Cornell University Richardson History of Psychiatry Seminar Spring 2012

The Richardson History of Psychiatry Research Seminar
Convenes on the 1st & 3rd Wednesdays from September through May
2:00 PM Baker Tower Conference Room F-1200

January 4
Richard Kaye, Ph.D., Hunter College and CUNY Graduate Center “Disseminating Freud: James and Alix Strachey, Bloomsbury, and the Translation of Desire.”
January 18
Kristin Lane, Ph.D., Bard College
“Attitudes and Prejudice Across Time”
February 1
Louis Sass, Ph.D., Rutgers University
Delusions: the Phenomenological Approach”
February 15
Michael Roth, Ph.D., President, Wesleyan University
Esman Lecture
“Reaching the Higher Powers, Stirring Up the Depths: Psychoanalysis and History in the work of Peter Gay and Carl Schorske”
March 7
Carol Groneman, Ph.D., John Jay College of Criminal Justice and CUNY Graduate Center
“Nymphomania: A History”
March 21
Rebecca Jordan-Young, Ph.D., Barnard College
“Trading Essence for Potential: Rethinking Sex/Gender in the Brain.”;
April 4
Adele Tutter, M.D., Ph.D., Columbia Center for Psychoanalytic Training & Research
“The Path of Phocion — From Disgrace to Dignity at the Philip Johnson Glass House”
April 18
Ben Harris, Ph.D., University of New Hampshire
“Practicing Mind-Body Medicine Before Freud: John G. Gehring, the ‘Wizard ofthe Androscoggin “
May 2
Bonnie Evans, Ph.D.,King’s College, London
“Hormones, Gender and Psychiatric Knowledge: The Maudsley Experiments 1923-1935”
May 15
Michael Grodin. M.D., Boston University
“Medical and Psychiatric Ethics in the Shadow of the Holocaust: The Nazi Doctors, Racial Hygiene, Murder and Genocide”
* PLEASE NOTE: Space is limited. Attendance by permission only.

Call for Symposia – 24th International Congress of History of Science, Technology and Medicine (Manchester, UK)

manchesterA message from Anouska Bhattacharyya, graduate student in the Department of History of Science at Harvard:

The call for symposia submissions to the 24th International Congress of History of Science, Technology and Medicine in 2013 is now open: I’d like to put together a symposium for transnational/colonial psychiatry to address the 2013 Congress theme of “Knowledge at Work”. The only restriction is that symposia be organized by two or more individuals from different countries.

If any historians of psychiatry are interested, could they please email me at



For additional information on the Congress:

Monday 22 – Sunday 28 July 2013 Manchester, United Kingdom

The International Congress of History of Science, Technology and Medicine is the largest event in the field, and takes place every four years. Recent meetings have been held in Mexico City (2001), Beijing (2005) and Budapest (2009).

In 2013, the Congress will take place in Manchester, the chief city of Northwest England, and the original “shock city” of the Industrial Revolution. Congress facilities will be provided by The University of Manchester, with tours and displays on local scientific, technological and medical heritage co-ordinated by members of the University’s Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine.

The Congress requires that each Symposium is organised by two or more individuals from different countries. Organisers may be representatives of institutions, or act together as individuals. We encourage organisers to ensure that the composition of their panels reflects a range of different national backgrounds and perspectives.

The theme of the 24th Congress is ‘Knowledge at Work.’ All proposals must indicate how the Symposium fits into this theme, broadly considered.

Each Commission of the Division of the History of Science and Technology of the International Union for the History and Philosophy of Science is expected to organise at least one Symposium in its area.

Papers may be presented in any of the following languages: English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Chinese, Portuguese, Russian and Arabic. Descriptions of Symposia may be submitted in any of these languages, but must be followed by a French or English translation.

Unfortunately, we are unable to provide facilities for translation at the Congress.

Summary of key dates

First circular 31 October 2011
Deadline for submission of symposia proposals 30 April 2012
Second circular and call for individual papers 1 May 2012
Decisions on accepted symposia announced 30 June 2012
Deadline for submission of individual papers 30 November 2012
Decisions on individual papers announced 1 February 2013
Early registration opens 31 March 2013
Third circular and full programme 1 April 2013
Deadline for accommodation reservations 21 May 2013
Final date for registration 1 July 2013
Congress opens 22 July 2013
Congress closes 28 July 2013

For more information, click here.

Question from a reader on Native Americans

Kathryn McKay from the Simon Fraser University sent the following question:


I am looking for articles from the late 19th or early 20th century that describe the mental conditions of Native Americans and First Nations peoples from a medical perspective, rather than from an anthropological one.  The earliest I have found are Dr. Hummers'”Insanity among the Indians” from 1911, Dr. A.A. Brill’s “Piblokto or Hysteria among Peary’s Eskimos,from 1913” and Dr. I Coriat’s “Psychoneuroses among primitive tribes”from 1915.

