Category Archives: General

HoP: Prehistoric Psychology, Critical Thinking, Behaviorism

AHP readers will be interested in the most recent issue of History of Psychology. Full details below.

Special Spotlight Section: Prehistoric Psychology
“On prehistoric psychology: Reflections at the invitation of Göbekli Tepe.” Henley, Tracy B. Abstract:

The Neolithic Revolution has been heralded as the most significant sociocognitive change in human history, yet it is all but ignored by psychology. This gives rise to a reconsideration of the question “Where should the history of psychology begin?” Using the Neolithic archaeological site of Göbekli Tepe as a concrete case study, the advent of writing, organized religion, and our transition from being egalitarian bands of hunter-gatherers to socially stratified and specialized builders of “civilization” all stand as salient, but prehistoric, psychological topics. Such matters seem clearly crucial to understanding the full story of psychology, but nevertheless this vital segment of prehistory manages to be passed over by even evolutionary psychologists as well as historians of our discipline. How this problem is best addressed remains an open question.

““That’s a great deal to make one word mean”: Reflections on prehistoric psychology.” Graiver, Inbar. Abstract:

Comments on the article by T. B. Henley (see record 2020-68859-001). Scholarly attempts to broaden the scope of the historical investigation of psychology are welcome. To the extent that Henley’s article seeks to do just that, it provides an important corrective to the traditional approach. The question remains, however, whether the prehistoric developments presented in the article can indeed teach us something about the history of psychology (broadly defined), and more fundamentally, whether they can at all be described as “psychological” in any meaningful way.

“Making a case for Göbekli Tepe in evolutionary psychology: Comment on Henley (2020).” Blackwell, Raini A.; Rossano, Matt J. Abstract:

Göbekli Tepe holds great significance for psychology. However, we think its place in the history of psychology is still very unclear. More clarity may come by giving evolutionary psychology priority over Göbekli Tepe for the time being.

“Psychology in history: Comment on Henley (2020).” Smail, Daniel Lord. Abstract:

This comment engages with Henley’s (2020) proposal for a history of psychology that addresses important transformations in mind and behavior across all periods of humanity’s deep history. To the extent that the history of psychology pays attention to the human past, Henley observes, that history is dominated by evolutionary perspectives focused on the biological changes that took place in the Pleistocene. Using the recent archaeological site of Göbekli Tepe as a case study, his article draws attention to important psychological changes that have taken place in the more recent past and have unfolded over shorter time scales. This comment seeks to amplify some of Henley’s claims and, by advocating for a historical metanarrative described here as “psychology in history,” proposes an alternative framework for achieving some of the goals that Henley has articulated.

“The “space” of history: A response to Graiver (2020), Rossano (2020), and Smail (2020).” Henley, Tracy B. Abstract:

Replies to comments by I. Gravier (see record 2020-68859-002), R. A. Blackwell and M. J. Rossano (see record 2020-68859-003), and D. L. Smail (see record 2020-68859-004) on the article by Henley (see record 2020-68859-001). That each of the commentators acknowledged the significance of the Neolithic for psychology was welcome, as were their alternative views on how such prehistoric events potentially fit with our discipline’s history. As new scholarship continues to emerge related to Göbekli Tepe demonstrating radical changes in how Neolithic humans understood themselves, each other, and the world around them, Henley contends that this is significant for our chronicle of the nature of not just “psychology in history” but also deserves “space” within the history of psychology. To reiterate the last line from Smail’s reply—“Now all we have to do is persuade the historians”.

