The second full day of sessions at the History of Science Society (HSS) conference in Arlington VA saw a number of talks connected with the history of psychology. Top of the bill was John Burnham’s (Ohio St. U.) presentation on “accident-proneness” in Germany and America. This talk was the distinguished lecture of the Forum for the History of Human Science (FHHS), a special interest group of HSS. The FHHS also announced its 2007 award winners. For best article, Jefferson Pooley (Muhlenberg Coll., PA) won for “Fifteen Pages that Shook the Field: Personal Influence, Edward Shils and the Remembered History of Mass Communication Research,” published in Annals of the American Academy Political and Social Sciences (2006, 608, 130-156). The John C. Burnham Early Career Award went to Howard Hsueh-Hao Chiang (Princetion U.) for “Effecting Science, Affecting Medicine: Homosexuality, the Kinsey Reports, and the Contested Boundaries of Psychopathology in the United States, 1948-1965.”
There was also a session on asylum history, featuring talks by Jennifer Bazar (York U.) on post-mortem examination of patients at the old Toronto asylum, Eleanor Mayer (U. Penn.) on “Law and the Asylum in Pennsylvania 1900-1990,” and Elizabeth Williams (Oklahoma St. U.) on the use of diatetics as a treatment in 19th-century French asylums. Matt Reed (Keck Graduate Inst.) served as discussant for the session.
Other interesting presentations included Megan Glick’s (Yale U.) “White Chimpanzees: Primatology as Eugenic Practice in the Work of Robert Mearns Yerkes,” Michael Pettit’s (York U.) “The Unobserved But Observing Observer: The Psychologist as Deceptive Performer and the Search for Natural Responses,” and Naamah Akavia’s (UCLA) “Subjectivity in Motion: Hermann Rorschach’s Inkblot Test and the Motif of Movement in Psychiatry and Aesthetics.”