Buchankündigung: Armut und Wahnsinn: “Arme Irre” und ihre Familien im Spannungsfeld von Psychiatrie und Armenfürsorge in Glasgow, 1875-1921 (Jens Gründler)


In Großbritannien errichteten und finanzierten die Verwaltungen der Armenfürsorge seit dem mittleren 19. Jahrhundert große psychiatrische Institutionen. Die Geschichte der Patientinnen und Patienten dieser Anstalten ist für den schottischen Fall bisher weitgehend vernachlässigt worden. Jens Gründler verfolgt in seinem Buch die Lebenswege von Insassen und deren Familien vor, während und nach der stationären Aufnahme in eine Anstalt der Glasgower Armenfürsorge, um den Einfluss dieser Akteure auf das System der Armenpsychiatrie nachzuzeichnen. Dafür greift er auf Kranken- und Armenakten der Betroffenen zurück und kann so nachweisen, dass die Funktion und Nutzung der Einrichtungen in der Praxis weniger von Medizinern und Bürokraten, sondern maßgeblich von den Angehörigen der Erkrankten geprägt wurde.

Erschienen am 27. März 2013 im Oldenbourg Verlag.

Journée thématique: “Politiques et psychiatrie”

psy-0117 juin 2013, 9h-17h

Hôpital Sainte-Anne, Paris


E. Pewzner (Paris), Introduction. Gouverner et soigner 
P. Rusch (Paris-Dauphine), Qu’est-ce que le politique ?
M. Caire (Paris), Psychiatrie et ordre public, de l’Ancien Régime à la Restauration. L’exemple parisien
T. Haustgen (Paris), Les évolutions institutionnelles et théoriques de la psychiatrie entre 1838 et 1914
J.Ch. Pascal (Paris), Politique, architecture et théories du soin en psychiatrie
R. Rechtman (Paris), Les classifications en psychiatrie : un enjeu politique ?


P. Coppo (Italie), Ethnopsychiatrie : la voie italienne

J. Garrabé (Paris), Politique et délire

M. Bénézech (Bordeaux), Le politiquement incorrect en psychiatrie : l’expérience d’une vie professionnelle
J.P. Luauté (Romans), Utilisation-récupération du suicide à des fins politiques
J.G. Veyrat (Paris), Politique, psychiatrie et cinéma
P. Renther (Lyon), L’ambiguïté du mandat social de la psychiatrie
Ph. Charrier (Paris, UNAFAM), Les attentes prioritaires des familles de malades


Announcement found on Histoires de la santé.

Special issue of Schizophrenia Bulletin: One century of Karl Jaspers’ Allgemeine Psychopathologie (1913-2013)

The journal Schizophrenia Bulletin is celebrating one century of Karl Jaspers’ Allg. Psychopathol. with a special issue:


Assen Jablensky

Karl Jaspers: Psychiatrist, Philosopher, Humanist


Mario Maj

Karl Jaspers and the Genesis of Delusions in Schizophrenia

Special Features

First Person Account

Adam Timlett

Controlling Bizarre Delusions

Schizophrenia in Translation-Feature Editor: Thomas H. McGlashan

Gregory P. Strauss

The Emotion Paradox of Anhedonia in Schizophrenia: Or Is It?

Environment and Schizophrenia-Feature Editor: Jim van Os

Nikos C. Stefanis, Milan Dragovic, Brian D. Power, Assen Jablensky, David Castle, and Vera Anne Morgan

Age at Initiation of Cannabis Use Predicts Age at Onset of Psychosis: The 7- to 8-Year Trend


Cochrane Corner-Feature Editor: Clive E. Adams

Richard Morriss, Indira Vinjamuri, Mohammad Amir Faizal, Catherine A. Bolton, and James P. McCarthy

Training to Recognize the Early Signs of Recurrence in Schizophrenia

At Issue

Michael F. Green, William P. Horan, and Catherine A. Sugar

Has the Generalized Deficit Become the Generalized Criticism?

Commentary on Green et al. (This Issue)

James M. Gold and Dwight Dickinson

“Generalized Cognitive Deficit” in Schizophrenia: Overused or Underappreciated?