Regular Articles
“The construction of “critical thinking”: Between how we think and what we believe.” Lamont, Peter. Abstract:

“Critical thinking” is widely regarded as important, but difficult to define. This article provides an historical perspective by describing how “critical thinking” emerged as an object of psychological study, how the forms it took were shaped by practical and social concerns, and how these related to “critical thinking” as something that results in certain conclusions, rather than as a process of coming to conclusions. “Critical thinking” became a scientific object when psychologists attempted to measure it. The original measurement treated “critical thinking” as both an ability and an attitude. It measured logical abilities, and consistency and extremity of views, but it avoided making assumptions about the correctness of specific real-world beliefs. The correctness of such beliefs was, as problems with other related tests showed, open to dispute. Subsequent tests increasingly focused on logical abilities, and attempted to minimize further the relevance of what people believed about the real world, though they continued to depend on there being correct answers to test items, which privileged the outcome over the process. While “critical thinking” was primarily the domain of philosophers, there was renewed psychological interest in the topic in the 1980s, which increasingly presented “critical thinking” as incompatible with certain real-world (“unscientific”) beliefs. Such a view more explicitly privileged the outcome over the process. It is argued that a more reflective approach, though it may be more difficult to measure, is essential if we wish to understand not only what critical thinking has been, but also what it is now.

“The rise and fall of behaviorism: The narrative and the numbers.” Braat, Michiel; Engelen, Jan; van Gemert, Ties; Verhaegh, Sander. Abstract:

The history of 20th-century American psychology is often depicted as a history of the rise and fall of behaviorism. Although historians disagree about the theoretical and social factors that have contributed to the development of experimental psychology, there is widespread consensus about the growing and (later) declining influence of behaviorism between approximately 1920 and 1970. Because such wide-scope claims about the development of American psychology are typically based on small and unrepresentative samples of historical data, however, the question arises to what extent the received view is justified. This article aims to answer this question in two ways. First, we use advanced scientometric tools (e.g., bibliometric mapping, cocitation analysis, and term co-occurrence analysis) to quantitatively analyze the metadata of 119,278 articles published in American journals between 1920 and 1970. We reconstruct the development and structure of American psychology using cocitation and co-occurrence networks and argue that the standard story needs reappraising. Second, we argue that the question whether behaviorism was the “dominant” school of American psychology is historically misleading to begin with. Using the results of our bibliometric analyses, we argue that questions about the development of American psychology deserve more fine-grained answers.

Material Cultures of Psychiatry

A new open access book, Material Cultures of Psychiatry, edited by Monika Ankele and Benoît Majerus, may interest AHP readers. The book is described as follows:

In the past, our ideas on psychiatric hospitals and their history have been shaped by objects like straitjackets, cribs and binding belts. These powerful objects are often used as a synonym for psychiatry and the way psychiatric patients are treated, but very little is known about the agency of these objects and their appropriation by staff and patients. By focusing on material cultures, this book offers a new gaze on the history of psychiatry: it allows a narrative which shows “doing psychiatry” to be a complex entanglement where power is permanently negotiated. Scholars from different social sciences show how this material gaze ensures a critical approach while opening up the field to alternative questions.

Making Spirit Matter: Neurology, Psychology, and Selfhood in Modern France

AHP readers may be interested in a new book, Making Spirit Matter: Neurology, Psychology, and Selfhood in Modern France by Larry Sommer McGrath. The book is described as follows,

The connection between mind and brain has been one of the most persistent problems in modern Western thought; even recent advances in neuroscience haven’t been able to explain it satisfactorily. Historian Larry Sommer McGrath’s Making Spirit Matter studies how a particularly productive and influential group of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century French thinkers attempted to solve this puzzle by showing the mutual dependence of spirit and matter. The scientific revolution taking place at this point in history across disciplines, from biology to psychology and neurology, located our mental powers in the brain and offered a radical reformulation of the meaning of society, spirit, and the self. Tracing connections among thinkers such as Henri Bergson, Alfred Fouillée, Jean-Marie Guyau, and others, McGrath plots alternative intellectual movements that revived themes of creativity, time, and experience by applying the very sciences that seemed to undermine metaphysics and religion. Making Spirit Matter lays out the long legacy of this moment in the history of ideas and how it might renew our understanding of the relationship between mind and brain today.


