Category Archives: General

IAS School of Historical Studies 2017-2018 Membership Scholarships

_MG_0921Applications for the Institute of Advanced Studies in Princeton, New Jersey opened this month. Appropriately for a private institute for scholarship without the competing obligations of the university, their School of Historical Studies “bears no resemblance to a traditional academic history department, but rather supports all learning for which historical methods are appropriate.  The School embraces a historical approach to research throughout the humanistic disciplines, from socioeconomic developments, political theory, and modern international relations, to the history of art, science, philosophy, music, and literature. The program:

supports scholarship in all fields of historical research, but is concerned principally with the history of western, near eastern and Asian civilizations, with particular emphasis upon Greek and Roman civilization, the history of Europe (medieval, early modern, and modern), the Islamic world, East Asian studies, art history, the history of science and philosophy and modern international relations.

  • 40 members accepted every year for either single or double terms (approximately $37,500 and $75,000 respectively)
  • Ph.D or equivalency requisite
  • Any nationality, no required institutional affiliation
  • Substantial publication record relative to stage of career
  • Full time residence expected

Follow this link for full information about the program and application announcement, instructions, and stipend calculations.

 

 

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T&P: Saulo de Freitas Araujo’s “Toward a philosophical history of psychology”

Forthcoming in Theory & Psychology, and now available online, is a piece by Saulo de Freitas Araujo on the future historiography of the history of psychology. Full details follow below.

“Toward a philosophical history of psychology: An alternative path for the future,” by Saulo de Freitas Araujo. The abstract reads,

Recent transformations in the history of science and the philosophy of science have led historians of psychology to raise questions about the future development of their historiography. Although there is a dominant tendency among them to view their discipline as related to the social turn in the history of science, there is no consensus over how to approach the history of psychology methodologically. The aim of this article is to address the issue of the future of the historiography of psychology by proposing an alternative but complementary path for the field, which I call a philosophical history of psychology. In order to achieve this goal, I will first present and discuss the emergence of the social turn in the history of psychology, showing some of its problems. I will then introduce the contemporary debate about the integration of the history of science and the philosophy of science as an alternative model for the history of psychology. Finally, I will propose general guidelines for a philosophical history of psychology, discussing some of its possible advantages and limitations.

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Devereux, Ellenberger, and the Early History of Transcultural Psychiatry

The most recent issue of Transcultural Psychiatry includes a piece on Henri Ellenberger and transcultural psychiatry that may interest AHP readers. Full details follow below.

“On the history of cultural psychiatry: Georges Devereux, Henri Ellenberger, and the psychological treatment of Native Americans in the 1950s,”  by Emmanuel Delille. The abstract reads,

Henri Ellenberger (1905–1993) wrote the first French-language synthesis of transcultural psychiatry (“Ethno-psychiatrie”) for the French Encyclopédie Médico-Chirurgicale in 1965. His work casts new light on the early development of transcultural psychiatry in relation to scientific communities and networks, particularly on the role of Georges Devereux (1908–1985). The Ellenberger archives offer the possibility of comparing published texts with archival ones to create a more nuanced account of the history of transcultural psychiatry, and notably of the psychological treatment of Native Americans. This paper examines some key moments in the intellectual trajectories of Devereux and Ellenberger, including Devereux’s dispute with Ackerknecht, the careers of Devereux and Ellenberger as therapists at the Menninger Foundation (Topeka, Kansas) in the 1950s, and their respective positions in the research network developed by McGill University (Montreal, Quebec) with the newsletter Transcultural Research in Mental Health Problems. Finally, I consider their ties to other important figures in this field as it transitioned from colonial medicine to academic medicine, including Roger Bastide (France), Henri Collomb and the Ortigues (France and Africa), as well as Eric Wittkower and Brian Murphy (Canada) and Alexander Leighton (United States and Canada).

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Medical History Special Issue on Material History of the Mind Sciences

A special issue of Medical History devoted to “Soul Catchers – A Material History of the Mind Sciences” is now available. The issue includes a number of articles – on drawing as an instrument, soul photography, and more – that may interest AHP readers.

Editorial: “Soul Catchers: The Material Culture of the Mind Sciences,” by Katja Guenther and Volker Hess.

“Brain Ways: Meynert, Bachelard and the Material Imagination of the Inner Life,” by Scott Phelps. The abstract reads,

The Austrian psychiatrist Theodor Meynert’s anatomical theories of the brain and nerves are laden with metaphorical imagery, ranging from the colonies of empire to the tentacles of jellyfish. This paper analyses among Meynert’s earliest works a different set of less obvious metaphors, namely, the fibres, threads, branches and paths used to elaborate the brain’s interior. I argue that these metaphors of material, or what the philosopher Gaston Bachelard called ‘material images’, helped Meynert not only to imaginatively extend the tracts of fibrous tissue inside the brain but to insinuate their function as pathways co-extensive with the mind. Above all, with reference to Bachelard’s study of the material imagination, I argue that Meynert helped entrench the historical intuition that the mind, whatever it was, consisted of some interiority – one which came to be increasingly articulated through the fibrous confines of the brain.