Commentary on Green et al. (This Issue)

Emilio Fernandez-Egea, Clemente Garcia-Rizo, Jorge Zimbron, and Brian Kirkpatrick

Diabetes or Prediabetes in Newly Diagnosed Patients With Nonaffective Psychosis? A Historical and Contemporary View

Theme: One Century of Allgemeine Psychopathologie (1913 to 2013) by Karl Jaspers Guest Editor: Paolo Fusar-Poli

Theme Introduction

Paolo Fusar-Poli

One Century of Allgemeine Psychopathologie (1913 to 2013) by Karl Jaspers

Josef Parnas, Louis A. Sass, and Dan ZahaviRediscovering Psychopathology: The Epistemology and Phenomenology of the Psychiatric Object


Aaron L. Mishara and Paolo Fusar-Poli

The Phenomenology and Neurobiology of Delusion Formation During Psychosis Onset: Jaspers, Truman Symptoms, and Aberrant Salience


Giovanni Stanghellini, Derek Bolton, and William K. M. Fulford

Person-Centered Psychopathology of Schizophrenia: Building on Karl Jaspers’ Understanding of Patient’s Attitude Toward His Illness

As well as the above thematic pieces, the issue also contains a number of regular articles. Click here for more information.

CfP – Colloquium “Sexual Futures: Versions of the Sexual Past, Visions of the Sexual Future” (University of Exeter, September 2013)

University of Exeter

5th & 6th September 2013

Call for Papers

The future offers a critical space to negotiate sexual possibilities. It can serve as a doomsday warning, provide utopian fantasies or aspirational goals for real reform. Such visions of the sexual future are often achieved through an imaginative reworking of motifs and elements from the past. This colloquium investigates how and why sexual knowledge, articulated in science, literature, art, politics, law and religion, turns to the past to envision the future.

When it comes to imagining the future, the past can be cast in manifold ways. It can appear as mythical, traditional, ancestral, atavistic, hereditary, primitive, classical, or historical. It can also serve a number of purposes. It can lend weight or authority; it can provide a rhetoric of objectivity, neutrality and empiricism to support visions of the future. It can galvanise calls for reform by appearing to offer visions of realistic possibility, alternative social worlds that have existed in the past and are therefore more than idle fantasy. The past can also be deployed in narratives about progress and decline, civilization and evolution, which lead towards a utopian or dystopian future. It can be marshalled as evidence to articulate universalising claims about humanity, provide evidence of variability across time, illustrate future possibilities or legitimise change. In addition, the past can offer a space of forgetting and loss and therefore a means of rejecting or engaging critically with the very concept of the future. It is the aim of the colloquium to examine how such uses of the past in the service of the future intersect with sexual knowledge and experience.

Forming part of the Sexual Knowledge, Sexual History project, this colloquium invites scholars from a range of disciplines to examine any aspect of the nexus between past, future and sex. Central questions might include, but are not limited to:

– Why and how have people throughout history turned to the past to imagine sexual futures?
– How does the past facilitate the imagination of future sexualities? Conversely, how does the past restrict what is considered to be a possible future?
– Which aspects or elements of the past are used in the construction of sexual futures?
– What authority does the past hold in the articulation of future visions of sexuality?
– How is the relation between past and future conceptualised differently over time and how does this change the way in which sexuality is understood and experienced?
– How do uses of the past in the service of the future compare across different areas of sexual knowledge, including science, literature, art, politics, law or religion?

Please contact Kate Fisher (k.fisher@exeter.ac.uk), Rebecca Langlands (r.langlands@exeter.ac.uk) or Jana Funke (j.funke@exeter.ac.uk) for further details or to discuss possible research papers.

Abstracts to be emailed to Jana Funke by 24th April 2013.

Image credit: Andrew Junge, “Pandora’s Box” (2005)

Conference – “Credulity: Enchantment and Modernity in the 19th-Century U.S.” (Heyman Center, Columbia University, 29-30 March 2013)

Credulity: Enchantment and Modernity in the 19th-Century U.S.

Heyman Center for the Humanities

Columbia University

Friday, March 29, 2013 – Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Heyman Center, Second Floor Common Room

What is the place of enchantment in nineteenth-century America?  Scholars of the secular have been accumulating a rich description of what it meant in this period to “aim for ‘modernity,'” in Talal Asad’s phrase. This conference asks about the persons and knowledges which appeared as excessive, even dangerous, to this project—while assuming that this excess cannot simply be described as “religion.” Credulity, a frequent term of abuse in antebellum sources, meant believing too readily and too well, often with the implication of bodily mismanagement: the credulous person’s nerves or brain did her down. So who were the credulous, and what did they know?  Detractors saw an ad-hoc collection of gullible scientists, political patsies, occult practitioners, religious enthusiasts, fiction readers, and superstitious primitives, all of them behind the times.  But how were such alleged failures distinctively modern?  Did connections develop between forms of credulity at first linked only by their bad reputations? How should we understand credulity’s angle on the rational—as symptom, queering, disability, doubling? Working on the assumption that modern enchantment is as much in need of historical description as secularity is, we are interested in topics including, but not limited to:

  • seductive literature and its credulous readers, literary frauds, lying memoirs;
  • queer beliefs and excessive epistemic desires;
  • the occult, magic, wonder shows, witchcraft;
  • contested sciences and contested scientific methods;
  • hysteria, nervousness, and models of the body;
  • revivals, “primitive” religion, Spiritualism;
  • defenses of credulity, attacks on skepticism, conventions of the exposé;
  • eighteenth-century precursors (enthusiasm debates, the Great Awakening) and twentieth-century aftermaths (the crowd, suggestion, surrealism)

Speakers include Emily Ogden, John Tresch, Dana Luciano, and many others.

RSVP Suggested: http://fs24.formsite.com/heymancenter/form2/index.html

For more information and to view the complete schedule of events, click here.

Book announcement: Die Belasteten. ‘Euthanasie’ 1939-1945. Eine Gesellschaftsgeschichte (Götz Aly)


u1_978-3-10-000429-1Every eighth german or austrian at the age of at least 25 is directly related to someone who has been murdered between 1939 and 1945 because of a mental disease or disability. The responsible euphemized these murders by describing them as ‘Gnadentod’ (mercy killing), ‘euthanasia’ or ‘medicide’. The relatives maintained silent about their mysteriously missing family members. Partly because a false death certificate and a so-called ‘Trostbrief’ (consolation letter) concealed the true nature of the death. On the other hand some even might have felt relieved by the quiet disappearance of a needy relative that lifted a burden off their shoulders and were thus, in the following, ashamed to name the victims.
Although the historical and political examination of the subject was already initiated in the 1980s, the ‘Krankenmorde’ (murder of the sick) have not found their place in the collective memory yet. But the silence of the affected family members is finally being broken. Slowly the names and stories of long-forgotten family members that were labeled as ‘hereditary defective’ and hence gased, starved or killed by a lethal injection, are being recollected. (Sigrid Falkenstein tells the story of her aunt Anna, who died in a gas chamber in Grafeneck in 1940, in “Annas Spuren. Ein Opfer der NS-Euthanasie”, published in June 2012.)
The recently published monograph Die Belasteten, by Götz Aly, a renowned german historian and journalist, actively takes part in this recollection process by including the perspective of victims and their families in his research.
The book not only traces how the killings found its way into the therapeutical daily routine and how they even became a part in the reformist agenda of the responsible physicians, but it also shows how the families behaved in the face of an open german secret, the ‘euthanasia’ murders.

For further reading (in german):




The table of contents as well as a short extract of the book can be found here.

Robert Castel – 1933 – 2013

5463590-robert-castel-et-les-metamorphoses-du-pauvre-510x253[Last week Nicolas Henckes published a French version of this text on h-madness. Anne Lovell  did translate the text into English and did add some additional informations for Somatosphere.]