Chapter 1 The Formations of French Spiritualism
Chapter 2 Measuring the Machinery of the Brain
Chapter 3 Science and Spirit in the Classroom
Chapter 4 Locating Selfhood in the Brain
Chapter 5 The Institutions of the Intellect, or Spirit contra Kant
Chapter 6 Struggles for Spirit’s Catholic Soul

The mentally ill and how they were perceived in young Israel

AHP readers may be interested in a forthcoming piece in History of Psychiatry, “The mentally ill and how they were perceived in young Israel,” by Oded Heilbronner. Abstract:

The article constitutes a widely researched account of mental patients and their perceptions in the early history of Israel, especially its second decade. It focuses on a single generation, which experienced the traumas of war in Europe, followed by insecurity in Israel’s struggle for independence. The article claims that in the 1960s many suffered from depression, reflected in a record number of patients in mental hospitals and mentally sick people, mostly of European origin. This study describes Israeli society in the 1960s as disturbed, immersed in nightmarish dreams and close to madness; it also discusses the genetic and neurological vulnerabilities which induced the psychosis and the social response that converted it into a chronic illness.

Why psychiatry might cooperate with religion: The Michigan Society of Pastoral Care, 1945–1968

AHP readers may be interested in a forthcoming piece, now available online, in the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences.

Why psychiatry might cooperate with religion: The Michigan Society of Pastoral Care, 1945–1968,” Laura Hirshbein. Abstract:

The early decades of the pastoral care movement were characterized by a remarkable collaboration with psychiatry. While historians of the religious aspects of this movement have noted the reliance of pastoral care on psychiatry and psychology, it has been less clear how and why mental health professionals elected to work with clergy. This paper uses the Michigan Society of Pastoral Care (MSPC), one of the early training programs for hospital chaplains on the model of the Boston?based Institute for Pastoral Care, as a window to explore the interactions between psychiatry and religion at mid century. Raymond Waggoner, the nationally recognized and well?connected chair of the psychiatry department at the University of Michigan, was instrumental in expanding the influential pastoral care program at his hospital and in his state as part of his bigger mission of emphasizing the fundamental role of psychiatry in American life. Waggoner played a key role within the MSPC, in conjunction with leaders within the medical departments of the major hospitals in the state. All of the members of the MSPC viewed psychiatry’s insights as essential for pastoral care, with the caveat that chaplains should remain pupils, not practitioners of psychotherapy.

CBHM/BCHM: Eugenic Discourses in French Canada, Diagnostic Politics of Autism in Patient and Parent Associations, and More

The fall issue of the Canadian Bulletin of Medical History/Bulletin canadien d’histoire de la médicine includes several articles that may interest AHP readers. Full details below.

Noddle Pox: Syphilis and the Conception of Nosomania/Nosophobia (c. 1665–c. 1965),” Diederik F. Janssen. Abstract:

Hypochondriac or phobic reactions to venereal disease, specifically syphilis, have invited over three centuries of medical reification and nosological reframing. This bibliographic overview establishes that the early specification and psychiatricization of early modern concepts of melancholy and hypochondriasis, imaginary syphilis or syphilophobia, animated the early respective territorializations of venereology, infectiology more broadly, neurology, and mental medicine. Together with mercuriophobia and a wider emergent clinical sensitivity to sexual angst, the diagnosis, while evidently only sporadically made, functioned as a durable soundboard in the confrontation of emergent medical rationale with various confounders and contenders: medically literate and increasingly mobile but possibly deluded patients; charlatans and putative malpractitioners; self-referral laboratory serology (after 1906); and eventually, through psychoanalysis, the patient’s unconscious. Requiring medical psychology early on, syphilology became and remained self-conscious and circumspect, attentive to the casualties of overdiagnosis, overtreatment, and iatrogenesis. Finally, patient apprehension led to makeshift forms of “moral treatment,” including fear-instilling and placebos

Les phobies ou les réactions hypocondriaques aux maladies vénériennes, à la syphilis tout particulièrement, ont généré de nombreuses réifications médicales et reconfigurations nosologiques au cours des trois derniers siècles. Le survol bibliographique présenté ici montre que les premières définitions psychiatriques des concepts modernes de mélancolie, d’hypocondrie, de « syphilis imaginaire » et de la « syphilophobie » sont à l’origine des découpages territoriaux entre vénérologie infectiologie, neurologie et médecine mentale. Dans un contexte associant la mercuriophobie et une nouvelle sensibilité clinique à l’angoisse sexuelle, le diagnostic (lorsqu’il était posé) agissait comme une caisse de résonance pour les confrontations entre les approches médicales émergentes et divers éléments favorisant la confusion. Parmi ces derniers, figuraient des patients plus ou moins bien informés, des charlatans et de faux professionnels, un laboratoire de sérologie douteux (après 1906) et, via la psychanalyse, l’inconscient des patients. Puisqu’elle nécessitait déjà une psychologie médicale, la syphilologie resta prudente et vigilante à l’égard des victimes de iatrogénèse, de surdiagnostic et de traitements excessifs. Éventuellement, l’anxiété des patients finit par engendrer des formes improvisées de « traitement moral », basées notamment sur la crainte ou les placébos.

“Une plus brillante moisson de citoyens sains et robustes”: Eugenic Discourses in French Canada (1902–10),” Vincent Auffrey. Abstract:

The Association des médecins de langue française d’Amérique du Nord (AMLFAN) was founded in Québec at the turn of the twentieth century. The physicians who convened at the Association between 1902 and 1910 shared a concern for the degeneration of the French-Canadian “race” under the effects of alcoholism, tuberculosis, and syphilis. For hygienists such as Arthur Rousseau and Charles-Narcisse Valin, this state of degeneration called for hygienic measures that would help regenerate and improve the French-Canadian race. While their suggestion that marriages be matched scientifically in order to prevent the transmission of hereditary and acquired defects from parent to offspring may be reminiscent of eugenics, French-Canadian physicians seemed to have no knowledge of Sir Francis Galton – eugenics’ “founding father” – and his work on the topic. This article compares French-Canadian eugenic discourses with Galtonian eugenics in order to shed light on the particularities of the French-Canadian case.

Au tournant du XXe siècle est fondée l’Association des médecins de langue française d’Amérique du Nord (AMLFAN). Parmi les questions scientifiques et d’intérêt professionnel qui y sont discutées, on discerne une préoccupation pour la dégénérescence de la « race » canadienne-française, qui serait causée par les trois fléaux que constituent l’alcoolisme, la syphilis et la tuberculose. Pour certains médecins hygiénistes, tels Arthur Rousseau et Charles-Narcisse Valin, cet état de détérioration exige la régénération, voire l’amélioration, de la race par des moyens hygiéniques – notamment l’assortiment judicieux des mariages afin d’éviter la transmission de tares héréditaires et acquises aux générations à venir. Ces discours ne sont pas sans rappeler ceux de Sir Francis Galton, « fondateur » britannique de l’eugénisme. Toutefois, les propos des médecins rassemblés à l’AMLFAN semblent avoir été conçus en parfaite ignorance de la théorie galtonienne. Cet article propose donc une analyse comparée de ces deux discours afin de mieux cerner les particularités du cas canadien-français.

Incertitude diagnostique et action politique : une association de parents face aux politiques de l’autisme, 1982–2017,” Dannick Rivest and Julien Prud’homme. Abstract:

La définition de catégories diagnostiques comme l’autisme ne fait pas toujours l’unanimité. Elle peut faire l’objet de luttes politiques entre divers acteurs, notamment les professionnel.le.s, les administrations publiques ou les associations de patients. On en sait toutefois peu sur la situation des associations de patients ou de parents dans ces « politiques du diagnostic ». Nous affirmons ici que ces associations sont plus sensibles aux politiques de la définition que l’historiographie actuelle ne le laisse paraître. En analysant le discours et les stratégies de la Société québécoise de l’autisme de 1982 à 2017, nous illustrons le rôle que cette association entendait jouer dans les politiques de l’autisme et nous démontrons que l’adoption par l’État de politiques axées sur le diagnostic a eu pour effet d’intensifier les débats définitionnels chez divers acteurs, y compris les parents.