“Drawing as Instrument, Drawings as Evidence: Capturing Mental Processes with Pencil and Paper,” by Alicia Puglionesi. The abstract reads, Continue reading Medical History Special Issue on Material History of the Mind Sciences

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Sad News, the Passing of Jerome Bruner

young brunerOn June 5th, 2016, after becoming a centenarian last October. Renowned for his significant thinking in cognitive, developmental, and educational psychology, and ranked as one of the top-cited psychologists of the 20th century. Comprehensive obituaries are certain to follow, but for the time being, here is an engaging interview in the NYU Law magazine from last year that aptly identifies him as an “acrobatic meta-connector of ideas;” also, a note on his life and career from the Harvard department of psychology.

older bruner

Additionally, here is a post that I particularly enjoyed over on the History of Emotions
blog
 , by Jules Evans, about Bruner’s volume Acts of Meaning and the cultural construction of emotion.

Here, here, and here, are previous AHP posts that relate to his work.

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UCL/BPS Talk June 14th: “Mediumistic Art and the Problems of Interpretation”

The British Psychological Society‘s History of Psychology Centre, in conjunction with UCL’s Centre for the History of the Psychological Disciplines, has announced the next talk in the Summer term. On Tuesday June 14th Marco Pasi will be speaking on “Mediumistic art and the problems of interpretation: The case of Georgina Houghton (1814–1884).” Full details, including abstract, follow below.

Date: Tuesday 14 June 2016
Location: Arts and Humanities Common Room (G24), Foster Court, Malet Place, University
College London
Speaker: Dr Marco Pasi (University of Amsterdam)
Seminar title: Mediumistic art and the problems of interpretation: The case of Georgina Houghton (1814–1884)

In this talk, I take up the work of the British mediumistic artist Georgiana Houghton (1814–1884), whose works feature in a new exhibition at the Courtauld Gallery. Houghton became interested in spiritualism in the early 1860s and began to practise as a medium. A trained artist, she produced a series of drawings that she claimed were done under the direct influence of spiritual entities. These works were almost exclusively non-figurative and seem to anticipate abstraction by at least 40 years. Her story presents some similarities with the the Swedish painter Hilma af Klint (1862–1944), who also began to develop an abstract style of painting as a medium under the perceived guidance of spiritual entities, a few years before Wassily Kandinsky and Piet Mondrian. How should we understand Georgiana Houghton’s (and Hilma af Klint’s) art? The context in which mediumistic art was first appreciated was psychical research, especially in the works of F.W.H. Myers. Myers presented a psychological approach to the problem of artistic genius, referring to automatic drawing as an example of the ‘subliminal uprush’. For Myers, artistic genius manifested itself when an artist was able to combine the inspiration coming from the ‘subliminal uprush’ with their ‘supraliminal stream of thought’. Myers’s theories were significant for psychologists and artists who tried to make sense of the phenomenon of mediumistic art throughout the 20th century.

Location: Arts and Humanities Common Room (G24), Foster Court, Malet Place, University College London

Time: 6-7:30pm

Directions: From the Torrington Place entrance to UCL, enter the campus on Malet Place.  After fifty metres, you wind Foser Court on the right hand side. Turn right under the underpass, and enter via the second door on the right.  The common room is straight ahead.

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The Witness: A Kitty Genovese Documentary



The New York Times has just reviewed the newly released documentary The Witness. The film traces the efforts of Bill Genovese – younger brother of Kitty Genovese – to get to the bottom of the infamous death of his sister in 1964. As the Times reports within the documentary

A “Rashomon” emerges: questionable reporting, widely disseminated, based on police claims; an outlandish alternate history that Mr. Moseley, who died this March, sent Mr. Genovese from prison; a neighbor who recalls holding Ms. Genovese in her final moments.

Ultimately, the murder is eclipsed by Mr. Genovese’s own struggles — how his obsession exasperates family members, and how the perceived public apathy inspired him to fight in Vietnam, where he lost his legs. A re-creation of the night, with an actress playing the screaming victim while Mr. Genovese observes, is harrowing. You pray he has at last found peace.

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Now Available: European Yearbook of the History of Psychology

The first European Yearbook of the History of Psychology is now available. A list of the Yearbook’s contents follows below and further details on the publication can be found here.