Please let me know if you know of anything earlier. I am particularly interested in dementia praecox, but am more generally interested in any discussion of “insanity.”

I can be reached at

New issue: History of Psychiatry

A new issue of History of Psychiatry is now available online and contains the following articles:

“Alexandre Brierre de Boismont and the origins of the Spanish psychiatric profession” (Enric J Novella and Rafael Huertas)

This article examines the influence of the French alienist Alexandre Brierre de Boismont in the first development of the Spanish psychiatric profession during the third quarter of the 19th century. As an outstanding figure of French psychological medicine, Brierre enjoyed great scientific prestige among Spanish doctors, but he also took an active part in promoting and legitimizing the cause of alienism in Spain. For instance, he was involved in projects for the reform or creation of new mental hospitals, supported the admission of some Spanish colleagues into the Société Médico-Psychologique and made a decisive contribution to the social recognition of the professional and medico-legal expertise of alienists in Spain. His case is thus an excellent example of the important role played by international relations and the scientific and professional networks of European alienism in spreading the discourses and practices of the emerging psychological medicine.

“The peculiarities of the Scots? Scottish influences on the development of English psychiatry, 1700–1980” (Andrew Scull)

This paper examines the multiple influences Scottish psychiatrists have exercised over the shape of English responses to mental illness during nearly three centuries, beginning with George Cheyne and ending with R.D. Laing. Scotland’s distinctive response to mental illness was largely ignored until recently, as though it had simply followed the English path. The neglect has begun to be rectified, but the powerful influence of the Scots on developments south of the border requires more sustained attention than it has received hitherto.

“Institutionalization of mentally-impaired children in Scotland, c.1855–1914″ (Iain Hutchison)

This article examines two institutions which were established in Scotland specifically for the accommodation of mentally-impaired children: Baldovan Asylum near Dundee and the ‘Scottish National Institution for the Education of Imbecile Children’ in Larbert, Stirlingshire. It surveys the aims and agendas of the institutions in the spheres of residential childcare, mental health, and education and training. It compares the admission regimes of these institutions and considers whether they complemented one another in serving an unsatisfied demand for places, or whether they were in competition for admissions, staff and charitable support. The survey covers the period from the opening of both institutions to the implementation of the Mental Deficiency Act of 1913 which required the (re)certification of all children.

“‘Him Bi Sona Sel’: psychiatry in the Anglo-Saxon Leechbooks” (Christopher Pell)

Classical Greek and Roman writers documented the diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric illness in ancient times. Following the fall of the Western Roman Empire however, we find little writing on the topic in early Medieval Europe. Yet in Britain, medical texts survived and were complemented by local traditions and treatments. This article explores the best-known Anglo-Saxon medical texts, the Leechbooks and Lacnunga, for evidence of psychiatric illness and the treatments employed by physicians in the tenth century. The difficulties encountered when working with sources translated from Old English and speculations about the supernatural aetiology ascribed to these illnesses are detailed. The efficacy of the leechdoms (treatments) described are also investigated for both their placebo and potential pharmacological effects.

“Women and melancholy in nineteenth-century German psychiatry” (Lisabeth Hock)

This study examines depictions of the relationship between women and melancholia in German psychiatric textbooks published between 1803 and 1913. Focusing in particular on how these texts present the female life cycle, nineteenth-century views about female ‘nature’ and gender traits, and women’s familial and professional roles, it reveals how nineteenth-century psychiatrists were caught between the scientific demand for objective clinical observation and the gender norms of the culture to which they belonged. On the one hand, psychiatrists carefully and sensitively describe female melancholia with evidence obtained through the scientific methods of clinical observation, anatomical investigation and self-questioning. On the other hand, language choice contributes to the naturalization of gender difference by assigning cultural meaning to clinical observations.

“The fight for ‘traumatic neurosis’, 1889–1916: Hermann Oppenheim and his opponents in Berlin” (Bernd Holdorff and Dr Tom Dening)

The concept of traumatic neurosis conceived by Hermann Oppenheim (1858–1919) located post-traumatic nervous symptoms between hysteria and neurasthenia, considering them a consequence of physical reactions to fright and a cause of molecular tissue changes. As early as 1890, his concept was criticized at an international congress in Berlin. In February 1916, there was a significant debate of the issue in Berlin, and eventually Oppenheim’s concept was completely defeated at the war meeting of German neuropsychiatrists in September 1916 in Munich. In the Berlin debate, a range of views on war neurosis was presented. Partly as a result of this, but also due to the powerful position of Oppenheim himself, it was not until after the end of WWI that traumatic neurosis was excluded from medico-legal assessments. The differing views of physiological brain-mind relations from that time do not differ greatly from present concepts. However, Oppenheim’s traumatic neurosis with its more quasi-neurological picture should not be equated with PTSD.

