diesem Fall ist ein weiteres Ausklammern der Psychiatriegeschichte wohl kaum mehr möglich. Immerhin war auch die Charité an der Aktion T4 beteiligt.

Nachdem die Medizin- und Krankenhausgeschichte es also in popkulturellem Gewand in das Abendprogramm des deutschen Fernsehens geschafft hat, wird wohl im nächsten Jahr auch die Psychiatriegeschichte folgen.

Die Folgen der Serie sind in der ARD-Mediathek noch bis Anfang Mai anzusehen. Dort leider nicht mehr vorhanden ist die Dokumentation Charité. Geschichten von Leben und Tod, die im Anschluss an die erste Doppelfolge ausgestrahlt wurde und in 45 Minuten die Krankenhausgeschichte von der Gründung bis zum NS umriss.

 

New book – A history of the case study: Sexology, psychoanalysis, literature

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H-madness readers might be interested in the book A history of the case study: Sexology, psychoanalysis, literature written by Birgit Lang, Joy Damousi and Alison Lewis. The abstract reads:

Starting with Central Europe and concluding with the United States of America, this volume tells the story of the case study genre as inseparable from the foundation of sexology and psychoanalysis, and integral to the history of European literature. It examines the nineteenth and twentieth century pioneers of the case study who sought answers to the mysteries of sexual identity and shaped the way we think about sexual modernity. These pioneers include members of professional elites (psychiatrists, psychoanalysts and jurists) and creative writers writing for newly emerging sexual publics.

Among the figures considered in this volume are prolific Austrian writer Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, the psychoanalytic master of case-writing Sigmund Freud and the influential New York psychoanalyst Viola Bernard, who all embraced the case study genre for its ability to convey new knowledge—and indeed a new paradigm for knowledge—in an authoritative manner. At the same time, these writers reinvented the genre’s parameters, reflecting constantly on its pertinence to definitions of the modern subject.

Where previous accounts of the case study have approached the history of the genre from a single disciplinary perspective, this book stands out for its interdisciplinary approach, well-suited to negotiating the ambivalent contexts of modernity. It focuses on key formative moments and locations in the genre’s past, those occasions when and where the conventions of the case study were contested as part of a more profound enquiry into the nature of the human subject.

New book – Nineteenth Century American Asylums. A History in Postcards

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The book Nineteenth Century American Asylums. A History in Postcards could be of interest to h-madness readers. The volume is written by Alma Wynelle Deese & Cathy Faye. The abstract reads:

In the nineteenth century, several institutions were established in the United States to house and care for the mentally ill. By 1880, 139 “asylums” and “mental hospitals” had been created using both private and public funds, and by 1890, every state had built one or more publicly supported mental hospitals. Although early American asylums were often underfunded and crowded, they were often one of the few options for those suffering from mental illness. These large and grandiose facilities could therefore serve as a place of refuge. In addition, these asylums were significant places for research and teaching in early medicine, psychiatry, and psychology.

Postcard production blossomed in the late 1800s and early 1900s, coinciding with the establishment of many “state lunatic hospitals.” Featuring more than 300 images of early public and private asylums as presented in picture postcards, this book offers a fascinating view of these grand structures, the expansive grounds and gardens they occupied, and their unique architectural features. The images are accompanied by brief historical descriptions of each institution, along with information about their current status. Together, the images and text offer the reader an opportunity to explore the space and places of early mental health care of the United States.

This information was retrieved from the Advances in the History of Psychology blog.

 

 

New issue – BMGN-Low Countries Historical Review. Blurring Boundaries: Towards a Medical History of the Twentieth Century

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The first 2017 issue of BMGN-Low Countries Historical Review (Blurring Boundaries: Towards a Medical History of the Twentieth Century) is out now and includes two articles that may be of interest to h-madness readers.

Benoît Majerus, ‘Material Objects in Twentieth Century History of Psychiatry’. The abstract reads as follows:

Interest in the history of psychiatry in the social sciences manifested itself in the sixties and seventies at a moment when concepts such as marginality and deviance appeared as a thought-provoking path to rewrite the history of Western societies. This history of madness faces a turning point. Material culture, as this paper’s line of argument expounds, allows one to remain faithful to the critical heritage of the sixties and seventies while still opening up the field to alternative questions by integrating new actors and themes hitherto largely ignored. It allows nuanced narratives that take into account the structural imbalances of power while at the same time being attentive to the agencies of all the actors, as well as the failures of the institutional utopias.

Gemma Blok, ”We the Avant-Garde’. A History from Below of Dutch Heroin Use in the 1970s’. The abstract reads as follows:

In the 1970s the Netherlands (like many other western countries) was shocked by a sudden wave of heroin use. The heroin ‘epidemic’ is  currently framed as a public health problem that has been solved in a commendably humane fashion. In the mean time heroin users have gained a ‘loser image’. Using memoirs written by and interviews with former heroin users, this article argues that heroin use was initially linked to cultural rebellion, self-development and social criticism. We need to take this forgotten aspect of the history of the Dutch heroin ‘epidemic’ into account when we try to explain this historical phenomenon.

Symposium: Madness in Civilization. Current research into the history of psychiatry in the Low Countries (2 June 2017, Amsterdam)

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On the second of June 2017 there is a symposium about the current research in the history of psychiatry in the Low Countries. The keynote speaker is prof. dr. Andrew Scull. Below you find the abstract of the symposium and an overview of the program. To register you can send an email to: m.a.aandekerk@uva.nl.

Abstract

The loss of the capacity for rational thought, a sense of alienation from the world, overwhelming emotional turmoil, feelings of inexplicable sorrow and despair that people can get: they are all part of our universal human experience.

Continue reading

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.

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