Tag Archives: anthropology

June Issue of History of Psychiatry Now Online

The June 2012 issue of History of Psychiatry is now online. Include in this issue are articles on R.D. Laing’s (right) theological influences, psychiatric diagnosis at Maudsley Hospital during the interwar years, addiction and criminal responsibility in Germany, phenomenological and community psychiatry, the psychology of Antarctic exploration, and Russian forensic psychiatry. Full titles, authors, and abstracts follow below.

“R.D. Laing’s theological hinterland: The contrast between mysticism and communion,” by Gavin Miller. The abstract reads,

Contrasting elements in R.D. Laing’s psychiatry can be traced to two kinds of Christian theology: mystical theology and corporate theology. On one hand, Laing’s mystical theology combined with psychoanalytic theory, to provide a New Age psychotherapeutic account of the recovery of authentic selfhood via metanoia. On the other, his incarnational, corporate theology promoted social inclusion of the mentally ill, particularly via therapeutic communities. For Laing, as for other post-war British Christians, a turn inwards, to mysticism and the sacralization of the self, and a turn outwards, to social and political activism, were ways of negotiating with the decline of traditional Christianity.

“Psychiatric case notes: Symptoms of mental illness and their attribution at the Maudsley Hospital, 1924–35,” by Edgar Jones, Shahina Rahman, and Brian Everitt. The abstract reads,

Case notes of patients treated at the Maudsley Hospital during the interwar period provided data about diagnosis, symptoms and beliefs about mental illness. Continue reading

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History of Kuru Reviewed

The Neuro Times blog has reviewed Warwick Anderson‘s The Collectors of Lost Souls: Turning Kuru Scientists into Whitemen. Anderson’s volume details the history of the neurological disorder kuru, focusing on the interactions of the Fore people of Papua New Guinea with scientists and anthropologists beginning in the 1940s and 1950s. According to The Neuro Times,

This marvelous book deliberately forces us to re-imagine the meaning of sojourn, scientific discovery, colonialism, and sorcery, while at the same time providing us with an account of the discovery of Kuru, a lethal neurological disease, and the science that ultimately determined its etiology. In a narrative grounded in sources found in archives in Papua New Guinea, Australia, and the United States, and further developed through oral histories with scientists, anthropologists, and the Fore people, Anderson shows us that the prion – an infectious protein supposedly discovered in the laboratories of Britain and the United States – was a thing constructed first through colonial aspirations and global imaginations

The full review can be found here. Tip o’ the hat to Mind Hacks for alerting me to this item.

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Levi-Strauss Dies at 100

Claude Levi-StraussClaude Lévi-Strauss — the French structuralist anthropologist who was a leading light of the 1950s and 1960s — has passed away at the age of 100. Here are obituaries by Le Monde and by the New York Times.

According to the Times, “Levi-Strauss was widely regarded as having reshaped the field of anthropology, introducing new concepts concerning common patterns of behavior and thought, especially myths, in primitive and modern societies. During his 6-decade-long career, he authored many literary and anthropological classics, including ”Tristes Tropiques” (1955), ”The Savage Mind” (1963) and ”The Raw and the Cooked” (1964).

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New Issue: History of Psychiatry

The September 2009 issue of History of Psychiatry has been released online. Included in the issue are six all new articles, as well as a recurrent feature in the journal, “Classic Text,” in which a selection from a classic text in the history of psychiatry is reprinted.

For the September issue, the featured “Classic Text” is a translation of prominent nineteenth century alienist-philosopher Prosper Despine’s 1875 book, De la Folie au point de vue philosophique ou plus spécialement psychologique étudiée chez le malade et chez l’homme en santé.

Among the topics covered in this issue of the journal are Kant’s views on mental disorder, classical Greek conceptions of madness, Foucault’s contribution to the Anti-Oedipus movement, Viktor von Weizsäcker’s medical anthropology, and the work of psychologist James Mark Baldwin as precursor to contemporary Theory of Mind.

Listed below are the contents of this issue of the journal, as well as the abstracts for each article. Continue reading

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