Call for Papers: European Yearbook of the History of Psychology

AHP readers may be interested in a call for papers for the European Yearbook of the History of Psychology:

The seventh volume of the European Yearbook for the History of Psychology. Sources, Theories, and Models (EYHP), year 2021, is currently in press (see the homepage of the journal)

The eight volume is scheduled to appear in late 2022. The journal is structured in the following sections: Original Essays, Short Papers, Unpublished and Archival Material, Discussions, Interviews, and Book Reviews.

There is still some space left to accommodate Original Essays (6,000-9,000 words in length, including footnotes) and Short Papers (2,500-4,000 words), one more contribution in the section Unpublished and Archival Material, and book reviews (2000 words).

Contributions to all sections should be written in English. The only exception is made for the section Unpublished and Archival Material, in which case unpublished material should be presented in its original language, preceded by an introductory note in English.

All contributions should be sent to the following mail address: eyhp@unimib.it. The deadline for new contributions is March 31, 2022.

‘You never need an analyst with Bobby around’: The mid-20th-century human sciences in Sondheim and Furth’s musical Company

A new open-access piece in History of the Human Sciences will interest AHP readers: “‘You never need an analyst with Bobby around’: The mid-20th-century human sciences in Sondheim and Furth’s musical Company,” by Jeffrey Rubel. Abstract:

This article offers a case study in how historians of science can use musical theater productions to understand the cultural reception of scientific ideas. In 1970, Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s musical Company opened on Broadway. The show engaged with and reflected contemporary theories and ideas from the human sciences; Company’s portrayal of its 35-year-old bachelor protagonist, his married friends, and his girlfriends reflected present-day theories from psychoanalysis, sexology, and sociology. In 2018, when director Marianne Elliott revived the show with a female protagonist, Company once again amplified contemporary dilemmas around human sciences expertise—this time, the biological fertility clock. Through Company, Sondheim and Furth—and later Elliott—constructed arguments about modern society that paralleled those put forth by contemporary human scientists, including psychoanalytic models of the mind, the lonely crowd phenomenon, and shifting conceptions of masculinity and femininity. Because of their wide popularity and potential for readaptation, musicals such as Company offer a promising source base for analyzing the relationship between contemporary society and scientific expertise in specific historical contexts.

The pragmatic use of metaphor in empirical psychology


A new piece in History of the Human Sciences by Rami Gabriel will interest AHP readers: “The pragmatic use of metaphor in empirical psychology,” Abstract:

Metaphors of mind and their elaboration into models serve a crucial explanatory role in psychology. In this article, an attempt is made to describe how biology and engineering provide the predominant metaphors for contemporary psychology. A contrast between the discursive and descriptive functions of metaphor use in theory construction serves as a platform for deliberation upon the pragmatic consequences of models derived therefrom. The conclusion contains reflections upon the possibility of an integrative interdisciplinary psychology.

Interview with the New Editor of History of Psychology, Christopher Green

APA has published an interview with the incoming editor of History of Psychology, Christopher Green (also a longstanding AHP contributor). Asked about his priorities for the journal moving forward, Green notes:

As can be said of many journals these days, one key goal is to expand coverage to more diverse communities, specifically in terms of racial and ethnic identity, nationality, and gender. This also entails ensuring that people from these communities are included as authors, reviewers, and editorial board members in the production of the journal itself. We need to expand the range of voices and faces among the people who call themselves “historians of psychology.”

I would also like the journal to take greater advantage of the fabulous technologies that are now available. The traditional archive-based historical article will always have its place in the journal, but, in addition, how can the new digital tools be used to expand the kinds of historical work being done and to extend the historical vision of the discipline? I want researchers who are pioneering new methods of study to know that History of Psychology is a place that will welcome their innovative efforts.

Read the full interview here.

Psychic Investigators: Anthropology, Modern Spiritualism, and Credible Witnessing in the Late Victorian Age

AHP readers may be interested in a forthcoming book by Efram Sera-Shriar: Psychic Investigators: Anthropology, Modern Spiritualism, and Credible Witnessing in the Late Victorian Age. The book, which will be released in June 2022, is described as follows:

Psychic Investigators examines British anthropology’s engagement with the modern spiritualist movement during the late Victorian era. Efram Sera-Shriar argues that debates over the existence of ghosts and psychical powers were at the center of anthropological discussions on human beliefs. He focuses on the importance of establishing credible witnesses of spirit and psychic phenomena in the writings of anthropologists such as Alfred Russel Wallace, Edward Burnett Tylor, Andrew Lang, and Edward Clodd. The book draws on major themes, such as the historical relationship between science and religion, the history of scientific observation, and the emergence of the subfield of anthropology of religion in the second half of the nineteenth century. For secularists such as Tylor and Clodd, spiritualism posed a major obstacle in establishing the legitimacy of the theory of animism: a core theoretical principle of anthropology founded in the belief of “primitive cultures” that spirits animated the world, and that this belief represented the foundation of all religious paradigms. What becomes clear through this nuanced examination of Victorian anthropology is that arguments involving spirits or psychic forces usually revolved around issues of evidence, or lack of it, rather than faith or beliefs or disbeliefs.

