Category Archives: Books

The Hirschfeld Archives: Violence, Death, and Modern Queer Culture

The Hirschfeld Archives: Violence, Death, and Modern Queer Culture by Heike Bauer was recently been published by Temple University Press. As described on the publisher’s website,

Influential sexologist and activist Magnus Hirschfeld founded Berlin’s Institute of Sexual Sciences in 1919 as a home and workplace to study homosexual rights activism and support transgender people. It was destroyed by the Nazis in 1933. This episode in history prompted Heike Bauer to ask, Is violence an intrinsic part of modern queer culture? The Hirschfeld Archives answers this critical question by examining the violence that shaped queer existence in the first part of the twentieth century.

Hirschfeld himself escaped the Nazis, and many of his papers and publications survived. Bauer examines his accounts of same-sex life from published and unpublished writings, as well as books, articles, diaries, films, photographs and other visual materials, to scrutinize how violence—including persecution, death and suicide—shaped the development of homosexual rights and political activism.

The Hirschfeld Archives brings these fragments of queer experience together to reveal many unknown and interesting accounts of LGBTQ life in the early twentieth century, but also to illuminate the fact that homosexual rights politics were haunted from the beginning by racism, colonial brutality, and gender violence.

The full volume is available as an open access pdf here.

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New (Free!) Book: Stress in Post-War Britain

The recently published volume Stress in Post-War Britain (edited by Mark Jackson) is now available for free download. The volume is described as follows:

Adopting a wide range of sources, methods and perspectives, contributors to this volume collectively challenge simplistic narratives of stress and distress in post-war Britain. Tracing the language, concepts and experiences of stress through the post-war decades, the chapters explore the manner in which work and home, as well as war and peace, dictated patterns of mental and physical health. They reveal how employers and doctors, as well as employees and patients, measured and disputed the relative impact of external circumstances and individual temperament on the capacity to adapt to social and cultural change, how normative accounts of masculine strength and feminine frailty determined how men and women were seen to cope with stress, and how scientific investigations of mind and body were integrated into a complex model of disease that has continued to prescribe approaches to health and happiness well into the twenty-first century.

Contents

Stress in Post-War Britain: An Introduction – Mark Jackson

Part I: Stress at Home and Work  

From War to Peace: Families Adapting to Change – Pamela Richardson

Families, Stress and Mental Illness in Devon, 1940s to 1970s – Nicole Baur

Gender, Stress and Alcohol Abuse in Post-War Britain – Ali Haggett

Working Too Hard: Experiences of Worry and Stress in Post-War Britain – Jill Kirby

Industrial Automation and Stress, c.1945–79 – Sarah Hayes

Cultural Change, Stress and Civil Servants’ Occupational Health, c.1967–85 – Debbie Palmer 95

Part II: Models of Stress

Men and Women under Stress: Neuropsychiatric Models of Resilience during and after the Second World War – Mark Jackson

Stomach for the Peace: Psychosomatic Disorders in UK Veterans and Civilians, 1945–55 – Edgar Jones

Food Allergy, Mental Illness and Stress since 1945 – Matthew Smith

Labouring Stress: Scientific Research, Trade Unions and Perceptions of Workplace Stress in Mid-Twentieth-Century Britain – Joseph Melling

Creating ‘The Social’: Stress, Domesticity and Attempted Suicide Notes Index – Chris Millard

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Emily Martin’s “Ethnography, History and Philosophy of Experimental Psychology”

A new chapter on “Ethnography, History and Philosophy of Experimental Psychology” may be of interest to AHP readers. Written by anthropologist Emily Martin, the chapter is included in the newly released volume Finite but Unbounded: New Approaches in Philosophical Anthropology (edited by Kevin M. Cahill, Martin Gustafsson, and Thomas Schwarz Wentzer). The abstract for the chapter reads:

