Posts Tagged ‘ United States ’

Conference – The Body Politics: States in the History of Medicine and Health. Provisional programme online

Screen Shot 2017-06-12 at 10.17.15

The European Association for the History of Medicine and Health organises the conference The Body Politics: States in the History of Medicine and Health, which will be held from the 30th of August until the 2nd of september in Bucharest. The provisional conference programme has appeared online and incorporates a few sessions that could be of interest to H-Madness readers (see below). For a full overview of all the panels see here. 

Thursday, August 31st
11.00‐13.00 PANEL 1 ‐ ETHICS AND EXPERTISE. Chair: Frank Huisman (Main Amphitheatre )
  • State-authorized medical ethics: the disciplinary function of the British General Medical Council, 1858‐1914 (Andreas‐Holger Maehle)
  • ‘“A misconception of educational psychologists’ work”: expertise, child psychology and the aftermath of the 1967 Summerfield Report’ (Andrew Burchell)
  • Medical Ethics in a Modern Society. The ‘free medical profession’ and the Dutch state, 1945‐ 1980 (Noortje Jacobs)
  • State and expertise. The emergence of psychiatry as legal expertise in Europe in the 1820s (Svein Atle Skålevåg)

Continue reading

Conference – The Intersection of Psychology and History: Psychohistory In The Age Of Trump (31/05/17 to 2/06/17, New York University)

The 40th Annual Conference of the International Psychohistorical Association about The Intersection of Psychology and History: Psychohistory In The Age Of Trump, might be of interest to H-Madness readers might be of interest to H-Madness readers. The conference wil be held from 31/05/17 to 2/06/17 at the New York University’s Kimmel Center. The extensive programma of the conference can be found here.

The primary theme will be The Intersection of Psychology and History with an emphasis on The Age of Trump. There will be 15 presentations concerning the President or related topics. These include Trump and Foreign Policy by historian Peter Kuznick, co-author of The Untold History of the United States, written with director Oliver Stone, and Gaslighting from the Personal to the Political, by Yale’s Robin Stern and psychoanalyst Judith Logue. Dr. Stern is author of The Gaslighting Effect.  Narcissism in the Age of Trump will be presented by Elizabeth Lunbeck, author of The Americanization of Narcissism.

Continue reading

New book – The Recovery Revolution. The Battle Over Addiction Treatment in the United States


The book The Recovery Revolution. The Battle Over Addiction Treatment in the United States, written by Claire D. Clark, could be of interest to H-Madness readers. The abstract reads:

In the 1960s, as illegal drug use grew from a fringe issue to a pervasive public concern, a new industry arose to treat the addiction epidemic. Over the next five decades, the industry’s leaders promised to rehabilitate the casualties of the drug culture even as incarceration rates for drug-related offenses climbed. In this history of addiction treatment, Claire D. Clark traces the political shift from the radical communitarianism of the 1960s to the conservatism of the Reagan era, uncovering the forgotten origins of today’s recovery movement.

Based on extensive interviews with drug-rehabilitation professionals and archival research, The Recovery Revolution locates the history of treatment activists’ influence on the development of American drug policy. Synanon, a controversial drug-treatment program launched in California in 1958, emphasized a community-based approach to rehabilitation. Its associates helped develop the therapeutic community (TC) model, which encouraged peer confrontation as a path to recovery. As TC treatment pioneers made mutual aid profitable, the model attracted powerful supporters and spread rapidly throughout the country. The TC approach was supported as part of the Nixon administration’s “law-and-order” policies, favored in the Reagan administration’s antidrug campaigns, and remained relevant amid the turbulent drug policies of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. While many contemporary critics characterize American drug policy as simply the expression of moralizing conservatism or a mask for racial oppression, Clark recounts the complicated legacy of the “ex-addict” activists who turned drug treatment into both a product and a political symbol that promoted the impossible dream of a drug-free America.

The Controversial Diagnosis of “Excited Delirium”

9780849316111Journalist Justin Jouvenal has written an article for The Washington Post examining the debate swirling around a syndrome dubbed “excited delirium.” Proponents have applied the term to what is believed to be a syndrome affecting certain individuals “Influenced by mental illness or the use of such stimulants as cocaine and methamphetamine” who, when in “its grip often have extraordinary strength, are imperviousness (sic) to pain and act wildly or violently. Then, suddenly, some die.” Critics, however, have noted the popularity of the diagnosis in cases involving suspected excessive force by police in the United States, concerned that it is providing cover for abusive policing practices.

According to Jouvenal’s sources, the concept dates back to the mid-19th century, but started to gain currency more recently in the mid-1980s. Medical examiners in Miami at the time began applying the term in the midst of the cocaine epidemic spreading across Florida.

New Book Announcement: Closing the Asylums (George Paulson)

McFarland & Company has just published a new book by George Paulson, Closing the Asylums: Causes and Consequences of the Deinstitutionalization Movement (214 pp. Paperback, $45).

George Paulson is an internationally known neurologist who worked in and about state mental hospitals during the revolutionary movement to close those hospitals. He combines his personal observations with historical scholarship to produce a fresh perspective on a major change in society and medicine.