Editorial by Mauro Antonelli

Original Essays
The Status of the History of Psychology Course in British and Irish Psychology Departments
Adrian C. Brock & Matthew Harvey (Independent Scholars, United Kingdom)
Aristotle’s Theory of Self-Perception
Marcello Zanatta (University of Calabria, Italy)

Short Papers
William James Meeting Wilhelm Dilthey
Horst Gundlach (Heidelberg, Germany)
In Search of Animal Intelligence: The Case of the Italian Psychologist Tito Vignoli (1824-1914)
Elena Canadelli (University of Padua, Italy)
Unpublished and Archival Material
Charcot and the Mental Calculator Jacques Inaudi
Serge Nicolas (Paris Descartes University) & Alessandro Guida (University of Haute Bretagne, France)
Procédés psychiques de fixation et de réviviscence des chiffres chez le calculateur Jacques Inaudi
Jean-Martin Charcot (1892)
Giuseppe Guicciardi and Giulio Cesare Ferrari on the Mental Calculator Ugo Zaneboni
Dario De Santis (University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy)
Il calcolatore mentale “Zaneboni”. Contributo alla psicologia delle memorie parziali
Giuseppe Guicciardi & Giulio Cesare Ferrari (1897)

Discussions
Ethology & Psychology
Introduction. Ethology: Ecology and Objectivity
Jannes Eshuis (Open University of the Netherlands)
Lorenz’s Human Ethology: Between the Search for a Human Singularity and the Prophecy of the Apocalypse
Arthur Arruda Leal Ferreira (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Tinbergen’s Striving for Objectivity
Jannes Eshuis (Open University of the Netherlands)
Molarity, Ecological Validity, Objectivity, and the Road to Ethology
René van Hezewijk (Open University of the Netherlands)

Interview
Interview with Mario Zanforlin
Mauro Antonelli & Daniele Zavagno (University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy)

Book Reviews
Roger Smith, Between Mind and Nature. A History of Psychology
Reviewed by Csaba Pleh (Eszterházy Károly College, Eger, Hungary)
Richard T. G. Walsh, Wilfrid Laurier and Thomas Teo, A Critical History and Philosophy of Psychology: Diversity of Context, Thought, and Practice
Reviewed by Zhipeng Gao (York University, Canada)

Obituary
Willem van Hoorn (1939 – 2014)
Johann Louw (University of Cape Town, South Africa) & Kees Bertels (Leiden University, The Netherlands)

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New History of Psychiatry: LSD, Madhouses, Psychiatric Semiology…

The June 2016 issue of History of Psychiatry is now online. Articles in this issue explore psychiatric semiology, the German Research Institute of Psychiatry in Munich, madness in novelist Muriel Spark’s work, LSD as treatment in Denmark, the DSM and learning disabilities, Joseph Mason’s madhouse, and the work of Max Scheler. Full titles, authors, and abstracts follow below.

“The emergence of psychiatric semiology during the Age of Revolution: evolving concepts of ‘normal’ and ‘pathological’,” by Diego Enrique Londoño and Professor Tom Dening. The abstract reads,

This article addresses some important questions in psychiatric semiology. The concept of a sign is crucial in psychiatry. How do signs emerge, and what gives them validity and legitimacy? What are the boundaries of ‘normal’ and ‘pathological’ behaviour and mental experiences? To address these issues, we analyse the characteristics and rules that govern semiological signs and clinical elements. We examine ‘normality’ from the perspective of Georges Canguilehm and compare the differences of ‘normal’ in physiology and psychiatry. We then examine the history and the philosophical, linguistic and medical-psychiatric origins of semiology during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (the Age of Revolution). The field of rhetoric and oratory has emphasized the importance of passions, emotions and language as applied to signs of madness. Another perspective on semiology, provided by Michel Foucault, lays stress on the concept of ‘instinct’ and the axis of voluntary-involuntary behaviour. Finally, we analyse how statistics and eugenics have played an important role in our current conceptualization of the norm and therefore the scientific discourse behind the established clinical signs.

“Psychiatric governance, völkisch corporatism, and the German Research Institute of Psychiatry in Munich (1912–26). Part 2,” by Eric J Engstrom, Wolfgang Burgmair, and Matthias M Weber. The abstract reads, Continue reading New History of Psychiatry: LSD, Madhouses, Psychiatric Semiology…

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Historiographic note on errors of attribution

Bedeian_Art_250x350In the Journal of Management History, Arthur Bedeian uses the chronology of how an aphorism became, and continued to be, credited to Kurt Lewin as an historiographic illustration in order to critique how errors of attribution can be perpetuated by historians, and to model a method for correcting this tendency.

Titled “A note on the aphorism ‘there is nothing as practical as a good theory,’”  this piece traces “the history of the above-captioned aphorism back through its use by the General Electric Company in the 1920s to Friedrich W. Dörpfeld’s 1873 book Grundlinien einer Theorie des Lehrplans, zunächst der Volks- und Mittelschul.” While doing so, Bedeian provides commentary on the widespread challenge presented to historians by historical inaccuracies.

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