Historians of psychology have described how the ‘introspection’ of early Wundtian psychology largely came to be ruled out of experimental psychology settings by the mid 20th century. In this paper I take a fresh look at the years before this process was complete – from the vantage point of early ethnographic and psychological field expeditions. Beginning with the psychological research conducted during and after the Cambridge Anthropological Expedition to the Torres Straits Islands (CAETS) in 1898, I will discuss the importance of the CAETS in the history of anthropology and psychology and explore some possible ways of approaching experimental cognitive psychology ethnographically. I describe the experience of Ludwig Wittgenstein in the Cambridge experimental psychology lab founded after the CAETS by C.S. Myers, focusing on its implications for Wittgenstein’s later thought and for contemporary ‘affect theory’.

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New Book: 125 Years of the American Psychological Association

To mark the 125th anniversary of the American Psychological Association (APA) the APA is releasing 125 Years of the American Psychological Associationan updated version of a volume first released in 1992 to mark the association’s centenary. Edited by Wade Pickren and Alexandra Rutherford, the volume

demonstrates how the Association has evolved over the years in response to intellectual, cultural, political, economic, and other historical developments.

Chapters describe the personalities and events that transformed APA from a tiny organization of 26 members to one of the largest professional associations in the world.

Key topics include the changing role of women in the APA, and the organization’s considerable contributions to social change.

From its origins in the late nineteenth century, through the two World Wars and a major reorganization, to the social and cultural turbulence of the 1960s and the economic uncertainties of the 1970s and 1980s, APA’s development has mirrored the growth of psychology as a discipline in the United States.

This special 125th anniversary edition describes the unique challenges and triumphs that have marked APA’s early years of the twenty-first century.

Contents

I. History of the American Psychological Association

  1. The Historical Roots of the American Psychological Association
    Thomas C. Cadwallader
  2. Origins and Early Years of the American Psychological Association: 1890 to 1906
    Michael M. Sokal
  3. Growing Pains: The American Psychological Association From 1903 to 1920
    Rand B. Evans
  4. The American Psychological Association and World War I: 1914 to 1919
    Thomas M. Camfield
  5. The American Psychological Association Between the World Wars: 1918 to 1941
    Franz Samelson
  6. The Power of Service: World War II and Professional Reform in the American Psychological Association
    James H. Capshew and Ernest R. Hilgard
  7. Rapid Growth and Change at the American Psychological Association: 1945 to 1970
    Meredith P. Crawford
  8. Growth, Conflict, and Public Policy: The American Psychological Association From 1970 to 1985
    Michael S. Pallak
  9. The American Psychological Association: 1985 to 1992
    Raymond D. Fowler

II. Essays on the American Psychological Association at 125

  1. Challenges to the American Psychological Association and Paths for the Future
    Wade E. Pickren and Alexandra Rutherford
  2. Women in the American Psychological Association
    Elizabeth Scarborough and Alexandra Rutherford
  3. The American Psychological Association in Relation to Social Responsibility and Social Justice
    M. Brewster Smith and Wade E. Pickren
  4. The American Psychological Association Knowledge Dissemination Program: An Overview of 125 Years
    Gary R. VandenBos
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Maarten Derksen’s Histories of Human Engineering: Tact and Technology

Looking for a summer read? Maarten Derksen‘s Histories of Human Engineering: Tact and Technology is now available from Cambridge University Press! Derksen, of the University of Groningen, explores a variety of approach to the control of human behaviour, from scientific management to mind contol to social priming. As described on the publisher’s website:

The dream of control over human behaviour is an old dream, shared by many cultures. This fascinating account of the histories of human engineering describes how technologies of managing individuals and groups were developed from the nineteenth century to the present day, ranging from brainwashing and mind control to Dale Carnegie’s art of dealing with people. Derksen reveals that common to all of them is the perpetual tension between the desire to control people’s behaviour and the resistance this provokes. Thus to influence other people successfully, technology had to be combined with tact: with a personal touch, with a subtle hint, or with outright deception, manipulations are made palatable or invisible. Combining psychological history and theory with insights from science and technology studies and rhetorical scholarship, Derksen offers a fresh perspective on human engineering that will appeal to those interested in the history of psychology and the history of technology.