CBC Radio’s Ideas Explores Carl Jung’s The Red Book

One of the many detailed illustrations by Carl Jung from The Red Book: Liber Novus. (W.W. Norton/Philemon Foundation via CBC)

AHP readers may be interested in a recent two part episode of CBC Radio’s Ideas program which explores Carl Jung’s The Red Book. As the description of these episodes notes, the book

… documents and analyzes what the Swiss psychologist and psychiatrist called his “confrontation with the unconscious.” Beset by vivid and alarming dreams and fantasies, Jung’s crisis began at the age of 39, at the time of the First World War.

The Red Book was an effort to understand what had happened during this period. The stakes were high: Jung felt he had lost his soul, and was in danger of a psychotic break.

The episodes can be heard online here.

Une histoire comparée de la psychiatrie: Henri Ellenberger (1905-1993)

AHP readers may be interested in a new French language book on the work of Henri Ellenberger: Une histoire comparée de la psychiatric: Henri Ellenberger (1905-1993) by Emmanuel Delille. As described by the publisher:

Contemporain de l’Histoire de la folie à l’âge classique de Michel Foucault, The Discovery of the UnconsciousThe History and Evolution of Dynamic Psychiatry d’Henri Ellenberger est certainement l’un des livres les plus marquants en histoire de la psychiatrie, un champ de recherche qui a connu un développement formidable dans le monde ces dernières décennies. Mais comment s’insère-t-il dans l’histoire des sciences sociales ? Cet essai sur l’histoire comparée promue par Ellenberger présente plusieurs facettes de ses travaux, en relation avec des médecins et intellectuels significatifs comme Karl Menninger, Georges Devereux, Henri Ey, Georges Canguilhem, Arthur J. Rosenthal et George Mora. Pour la première fois, une analyse fondée sur des documents d’archives introduit Henri Ellenberger comme un élève de l’ethnographe Arnold Van Gennep et un lecteur assidu d’autres comparatistes, démarche qui l’amènera à s’imposer en histoire culturelle.

The Last Man Takes LSD: Foucault and the End of Revolution

A new book may interest AHP readers: The Last Man Takes LSD: Foucault and the End of Revolution by Mitchell Dean and Daniel Zamora. The book is described as follows:

Part intellectual history, part critical theory, The Last Man Takes LSD challenges the way we think about both Michel Foucault and modern progressive politics. One fateful day in May 1975, Foucault dropped acid in the southern California desert. In letters reproduced here, he described it as among the most important events of his life, one which would lead him to completely rework his History of Sexuality. That trip helped redirect Foucault’s thought and contributed to a tectonic shift in the intellectual life of the era. He came to reinterpret the social movements of May ’68 and reposition himself politically in France, embracing anti-totalitarian currents and becoming a critic of the welfare state.

Mitchell Dean and Daniel Zamora examine the full historical context of the turn in Foucault’s thought, which included studies of the Iranian revolution and French socialist politics, through which he would come to appreciate the possibilities of autonomy offered by a new force on the French political scene that was neither of the left nor the right: neoliberalism.

Mentalising and Epistemic Trust: The work of Peter Fonagy and colleagues at the Anna Freud Centre

AHP readers may be interested in a new open access book: Mentalising and Epistemic Trust: The work of Peter Fonagy and colleagues at the Anna Freud Centre by Robbie Duschinsky and Sarah Foster. The book is described as follows:

The theory of mentalizing and epistemic trust introduced by Peter Fonagy and colleagues at the Anna Freud Centre has been an important perspective on mental health and illness. This book is the first comprehensive account and evaluation of this perspective. The book explores 20 primary concepts that organize the contributions of Fonagy and colleagues: adaptation, aggression, the alien self, culture, disorganized attachment, epistemic trust, hypermentalizing, reflective function, the p-factor, pretend mode, the primary unconscious, psychic equivalence, mental illness, mentalizing, mentalization-based therapy, non-mentalizing, the self, sexuality, the social environment, and teleological mode. The biographical and social context of the development of these ideas is examined. The book also specifies the current strengths and limitations of the theory of mentalizing and epistemic trust, with attention to the implications for both clinicians and researchers.

Cannabis: Global Histories

AHP readers may be interested in a new edited collection: Cannabis: Global Histories edited by Lucas Richert and James H. Mills. The book is described as follows:

This book gathers together authors from the new wave of cannabis histories that has emerged in recent decades. It offers case studies from Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe, and the Middle East. It does so to trace a global history of the plant and its preparations, arguing that Western colonialism shaped and disseminated ideas in the nineteenth century that came to drive the international control regimes of the twentieth.

More recently, the emergence of commercial interests in cannabis has been central to the challenges that have undermined that cannabis consensus. Throughout, the determination of people around the world to consume substances made from the plant has defied efforts to stamp them out and often transformed the politics and cultures of using them. These texts also suggest that globalization might have a cannabis history. The migration of consumers, the clandestine networks established to supply them, and international cooperation on control may have driven much of the interconnectedness that is a key feature of the contemporary world.

Contributors: Jamie Banks, James Bradford, Isaac Campos, Neil Carrier, Emily Dufton, Maziyar Ghiabi, David A. Guba Jr., Peter Hynd, Gernot Klantschnig, Haggai Ram, Ned Richardson-Little, José Domingo Schievenini, Stephen Snelders, Suzanne Taylor, Thembisa Waetjen