By Nicolas Henckes and Anne Lovell

French sociologist and historian Robert Castel passed away on March 12, 2013, at the age of 79. An important figure in French intellectual life over the past two decades, he was an acute observer of the transformations of the relationship between contemporary societies and their vulnerable populations. But Robert Castel is most probably best known to readers of this blog as the author of some of the most fertile analyses of the transformation of French and American psychiatry in the 19th and 20th centuries. Originally trained as a philosopher, Castel turned to sociology thanks to the influence of Pierre Bourdieu, but soon forged an independent path. From the mid-1960s until the early 1980s, a period when he was close to Michel Foucault, Castel went on to develop a highly original and coherent research trajectory around a sociological understanding of psychiatry, characterized by his capacity to seize with great precision social processes and their temporal boundaries, but also by his attentiveness to the very texture of the underlying discourses that became the material for his analyses. The strength of the work he published during this period lies partly in his sensitivity to transformations in real time in the very fields he was observing.

At first, and like most observers and actors within psychiatry at the time, Castel’s preoccupations concerned the question of the psychiatric institution. In Le psychanalysme (1973), he showed how the institution itself shaped French psychoanalysis in the 1960s, while L’ordre psychiatrique (1976, English translation: The Regulation of Madness) traced the origins of the French psychiatric institution in the genesis of the Law of June 30, 1838, with its dual roots in criminal justice and psychiatry and its loose criteria for commitment, which remained in effect until the 1990s. He then focused his analytical gaze beyond institutional psychiatry, on the new means of constituting and governing the normal and the pathological in the “psy” world of the end of the 1970s (La société psychiatrique avancée, 1979, co-authored with Françoise Castel and Anne M. Lovell, and published in English as The Psychiatric Society, 1983 ; and La gestion des risques, in 1982). Castel’s analysis of the strategies developed through French President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing’s new social policies for managing populations at risk influenced British works on the forms that governmentality through risk took in advanced liberal societies (e.g. Nikolas Rose’s work). Castel’s perspectives on the means through which psychotherapeutic practices and psychological discourse after 1968 constituted a “social world within a world without the social” contributed to the emergence of a new form of “asocial sociability” is still one of the most relevant analyses about the contribution of “psy” disciplines to contemporary individualism.

Beyond his academic involvement, Robert Castel was moved by a certain idea of how psychiatry should be practiced, a view he defended along with his wife Françoise Castel, a public psychiatrist, and with the Italian radical psychiatrist, Franco Basaglia. The untimely death of both undoubtedly influenced his decision to take on new subjects in the second half of the 1980s. After a study of how problem drug users exit from drug dependence (toxicomanie), he began a ten-year project which was to become the second great moment in his oeuvre. Les métamorphoses de la question sociale, published in 1995 (English translation, From manual workers to wage laborers: transformation of the social question, 2011), gained a broad readership, from social scientists to elected officials and activists from all points along the political spectrum. This historical sociology analyzes the constitution and transformations of the wage-worker (salariat) as a social and political condition, a process which broadens the forms of vulnerability and disaffiliation already revealed in Castel’s earlier analyses of mental illness.

Always extremely lucid about his own trajectory, Castel devoted his last years to penetrating analyses on the future of the social critique hewn by sociologists from the generation of the Sixties in a world marked by the end of utopian possibilities and of voluntaristic positions on social integration. The totality of Castel’s objects of analysis may raise numerous questions; those regarding psychiatry certainly call for a re-evaluation of the body of his work. Yet that body of work constitutes an impressive ensemble, which any historian or sociologist interested in contemporary transformations of psychiatry and the social must confront at one moment or another.

Selected Bibliography

Castel, Françoise, Robert Castel, and Anne M. Lovell. 1982 The psychiatric society. Columbia University Press.

Castel, Robert. 1973 Le psychanalysme. F. Maspero.

________. 1988 The regulation of madness: The origins of incarceration in France. University of California Press Berkeley.

________. 1991 “From dangerousness to risk.” In G. Burchell, C. Gordon and P. Miller, eds. The Foucault Effect: Studies in Governmentality. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Pp, 281–298

________. 1994 “Problematization as a mode of reading history.” In: Foucault and the Writing of History, Jan Goldstein, etc. London: Wiley-Blackwell, :237-52.

________. 2003 From manual workers to wage laborers: transformation of the social question. Transaction Pub.

________. 2011 (1982) La Gestion des Risques: de l’Anti-Psychiatrie à l’Après-Psychanalyse. Paris: Minuit.

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