Find out more about Histories of Human Engineering: Tact and Technology here.

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2017 Cheiron Book Prize: Susanna L. Blumenthal’s Law and the Modern Mind

Cheiron: The International Society for the History of the Behavioral and Social Sciences has announced their 2017 Book Prize winner. Congratulations to Susanna Blumenthal!

Cheiron awards the 2017 Cheiron Book Prize to Susanna L. Blumenthal (Julius E. Davis Professor of Law and Associate Professor of History at the University of Minnesota) for Law and the Modern Mind: Consciousness and Responsibility in American Culture (Harvard University Press, 2016). Dr. Blumenthal’s book contributes much to our understanding of the quandaries that lawyers and jurists faced and explored as they considered the appropriate legal relations between human activity and culpability, particularly over the course of the nineteenth century.

During the early years of the American republic, as the precedents following from inherited position fell away, jurists found themselves having to consider matters of standing, evidence, and responsibility in new ways. In doing so, they found that human subjectivity took on new consequences. Well into this process, Associate Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. wrote in 1894, “In a proper sense the state of a man’s consciousness always is material to his liability.” Relying on extensive knowledge of the primary sources (including routine civil and criminal cases), Blumenthal provides historians, psychologists, anthropologists, and other readers with an invigorated understanding of the emergence of refined notions of the individual (generally white men, at that time): they became singular legal persons, and there were circumstances by which such legal persons could be held culpable for their actions or culpability might be limited due to mental impairments of various sorts.

Blumenthal’s prose is lucid and subtle. Her exposition is both magisterial and thought-provoking. For example, the historical examination of the jurisprudence of insanity illuminates contemporary attitudes toward ‘others’—children, women, and slaves.

Members of the 2017 Cheiron Book Prize Committee: Jennifer Bazar, Elissa Rodkey, Gerald Sullivan (Chair), and Phyllis Wentworth.

The 2017 Cheiron Book Prize will be formally presented at the annual meeting of Cheiron, June 22-25, at Mississippi State University, Starkville.

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NBN Interview: Tara Abraham’s Rebel Genius: Warren S. McCulloch’s Transdisciplinary Life in Science

New from New Books Network (NBN) is an interview with Tara Abraham on her recent book Rebel Genius: Warren S. McCulloch’s Transdisciplinary Life in ScienceAs the NBN describes,

Fueling his bohemian lifestyle and anti-authoritarian attitude with a steady diet of ice cream and whiskey, along with a healthy dose of insomnia, Warren Sturgis McCulloch is best known for his foundational contributions to cybernetics but led a career that spanned psychiatry, philosophy, neurophysiology, and engineering. Tara H. Abraham‘s new book Rebel Genius: Warren S. McCulloch’s Transdisciplinary Life in Science (MIT Press, 2016) is the first scholarly biography of this towering figure of twentieth century American science. Abrahams careful tracing of McCulloch’s broad disciplinary traverses is grounded in explication of heady theories and mathematical models of the brain. The growing historical scholarship on cybernetics rests on a curious threshold: its subject matter, rife with outsized personalities and uncannily forward-looking ideas, is ever poised to remain more ineluctably fascinating than scholarly analysis can render. Rather than attempting to beat the cyberneticians at their own game–self-consciously or not becoming participant observers in the reflexive system described by “second-order” cybernetics–this rich portrait offers pointed and entertaining insight into the role of style, sociability, and mentorship in twentieth century scientific life.

The full interview can be heard online here.

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NBN Interview: The Dancing Bees: Karl von Frisch & the Discovery of the Honeybee Language

The New Books Network (NBN) of podcasts has just released an interview with Tania Munz on her new book The Dancing Bees: Karl von Frisch and the Discovery of the Honeybee Language. As NBN describes,

Tania Munz‘s new book is a dual biography: both of Austrian-born experimental physiologist Karl von Frisch, and of the honeybees he worked with as experimental, communicating creatures. The Dancing Bees: Karl von Frisch and the Discovery of the Honeybee Language (University of Chicago Press, 2016) alternates between chapters that take us into the work and life of a fascinating scientist amid the Nazi rise to power, and bee vignettes that chart the transformations of bees in the popular and scientific imagination over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Readers follow von Frisch from his early intimate connection with a small Brazilian parakeet that lived with the family while von Frisch was a boy, to his work on the sensory powers of fish and bees, to his work on bee communication and beyond. Munz introduces us not just to von Frisch’s texts, lectures, and experiments, but also to his work making films and his struggles to live and work under Nazi power. Munz’s book is both compellingly argued and a pleasure to read!

The full interview can be heard online here.

The University of Chicago Press describes Munz’s book as follows: Continue reading NBN Interview: The Dancing Bees: Karl von Frisch & the Discovery of the Honeybee Language

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NBN Interview with Susanna Blumenthal on Law and the Modern Mind

New Books Network (NBN) has released an interview with legal historian Susanna L. Blumenthal on her recent book, Law and the Modern Mind: Consciousness and Responsibility in American Legal Culture. As  NBN describes,

Blumenthal offers a historical examination of the jurisprudence of insanity, legal capacity, and accountability from post-revolutionary America through the nineteenth century. Americans struggling to set the boundaries of ordered liberty turned to Common Sense philosophy that held to divinely given rational faculties of intellect, volition, and moral sense. Republican citizenship assumed that a reasonable man, as a legal person, would act accordingly. The market economy of self-made men, the new field of medical psychology, will and contract challenges over wealth and property, tort law and increased liability claims exposed the inadequacy of social and political norms in defining human fallibility, and the limits of responsibility. Litigants, lawyers, judges, and medical experts struggled to find a reliable way to settle issues of mental competency and define the bounds of freedom. The incapacity of married women, children, and slaves provided a means of comparison for the male citizen involving metaphysical, political, social, and economic ideas wrapped up in the concept of self-government. Blumenthal has produced a remarkable piece of intellectual and legal history situated in the rapidly changing market environment of a young republic.

The full interview can be heard online here.

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New NBN Podcast: Governing Habits: Treating Alcoholism in the Post-Soviet Clinic

The New Books Network (NBN) has just released an interview with anthropologist Eugene Raikhel on his recently released monograph Governing Habits: Treating Alcoholism in the Post-Soviet ClinicAs NBN describes,

Alcoholism is a strange thing. That it exists, no one seriously doubts. But it’s not entirely clear (diagnostically speaking) what it is, who has it, how they get it, or how to treat it. The answers to these questions depend, apparently, on where you are, which is to say what culture you were born and raise in. Alcoholism and treatments for it in Country A might be very different from alcoholism and treatments for it in countries B, C, and D. Alcoholism is, well, relative.

This is one of the many thing I learned from reading Eugene Raikhel‘s fascinating book Governing Habits: Treating Alcoholism in the Post-Soviet Clinic (Cornell University Press, 2016). An anthropologist, Raikhel tells us the tale of how the Soviet discipline of “narcology”–the diagnosis and treatment of addiction– evolved during Soviet times and how it adapted after the USSR fell. I won’t spoil the story for you, but suffice it to say that Russians treated and continue to treat alcoholism quite differently that we do in the U.S., though that’s changing (AA has arrived in Russia, something we also discuss).

Listen to the full interview here.

Cornell University Press describes Raikhel’s book on its site follows: Continue reading New NBN Podcast: Governing Habits: Treating Alcoholism in the Post-Soviet Clinic

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