All posts by Jacy Young

About Jacy Young

Jacy Young recently completed a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Surrey in the UK. She earned her doctorate in the History and Theory of Psychology at York University in 2014.

Call for Submissions: FHHS Early Career Award and Article Prize

The Forum for History of Human Science has issued a call for submissions for its Early Career Award and Article prize. Submissions for both are due May 15. Full submission details can be found on the FHHS website. More details follow below.

FHHS/JHBS John C. Burnham Early Career Award (awarded annually)The Forum for History of Human Science (FHHS) and the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Science (JHBS) encourage researchers in their early careers to submit unpublished manuscripts for the annual John C. Burnham Early Career Award, named in honor of this prominent historian of the human sciences and past-editor of JHBS. The publisher provides the author of the paper an honorarium of US $500. (see details below).

Guidelines for the award: Unpublished manuscripts in English dealing with any aspect of the history of the human sciences. The paper should meet the publishing guidelines of the JHBS. Eligible scholars are those who do not hold tenured university positions (or equivalent) and are not more than seven years beyond the Ph.D. Graduate students and independent scholars are encouraged to submit. Manuscripts may be re-submitted for the prize, as long as they have not been published or submitted to another journal and the submitting scholar is still in early career. The manuscript cannot be submitted to any other journal and still qualify for this award. Past winners are not eligible to submit again.

The winning submission will be announced at the annual History of Science Society meeting. (If there are no submissions of suitable quality in any given year, no award will be given for that year.) The winning article can then be submitted to JHBS with FHHS endorsement and will undergo the regular review process. When the article is accepted for publication, the publisher of JHBS will announce the award and issue a US $500 honorarium. Although it is technically possible that someone might win the Burnham Early Career Award and not receive the honorarium, FHHS and JHBS do not expect this to happen under normal circumstances.

FHHS Article Prize (awarded in odd-numbered years)The Forum for History of Human Science awards a biennial prize (a nonmonetary honor) for the best article published recently on some aspect of the history of the human sciences. The article prize is awarded in odd-numbered years. The winner of the prize is announced at the annual History of Science Society meeting.

Entries are encouraged from authors in any discipline, as long as the work is related to the history of the human sciences, broadly construed, and is in English. To be eligible, the article must have been published within the three years previous to the year of the award. Preference will be given to authors who have not won the award previously.

The Genesis of Allport’s 1942 Use of Personal Documents in Psychological Science

A new piece in Qualitative Psychology may be of interest to AHP readers. Details below.

The genesis of Allport’s 1942 Use of Personal Documents in Psychological Science,” by Vincent W. Hevern. Abstract:

Published by the interdisciplinary Social Science Research Council (SSRC), Allport’s 1942 monograph on The Use of Personal Documents in Psychological Science (Allport, 1942) arose from the intersection of 2 sets of concerns: an extended effort by the SSRC during the 1920s and 1930s to chart the boundaries of valid research methodologies in the social sciences, and Allport’s insistence that psychology must account scientifically for individual persons in course of their actual lives. This historical review details a crisis that emerged in the late 1930s within SSRC-sponsored research concerning whether investigators could even use nonquantitative sources such as personal documents as scientific data. Allport’s own early scholarly agenda embraced German-influenced case study methods and the emerging field of personality psychology. This report outlines how, as Allport’s influence grew in the 1930s, he became a central, insistent, but relatively lonely voice rejecting psychological research methods that were exclusively experimental and quantitative. In this context, the Committee on Appraisal of Research of the SSRC accepted Allport’s self-nomination in early 1941 to assess how such data had been and could be used in psychology to achieve reliable and valid scientific results. This review traces how he went about the assignment and the uncertain evaluation he gave of his own work as it reached publication.

“A Complete Emancipation from Philosophy”: Alfred Lehmann’s Laboratory of Psychophysics at the University of Copenhagen, 1886–1924

New in the American Journal of Psychology:

““A Complete Emancipation from Philosophy”: Alfred Lehmann’s Laboratory of Psychophysics at the University of Copenhagen, 1886–1924,” by Jörgen L. Pind. Abstract:

Alfred Lehmann (1858–1921) was the pioneer of experimental psychology in Denmark. Educated as a natural scientist, he spent the winter of 1885–1886 in Wundt’s laboratory in Leipzig. Upon his return to Copenhagen he established the Laboratory of Psychophysics, one of the oldest laboratories of psychology in the world. It would soon become associated with the University of Copenhagen, where Lehmann gained a position in 1890. Lehmann was a tireless experimenter in his laboratory and an important contributor to experimental psychology in its first decades. At the outset of his scientific career, Lehmann focused mainly on the bodily correlates of mental states, emotions in particular. He was an early critic of the James–Lange theory of emotions. Lehmann was also an ardent critic of claims of the paranormal and did experimental work where he attempted to establish the “psychophysical conditions” for the widespread belief in superstition and magic at the turn of the 20th century. Near the end of his career, Lehmann embarked on work in applied psychology, simultaneously realizing his dream of establishing psychology as an independent subject at the University of Copenhagen in 1918. His new curriculum for a master’s degree in psychology emphasized experimental and applied work, free of the field’s earlier ties to philosophy. Lehmann’s turn to applied psychology was instrumental in the success of his curricular reform of psychology education.

Strange Trips: Science, Culture, and the Regulation of Drugs

Lucas Richert’s recently released Strange Trips: Science, Culture, and the Regulation of Drugs may be of interest to AHP readers. Richert’s book is described as follows:

Drugs take strange journeys from the black market to the doctor’s black bag. Changing marijuana laws in the United States and Canada, the opioid crisis, and the rising costs of pharmaceuticals have sharpened the public’s awareness of drugs and their regulation. Government, industry, and the medical profession, however, have a mixed record when it comes to framing policies and generating knowledge to address drug use and misuse.

In Strange Trips Lucas Richert investigates the myths, meanings, and boundaries of recreational drugs, palliative care drugs, and pharmaceuticals as well as struggles over product innovation, consumer protection, and freedom of choice in the medical marketplace. Scrutinizing how we have conceptualized and regulated drugs amid the pressing and competing interests of state regulatory bodies, pharmaceutical and for-profit companies, scientific researchers, and medical professionals, Richert asks how perceptions of a product shift – from dangerous substance to medical breakthrough, or vice versa. Through close examination of archival materials, accounts, and records, he brings substances into conversation with each other and demonstrates the contentious relationship between scientific knowledge, cultural assumptions, and social concerns.

Weaving together stories of consumer resistance and government control, Strange Trips offers timely recommendations for the future of drug regulation.

The politics of female pain: Women’s citizenship, twilight sleep and the early birth control movement

AHP readers may be interested in a new piece now available in Medical Humanities: “The politics of female pain: Women’s citizenship, twilight sleep and the early birth control movement,” by Lauren MacIvor Thompson. Abstract:

The medical intervention of ‘twilight sleep’, or the use of a scopolamine–morphine mixture to anaesthetise labouring women, caused a furore among doctors and early 20th-century feminists. Suffragists and women’s rights advocates led the Twilight Sleep Association in a quest to encourage doctors and their female patients to widely embrace the practice. Activists felt the method revolutionised the notoriously dangerous and painful childbirth process for women, touting its benefits as the key to allowing women to control their birth experience at a time when the maternal mortality rate remained high despite medical advances in obstetrics. Yet many physicians attacked the practice as dangerous for patients and their babies and antithetical to the expectations for proper womanhood and motherly duty. Historians of women’s health have rightly cited Twilight Sleep as the beginning of the medicalisation and depersonalisation of the childbirth process in the 20th century. This article instead repositions the feminist political arguments for the method as an important precursor for the rhetoric of the early birth control movement, led by Mary Ware Dennett (a former leader in the Twilight Sleep Association) and Margaret Sanger. Both Twilight Sleep and the birth control movement represent a distinct moment in the early 20th century wherein pain was deeply connected to politics and the rhetoric of equal rights. The two reformers emphasised in their publications and appeals to the public the vast social significance of reproductive pain—both physical and psychological. They contended that women’s lack of control over both pregnancy and birth represented the greatest hindrance to women’s fulfilment of their political rights and a danger to the healthy development of larger society. In their arguments for legal contraception, Dennett and Sanger placed women’s pain front and centre as the primary reason for changing a law that hindered women’s full participation in the public order.