The definition of diagnostic categories, such as autism, is not always consensual. It can be the cause of political struggles between various actors, including professionals, public administrations or patient associations. However, little is known about the situation of patient or parent associations in these “diagnostic politics.” We assert here that these associations are more sensitive to the politics of definition than is suggested by the current historiography. Through an analysis of discourses and strategies of the Quebec Autism Society from 1982 to 2017, we document the role that this association intended to play in the politics of autism and we show how the adoption by the state of diagnostic-based policies intensify definitional debates in civil society, including among parents.

The Mythical Taboo on Race and Intelligence

A forthcoming piece in Review of General Psychology may interest AHP readers: “The Mythical Taboo on Race and Intelligence,” by John P. Jackson, Jr. and Andrew S. Winston. Abstract:

Recent discussions have revived old claims that hereditarian research on race differences in intelligence has been subject to a long and effective taboo. We argue that given the extensive publications, citations, and discussions of such work since 1969, claims of taboo and suppression are a myth. We critically examine claims that (self-described) hereditarians currently and exclusively experience major misrepresentation in the media, regular physical threats, denouncements, and academic job loss. We document substantial exaggeration and distortion in such claims. The repeated assertions that the negative reception of research asserting average Black inferiority is due to total ideological control over the academy by “environmentalists,” leftists, Marxists, or “thugs” are unwarranted character assassinations on those engaged in legitimate and valuable scholarly criticism

New Work on Emil du Bois-Reymond

The most recent issue of Science in Context includes two pieces on Emil du Bois-Reymond that may interest AHP readers. Full details below.

Reconsidering the ignorabimus: du Bois-Reymond and the hard problem of consciousness,” Paolo Pecere. Argument:

In this paper I present an interpretation of du Bois-Reymond’s thesis on the impossibility of a scientific explanation of consciousness and of its present importance. I reconsider du Bois-Reymond’s speech “On the limits of natural science” (1872) in the context of nineteenth-century German philosophy and neurophysiology, pointing out connections and analogies with contemporary arguments on the “hard problem of consciousness.” Du Bois-Reymond’s position turns out to be grounded on an epistemological argument and characterized by a metaphysical skepticism, motivated by the unfruitful speculative tendency of contemporary German philosophy and natural science. In the final sections, I show how contemporary research can benefit from a reconsideration of this position and its context of emergence, which is a good vantage point to trace open problems in consciousness studies back to their historical development.

Physiology and philhellenism in the late nineteenth century: The self-fashioning of Emil du Bois-Reymond,” Lea Beiermann and Elisabeth Wesseling. Argument:

Nineteenth-century Prussia was deeply entrenched in philhellenism, which affected the ideological framework of its public institutions. At Berlin’s Friedrich Wilhelm University, philhellenism provided the rationale for a persistent elevation of the humanities over the burgeoning experimental life sciences. Despite this outspoken hierarchy, professor of physiology Emil du Bois-Reymond eventually managed to increase the prestige of his discipline considerably. We argue that du Bois-Reymond’s use of philhellenic repertoires in his expositions on physiology for the educated German public contributed to the rise of physiology as a renowned scientific discipline. Du Bois-Reymond’s rhetorical strategies helped to disassociate experimental physiology from clinical medicine, legitimize experimental practices, and associate the emerging discipline with the more esteemed humanities and theoretical sciences. His appropriation of philhellenic rhetoric thus spurred the late nineteenth-century change in disciplinary hierarchies and helped to pave the way for the current hegemonic position of the life sciences.