The issue also contains as its classic text the second part of August Wimmer’s ‘Psychogenic Psychoses’ (1936) commented by Johan Schioldann, an essay by Neil Vickers entitled “Literary history and the history of neurology“, as well as two book reviews.

For more information, click here.

New Book Announcement: Guérir la vie by Jacob Rogozinski

Jacob Rogozinski, professor of metaphysics at the University of Strasbourg has written a book on the link between madness and artistic creativity, taking Antonin Artaud as a case study.

For an engaging review, click here.

History of Madness : fifty years after


Jeudi 15 décembre 2011, 9h30-17h30

Université Paris-Est Créteil

61, av. du Général de Gaulle, Créteil, bâtiment i, salle 222

Matinée –

Président de séance : Frédéric Gros (Université Paris-Est Créteil)

9h30 Daniele Lorenzini et Arianna Sforzini : Introduction au colloque

  • 10h00 Jean-François Bert (EHESS) : Histoire d’un succès philosophique. L’Histoire de la folie à l’âge classique
  • 10h30 Kojiro Fujita (Université Paris-Est Créteil) : La naissance du cogito chez Foucault

11h00 Discussion

11h15 Pause

  • 11h30 Jérémy Romero (Université Paris-Est Créteil) : La folie et la mort chez Foucault : éléments pour une pensée du dehors
  • 12h00 Emmanuel Gripay (Université Bordeaux III) : La perception morale de la folie : une appréhension néantisante ou objectivante ?

12h30 Discussion

Après-midi –

Président de séance : Daniele Lorenzini (Université Paris-Est Créteil/Università « La Sapienza » di Roma)

  • 14h30 Arianna Sforzini (Université Paris-Est Créteil) : La présence du théâtre dans l’Histoire de la folie à l’âge classique
  • 15h00 Caroline Mangin-Lazarus (psychiatre, revue Superflux) : Ignorer la démence dans le droit pénal : une voie politique au moment de la Révolution française ?
  • 15h30 Roger Ferreri (psychanalyste et chef d’un service de psychiatrie infanto-juvénile) : Du fou à la folie, histoire de la folie ou question à la démocratie ?

16h00 Discussion

For more information, click here.

BPS History of the Psychological Disciplines Seminar Series

British Psychological Society History of the Psychological Disciplines Seminar Series

Organiser: Professor Sonu Shamdasani (UCL)


Wednesday 30 November 2011, 6pm

Dr. Egbert Klautke, UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies – “The Repudiation of Völkerpsychologie in Germany”

My talk will focus on the ‘last’ representative of the once honourable discipline of Völkerpsychologie in Germany, Willy Hellpach. I will present his contribution to the field — his textbook Introduction to Folk Psychology (1938) — as part of his personal strategy to adapt to the conditions of the Third Reich, despite later claims to the contrary by Hellpach and some of his sympathetic interpreters. In the second part of the paper, I will outline the conditions and results of the slow repudiation of his Völkerpsychologie after World War II, and outline the problems which academics critical of ‘national character studies’ encountered.


Wednesday 14 December 2011, 6pm

Thibaud Trochu (University of Paris 1, Sorbonne) – “Psychological Experimentation in the Nineteenth Century: James John Garth Wilkinson (1812-1899), Physician, Mystic and Radical.”

Though quite forgotten nowadays, Dr. J. J. Garth Wilkinson was once a widely known intellectual figure in Victorian Britain. Praised by his contemporaries as a fine scholar, a first-rate writer, and a highbrow public ethicist, he was notorious for stirring controversy and debate — most often against the grain. His personality and thinking revolved around two passionate feelings: deep-seated religious yearnings — though quite unorthodox ones — on the one hand, and on the other, an inclination to mistrust and to defy all forms of established authority – be they religious, medical or political — which he accused of narrowing the horizons of self-conscious practitioners and free citizens. His medical career, strongly entwined with his “spiritual”‘ quest, was thus colored by a radical political tone. This led him to carry out numerous experiments in his daily practice of the art of healing such as homeopathy, hypnotism and other forms of “psychological analysis,” whilst establishing himself as an opponent of what he saw as the dominant trend of medical materialism, “dogmatic objectivism” and autoritarism. At a time of triumphant scientist medicine, Wilkinson saw himself as — in his own words — “smashing its institutional structure.”

Time: 6pm

Location: UCL Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology, Room 544, 5th Floor, 1-19 Torrington Place, London WC1E 7HJ Directions: From the main reception, go through the double doors at the back and turn left, walk the length of this corridor and at the very end turn left again – you will find yourself in front of the ‘West’ Lifts. Take these to 5th Floor. On exiting the lift, turn right through double doors and then left through single door, walk the length of this corridor pass through another door and then turn right – you will see a marble table ahead. Room 544 is straight ahead.

For more information, click here.

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