The press describes the book this way:

One of the most significant medical and social initiatives of the twentieth century was the demolition of the traditional state hospitals that housed most of the mentally ill, and the placement of the patients out into the community. The causes of this deinstitutionalization included both idealism and legal pressures, newly effective medications, the establishment of nursing and group homes, the woeful inadequacy of the aging giant hospitals, and an attitudinal change that emphasized environmental and social factors, not organic ones, as primarily responsible for mental illness.

Though closing the asylums promised more freedom for many, encouraged community acceptance and enhanced outpatient opportunities, there were unintended consequences: increased homelessness, significant prison incarcerations of the mentally ill, inadequate community support or governmental funding. This book is written from the point of view of an academic neurologist who has served 60 years as an employee or consultant in typical state mental institutions in North Carolina and Ohio.

New Book Announcement – After Freud Left (ed. John Burnham)

The University of Chicago Press has just published a new edited volume entitled After Freud Left.  Edited by John Burnham, the volume includes contributions from a number of leading scholars on the development of psychoanalysis in the United States following Freud’s visit to Clark University in August and September of 1909.  The Press describes the book this way.

There has been a flood of recent scholarship on Freud’s life and on the European and world history of psychoanalysis, but historians have produced relatively little on the proliferation of psychoanalytic thinking in the United States, where Freud’s work had monumental intellectual and social impact. The essays in After Freud Left provide readers with insights and perspectives to help them understand the uniqueness of Americans’ psychoanalytic thinking, as well as the forms in which the legacy of Freud remains active in the United States in the twenty-first century.

Table of Contents


Part I. 1909 to the 1940s: Freud and the Psychoanalytic Movement Cross the Atlantic

Introduction to Part I: Transnationalizing  Chapter 1: Sonu Shamdasani, “Psychotherapy, 1909: Notes on a Vintage” Chapter 2: Richard Skues, “Clark Revisited: Reappraising Freud in America” Chapter 3: Ernst Falzeder, “‘A Fat Wad of Dirty Pieces of Paper’: Freud on America, Freud in America, Freud and America” Chapter 4: George Makari, “Mitteleuropa on the Hudson: On the Struggle Over American Psychoanalysis after the Anschluss” Chapter 5: Hale Usak-Sahin, “Another Dimension of the Émigré Experience: From Central Europe to the United States Via Turkey”

Part II. After World War II: The Fate of Freud’s Legacy in American Culture

Introduction to Part II: A Shift in Perspective  Chapter 6: Dorothy Ross, “Freud and the Vicissitudes of Modernism in America, 1940-1980” Chapter 7: Louis Menand, “Freud, Anxiety, and the Cold War” Chapter 8: Elizabeth Lunbeck, “Heinz Kohut’s Americanization of Freud” Chapter 9: Jean-Christophe Agnew, “The Walking Man and the Talking Cure”


Resources in the History of Psychiatry at the U.S. National Library of Medicine

The History of Medicine Division of the U.S. National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, Maryland offers some useful resources for historians of madness, psychiatry, and mental health.  For an overview of what the library has on offer, see Dr. Jeffrey S. Reznick’s (Chief, History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine of the National Institutes of Health) article “Perspectives from the History of Medicine Division of the United States National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health” published in the journal Medical History.

For historians of psychiatry in particular, the following will be particularly helpful if you are considering doing research there.

Emily Martin and Lorna A. Rhodes, Resources on the History of Psychiatry: History of Medicine Division of the National Library of Medicine (2004).  As they explain in their “overview”:

This report introduces scholars interested in the history of psychiatry to the extraordinary collection in the HMD and NLM. This collection is unparalleled for its coverage of time and place in great depth and breadth, for its possession of immense numbers of unique audiovisual and print materials and for its invaluable holdings of manuscripts and oral histories. We have arranged our report in 10 major sections as listed below. Our time frame is primarily from the 19th century to the 1970s. For each major section we have organized items from the library in subsections by topic, date, location, or format. Within each subsection, we have listed only a small selection of materials available in the library, a selection we have chosen to illustrate the large range of sources the collection contains: scientific monographs, federal or state reports, personal accounts, conference proceedings, legal briefs, armed service publications, mass market publications, teaching materials, monographs on psychiatric ethics, treatment, or social effects, manuscripts, audiovisual materials, ephemera, and so on.

Second, there is Mental Disease Moving Images Pre-1950 at the National Library of Medicine prepared by Sarah L. Richards (Curator, Historical Audiovisuals Collection, History of Medicine Division), organized around subject matters, ranging from “catatonia” to “psychiatric nursing” to “stress disorders.”

Finally, there is the catalogue Mind And Body: Rene Descartes to William James by Robert H. Wozniak, which originally accompanied a 1992 exhibition of books from the library’s collection, all in honor of the centennial celebration of the American Psychological Association.

Thanks to Dr. Reznick and Dr. Michael Sappol (Historian, History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine of the National Institutes of Health) for drawing our attention to these fabulous resources.

%d bloggers like this: