Category Archives: General

The Science of Walking: Investigations Into Locomotion in the Long Nineteenth Century

AHP readers may be interested in a now available English language translation of Andreas Mayer’s The Science of Walking: Investigations Into Locomotion in the Long Nineteenth Century. As described on the publisher’s website,

The Science of Walking recounts the story of the growing interest and investment of Western scholars, physicians, and writers in the scientific study of an activity that seems utterly trivial in its everyday performance yet essential to our human nature: walking. Most people see walking as a natural and unremarkable activity of daily life, yet the mechanism has long puzzled scientists and doctors, who considered it an elusive, recalcitrant, and even mysterious act. In The Science of Walking, Andreas Mayer provides a history of investigations of the human gait that emerged at the intersection of a variety of disciplines, including physiology, neurology, orthopedic surgery, anthropology, and psychiatry

Looking back at more than a century of locomotion research, Mayer charts, for the first time, the rise of scientific endeavors to control and codify locomotion and analyzes their social, political, and aesthetic ramifications throughout the long nineteenth century. In an engaging narrative that weaves together science and history, Mayer sets the work of the most important representatives of the physiology of locomotion—including Wilhelm and Eduard Weber and Étienne-Jules Marey—in their proper medical, political, and artistic contexts. In tracing the effects of locomotion studies across other cultural domains, Mayer reframes the history of the science of walking and gives us a deeper understanding of human movement.

CONTENTS
Introduction: A Recalcitrant Object

1 Walkers, Wayfarers, Soldiers: Sketching a Practical Science of Locomotion
2 Observers of Locomotion: Theories of Walking in the French Science de l’homme
3 Mechanicians of the Human Walking Apparatus: The Beginnings of an Experimental Physiology of the Gait
4 The Rise of Graphical and Photographic Methods: Locomotion Studies and the Predicament of Representation

Conclusion: The Centipede’s Dilemma

BPS Blog: Learning from experiences – the pioneering Life of Marie Jahoda

AHP readers will be interested in a recent piece on the British Psychological Society blog from Sophie O’Reilly at the History of Psychology Centre: “Learning from experiences – the pioneering Life of Marie Jahoda.” The piece draws from the BPS History of Psychology archives, including an oral history interview and a video of Marie Jahoda, and includes audio of Jahoda speaking. The full piece can be read (and heard) online here.

New in JHI: Frantz Fanon, Institutional Psychotherapy, and the Decolonization of Psychiatry

The April 2020 issue of the Journal of the History of Ideas includes a piece that will interest AHP readers: “Frantz Fanon, Institutional Psychotherapy, and the Decolonization of Psychiatry,” Camille Robcis. Abstract:

This article examines the role of psychiatry in the life and work of Frantz Fanon. It focuses on Fanon’s relationship to institutional psychotherapy, which he discovered at the hospital of Saint-Alban through the figure of François Tosquelles. Institutional psychotherapy confirmed, on a clinical level, what Fanon had already intuited in his early work. If alienation was always political and psychic at the same time, then decolonization needed to involve the disalienation of the mind. This is precisely what Fanon tried to do in his psychiatric work in North Africa and in his last political texts.

The full, free access issue can be found online here.

The Psychologist, June 2020: Psychology’s Sexual Harassment Problem has a History

The June 2020 issue of The Psychologist, the official magazine of the British Psychological Society, is out now. The issue features a number of pieces that will interest AHP readers, including several on past and present issue of sexual harassment. (Full disclosure, one of these pieces is co-authored by AHP Editor Jacy Young, aka me.) An additional article on Pavlov’s dogs will also interest AHP readers.

All articles can be read online via the links below:

Sending Well Wishes to Dr. David Baker Upon his Retirement as Director of the Cummings Center for the History of Psychology

After more than twenty years heading what is now the Cummings Center for the History of Psychology (CCHP), Dr. David Baker is retiring. During his tenure Baker expanded the Archives of the History of American Psychology considerably, growing these into a Center now housed in its own a purposively renovated building which additionally includes both the National Museum of Psychology and the Institute for Human Science and Culture.

On the eve of his retirement, an effort is underway to collect well wishes for Dr. Baker from any and all, wishes that can also include photographs from years past (see above). CCHP Assistant Director Cathy Faye provides full details about how to contribute a message:

As many of you know, Dr. David B. Baker, Margaret Clark Morgan Executive Director at the Cummings Center for the History of Psychology, is retiring at the end of May. Dave has been Director since 1999, taking over from John Popplestone, who launched the Archives of the History of American Psychology in 1965. Since then, Dave has worked to expand the Archives into The Cummings Center for the History of Psychology, home to the National Museum of Psychology and the Institute for Human Science and Culture. Dave’s advocacy, scholarship, and outreach over the last 20 years have resulted in a permanent home for the archival record of our field and have given it a public face with the Museum.

I know that many of you have worked with Dave over the years in various capacities and we hope you will help us let him know how much he is appreciated. We have set up a message board where you can leave a message to wish him well in his retirement. Photos can also be uploaded.

Please submit your message by May 29, 2020.