PhD scholarship focusing on history and/or literature, and mental health

A newly advertised PhD position at the University of Coenhagen focusing on history and/or literature and mental health, and part of the ‘Covid-19 and global mental health’ project, may interest AHP readers. The deadline for applications is 9 January 2022, at 23:59 CET. Full details below.

The Department of English, Germanic and Romance studies (ENGEROM), University of Copenhagen (UCPH), invites applications for one PhD scholarship (focus on history and/or literature, and mental health), starting on 1 April 2022.

The position is funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation project ‘Covid-19 and global mental health: The importance of cultural contexts.’

The successful candidates will work closely with the project’s PI Ana Antic and will join a dynamic international research team, based at ENGEROM.

Description of the project

This project will explore critically the emerging literature and debates about global mental health effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and related social isolation and economic downturn. It will examine how cultural and social difference is constructed and worked into the current mental health research. The purpose of the project is twofold. Firstly, it aims to explore the emerging Covid-19 mental health literature (psychiatric, psychological and anthropological) and patients’ narratives in different cultural contexts in order to look beyond the discourses of universality that dominate current research, and to see how different societies have experienced the pandemic/lockdown psychologically, and what is highlighted and diagnosed (or self-diagnosed) as the core problem in different socio-cultural settings. Secondly, it will analyse critically the methodology and research instruments used in the existing mental health studies as well as the assumed universality of their diagnostic concepts. The project rests on the idea that psychiatric treatment results and health outcomes would have more impact if the medical perspective in psychiatry is complemented by a scholarly consideration of local, social, cultural and political-economic factors, which shape the lived experience of and social/communal responses to mental illness.

Qualifications and description

This is a collaborative project, and the PhD student will be a core member of a research team, which, in addition to the PI, includes four postdoctoral research fellows.

The successful candidate is expected to work both independently and in collaboration with the team. They should hold an MA degree in the field of history, literature, anthropology or medical humanities, with a focus on psychiatry (including cross-cultural psychiatry) and mental health. They should be interested in expanding their knowledge of the history and current debates in the field of cross-cultural psychiatry and global mental health, and the history of colonial and post-colonial ‘psy’ sciences.

The candidate will be expected to conduct original research in medical/psychiatric and historical archives and institutions, and to produce a doctoral dissertation focused on analysing both clinical and non-clinical (literary, anthropological, socio-cultural) narratives and discussions of mental health and Covid-19 in Nigeria and Western Africa.

Within the research team, the candidate will take part in broader intellectual and methodological discussions around the project’s goals and general directions. Experience with oral interviews and with collaborative work will be an asset. In terms of outputs, in addition to the PhD thesis, the candidate will work together with the team on developing a database of relevant Covid-19 mental health literature.

The candidate is also expected to take active part in the academic life of the department.

For further information, including more details on the ‘Covid-19 and global mental health’ project, please contact project PI Ana Antic at

Anthropological subject and Metaphysics of Love in Binswanger et l’Analyse Existentielle

A new Portuguese language piece in Revista Ideação may interest AHP readers: “Sujeito antroplógico e matafísica do amor em binswanger et l’analyse existentielle” (“Anthropological subject and Metaphysics of Love in Binswanger et l’Analyse Existentielle”) by Marcio Luiz Miotto. Abstract:

O presente trabalho enfoca as relações entre antropologia e verdade nos escritos de Foucault dos anos 1950, tendo sob alvo o lançamento recente do escrito até então inédito intitulado Binswanger et l’Analyse Existentielle. Para isso, num primeiro momento o texto contextualiza  essa publicação à luz do depósito, em 2013, de novos materiais de Michel Foucault na Biblioteca Nacional da França. Depois, ele passa à análise dos textos dos anos 1950 e insere o novo texto nos  demais debates. Finalmente, o artigo enfoca a questão antropológica em três eixos: as relações antropologia x psicopatologia, o lugar da fenomenologia na argumentação de Foucault e os limites das considerações de Binswanger e da Daseinsanalyse.

The present work focuses on the relationship between truth and anthropology in the Foucault’s first writings from the 1950s, targeting the recent release of the (until now) unpublished writing “Binswanger et l’Analyse Existentielle”. To shed some light on such relationship, firstly the article contextualizes the new book under the recent deposit of several foucauldian writings at Bibliothèque Nationale de France, at last since 2013. Secondly, it contextualizes the place of the new book under the published texts from the 1950s. Finally, the article analyses the book considering the anthropological problem under three main issues: the relationship between anthropology and psychopathology, the place of phenomenology in Foucault’s argumentation, and the limits of the Daseinsanalyse and Ludwig Binswanger’s theorisations.

Alfred Vierkandt’s notion of the social group

A new article in History of the Human Sciences may interest AHP readers: “Alfred Vierkandt’s notion of the social group” by Sandro Segre. Abstract:

German sociologist Alfred Vierkandt is hardly remembered today. This may seem surprising. Several prominent sociologists from the German-speaking countries contributed to the Handwörterbuch der Soziologie (1931), which Vierkandt edited and published. However, Vierkandt did not interact with any of them significantly, and this publication brought no recognition of the importance of his sociological oeuvre in Germany, the United States, or elsewhere. His key notion of the social group found no acknowledgment among other contemporary or later sociologists, even though several of them used this notion and discussed social groups in their own writings. Moreover, those who paid close attention to his writings, like Abel and Hochstim, evaluated them quite critically. Both before and after World War II, Vierkandt remained a solitary and relatively unknown author.