Call for Papers: Expertise and Uncertainty

Spontaneous Generations, a scholarly journal published by the graduate students of the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, University of Toronto, invites contributions to its 11th volume.

Experts occupy an increasingly contested space in our society. Politicians challenge the expertise of public health officials amidst the COVID-19 pandemic; climate change deniers that of climatologists; creationists that of evolutionary biologists and geologists. Even the rotundity of the Earth has not escaped renewed public scrutiny. While many regard this growing tide of resistance to experts with anxiety or alarm, even their most stalwart defenders acknowledge the risks inherent in excessive deference to experts. After all, experts are only human. They can make mistakes of fact or ethical judgment. They can fall prey to the temptations of conformity. They can be corrupted by corporate or state patronage. A technologically sophisticated society can hardly function without experts, but neither can a democratic one exempt them from scrutiny.

Scholars involved in the study of science, technology, medicine, and mathematics are well-positioned to explore the pressing issues surrounding expertise. As experts who study other experts, they have a unique vantage point. The editors of Spontaneous Generations welcome contributions which explore these themes from an anthropological, historical, philosophical, sociological, or interdisciplinary point of view. Questions which contributors might take up include, but are not limited to:

• What epistemological challenges arise from the practice and communication of expertise? How can non-experts evaluate expert testimony in a principled, reasonable way?
• How can the rights of marginalized individuals or communities be protected against the potential abuse of expertise? How can those of a democratic society?
• Has a particular historical episode especially illuminated the risks & opportunities inherent in expertise?
• What public good results from your expertise? How would you fruitfully engage with a politician, layperson, or administrator who expressed skepticism about it?
• How has studying the expertise of others informed your own perspective and identity?

In short, we invite second-order reflections on the challenges, opportunities, and social situatedness of expertise, whether your own or that of the experts you study. We especially welcome contributions in the form of focus essays: 2-3,000 words in length. Research articles and book reviews which speak to the theme of expertise, more or less directly, are also welcome. We aim to publish both established and early career scholars. Contributions should follow the Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition; be formatted in MS Word; and be received no later than December 20th, 2020. We will also be happy to review abstracts before that time, if you have an idea for a submission and are considering whether or not to go forward. Please send abstracts, inquiries, and contributions (along with your institutional and departmental affiliation) to Daniel Halverson at

via HSS

New History of Psychiatry: Schizophrenia, Children’s Mental Hospitals, and More

The December 2020 issue of History of Psychiatry is now available online. Full titles, authors, and abstracts below.

“‘I think’ (the thoughts of others). The German tradition of apperceptionism and the intellectual history of schizophrenia,” Liesbet De Kock. Abstract:

Although contemporary approaches to schizophrenia pinpoint ‘disturbances of the self’ as a central aetiological factor, historical insight into the link between accounts of schizophrenia and theories of subjectivity and self-consciousness is poor. This paper aims to overcome this gap by providing the outlines of a largely forgotten but crucial part of the intellectual history of schizophrenia. In particular, the impact of the German tradition of apperceptionism on nineteenth-century accounts of schizophrenia is unearthed. This tradition emerged from German Idealism, and culminated in Emil Kraepelin’s account of dementia praecox. In addition to filling an important gap in the historiography of psychiatry, this analysis contributes to ongoing efforts to correct some common misunderstandings regarding Kraepelin’s theoretical position.

Hallucinations and Illusions by Edmund Parish: the unlikely genesis and curious fate of a forgotten masterpiece,” Jan Dirk Blom. Abstract:

In 1894, the German scholar Edmund Parish published his classic work Über die Trugwahrnehmung, with an expanded English edition called Hallucinations and Illusions appearing in 1897. Both versions won critical acclaim from celebrities such as Joseph Jastrow and William James, although, curiously, few others seemed to have noticed the book. After two more publications, Parish inexplicably stopped publishing. During the century that followed, it seemed as if neither he nor his work had ever existed. Now that scholars have finally started to appreciate the book, the present paper seeks to answer the questions of how it came into being, why it disappeared for so long, and who its mysterious author was.

“From Libidines nefandæ to sexual perversions,” Diederik F Janssen. Abstract:

A conceptual evolution is traceable from early modern classifications of libido nefanda (execrable lust) to early nineteenth-century allusions to ‘perversion of the sexual instinct’, via pluralizing notions of coitus nefandus/sodomiticus in Martin Schurig’s work, and of sodomia impropria in seventeenth- through late eighteenth-century legal medicine. Johann Valentin Müller’s early breakdown of various unnatural penchants seemingly inspired similar lists in works by Johann Christoph Fahner and Johann Josef Bernt, and ultimately Heinrich Kaan. This allows an ante-dating of the ‘specification of the perverted’ (Foucault) often located in the late nineteenth century, and appreciation of pygmalionism and necrophilia as instances of ‘perverted sexual instinct’. In this light, Kaan’s early psychopathia sexualis was less innovative and more ambivalent than previously thought.

“The ambivalent role of the institution in the history of child and adolescent psychiatry: a case study of the Hawthorn Centre in Michigan, USA,” Robert Cesaro, Laura Hirshbein. Abstract:

Historians have examined the role of psychiatric institutions in the USA and addressed whether this form of care helped or harmed patients (depending on the perspective of the time period, historical actors, and historians). But the story for children’s mental institutions was different. At the time when adult institutions were in decline, children’s mental hospitals were expanding. Parents and advocates clamoured for more beds and more services. The decrease in facilities for children was more due to economic factors than ideological opposition. This paper explores a case study of a hospital in Michigan as a window into the different characteristics of the discussion of psychiatric care for children.

“Beyond the asylum and before the ‘care in the community’ model: exploring an overlooked early NHS mental health facility,” Christina Malathouni. Abstract:

This article discusses the Admission and Treatment Unit at Fair Mile Hospital, in Cholsey, near Wallingford, Berkshire (now Oxfordshire). This was the first new hospital to be completed in England following the launch of the National Health Service. The building was designed by Powell and Moya, one of the most important post-war English architectural practices, and was completed in 1956, but demolished in 2003. The article relates the commission of the building to landmark policy changes and argues for its historic significance in the context of the NHS and of the evolution of mental health care models and policies. It also argues for the need for further study of those early NHS facilities in view of current developments in mental health provision.

“Eamon O’Sullivan: 20th-century Irish psychiatrist and occupational therapy patron,” Judith Pettigrew, Aisling Shalvey, Bríd Dunne, Katie Robinson. Abstract:

The profession of occupational therapy was formalized in the USA in 1917. Many of its earliest proponents were psychiatrists, yet their role in the development of the profession has received limited attention. This paper addresses this gap by considering one of the earliest Irish psychiatrist patrons of occupational therapy: Dr Eamon O’Sullivan (1897–1966) of Killarney Mental Hospital, Co Kerry, who developed an occupational therapy department in 1934. A textbook written by O’Sullivan reflects core philosophies articulated by occupational therapy’s founders, and these philosophies were evident in practice at his hospital. Some inconsistencies between O’Sullivan’s writings and practice are identified. In the absence of patient testimonies, it is not possible to resolve questions about the potential exploitation of patients through work as therapy.

“American Civil War medical practice, the post-bellum opium crisis and modern comparisons,” R Gregory Lande. Abstract:

The American Civil War resulted in massive numbers of injured and ill soldiers. Throughout the conflict, medical doctors relied on opium to treat these conditions, giving rise to claims that the injudicious use of the narcotic caused America’s post-bellum opium crisis. Similar claims of medical misuse of opioids are now made as America confronts the modern narcotic crisis. A more nuanced thesis based on a broader base of Civil War era research suggests a more complex set of interacting factors that collectively contributed to America’s post-war opium crisis.