Special Issue on Karl Bühler

AHP readers may be interested in a special issue of the Journal für Psychologie on Karl Bühler revisited. The issue, published in German, is edited by Janette Friedrich and Thomas Sluneckoi. The issues is described as follows:

Karl Bühler wird 1922 als ordentlicher Professor für Philosophie “mit besonderer Berücksichtigung der Psychologie und der experimentellen Pädagogik” an die Universität Wien berufen und damit zur Gründungsfigur des dortigen Psychologischen Instituts, das sich in den 1930er Jahren zu einem der produktivsten in Europa entwickelte. In Wien entstehen seine drei bekanntesten Monografien: die Krise der Psychologie (1927), die Ausdruckstheorie (1933) und die Sprachtheorie (1934). Die vorliegende Ausgabe des Journals für Psychologie ist dieser Schaffensperiode Bühlers gewidmet. Dabei geht es nicht nur um Geschichte, sondern vor allem um damals begonnene Debatten, die heute noch fortdauern, nicht selten in Unkenntnis früherer Überlegungen. Einige dieser aktuellen Debatten werden von aus unterschiedlichen Fachgebieten stammenden Autor*innen an den theoretischen Elan Bühlers rückgebunden und so erneut durchdacht.


Janette Friedrich & Thomas Slunecko: Karl Bühler in Wien, 1922–1938: Konzeptionen, Kontroversen und ihre Kontinuität (Editorial)

Gerhard Benetka & Thomas Slunecko: “Erleben”, das zur Sprache kommt. Anmerkungen zur Methode der “Introspektion” am Beispiel von Würzburger Schule und Mikrophänomenologie

Stefan Volke: “Ich bin einigermaßen betrübt, daß mein hochgeschätzter Kollege mich derart mißverstehen konnte”. Das Ringen um Karl Bühlers Theorie der Farbenkonstanz

Clemens Knobloch. Symptom und Signal, Ausdruck und Steuerung in der vorsprachlichen Sozialregulation

Ralph Sichler: Das Organonmodell und die Theorie der Sprechakte. Karl Bühlers Sprachtheorie im Kontext der Philosophie der Alltagssprache

Marie-Cécile Bertau: Die Dynamik von Sinnlichem und Symbolischem in der Sprache. Der Versuch einer Artikulation zwischen Karl Bühler, Lev Jakubinskij und Lev Vygotskij

Federico Albano Leoni: “Die Sprachen sind instabile und ungeordnete Systeme”. Beobachtungen eines Sprachwissenschaftlers zur Sprachtheorie Karl Bühlers

Frank Vonk: “Die Seele ist das Prinzip des Lebens …”. Karl Bühlers Beitrag zum anthropologischen Denken

Was John B. Watson Inspired by Anna Wyczólkowska and Her Studies in the Mechanism of Speech?

AHP readers may be interested in a new open-access article in Organon: “Was John B. Watson Inspired by Anna Wyczólkowska and Her Studies in the Mechanism of Speech?” by Cezary W. Doma?ski. Abstract:

In 1913, an article by Anna Wyczólkowska entitled Theoretical and experimental studies in the mechanism of speech was published in the Psychological Review. It contains the results of her studies on internal speech and thought, which had been carried out by the author seven years earlier, in the psychological laboratory of the University of Chicago. John B. Watson was a participant in the study. Wyczólkowska believed that Watson was inspired by her research. Thanks to his participation, he gradually began to move away from his original interest in animal psychology, towards behaviourism. In his Behaviorist Manifesto published in the same year, Watson took, as one of the arguments for the rightness of his programme, the assumption that the thought process is really motor habits in the larynx, improvements, short cuts, changes, etc. According to Wyczólkowska, it was obviously inspired by her research. Her aforementioned article is still cited in the psychological literature today, and belongs to the canon of the most important early experimental studies in the field of research on thinking and speech processes. This text discusses the relationship between the research conducted by Wyczólkowska and some assumptions of behaviourism. Furthermore it presents the story of Wyczólkowska’s life, her scientific work, social commitment to women’s university education, and activities in the Polish American community.

Psychology From the Margins Extended Deadline: “Applied Psychology and Minoritized Groups: Using History to Inform Present Practices”

Psychology From the Margins
Call for Papers
Updated Manuscript Submission Deadline: January 14th, 2022

“Applied Psychology and Minoritized Groups: Using History to Inform Present Practices”

To understand the present moment of psychology, we must examine its past. From conversion therapy to Brown v. Board of Education, psychology has played major roles in both supporting and undermining the well-being of the oppressed and disenfranchised throughout history.

Psychology from the Margins, a student-led, peer-reviewed journal supported by the National Museum for the History of Psychology is seeking submissions for our fourth annual issue.  This journal features scholarly work addressing the history of research, practice, and advocacy in psychology, especially as it relates to social justice, social issues, and social change. The purpose of the journal is to fill gaps in the literature by providing an outlet for articles in psychology that highlight stories unrepresented in mainstream historical narratives. This year, we particularly welcome papers that address the theme of issue four- “Applied Psychology and Minoritized Groups: Using History to Inform Present Practices”. We encourage contributions that draw attention to how applied psychological research, practice, and advocacy have affected and been affected by minoritized groups and individuals.  Manuscripts should be between 20 and 40 pages in length (not including references).

Possible Topics:

  • Considerations related to use of mainstream psychological approaches with minoritized groups in light of histories of marginalization and oppression
  • History of a culturally specific approach and current state of the research
  • History of a harmful psychological practice with minoritized groups
  • Misapplication of psychological knowledge to marginalized groups throughout history and how it is/can be addressed
  • How social justice and advocacy endeavors in the history of psychology informs current practices
  • Modern applications of historical contributions of marginalized psychologists
  • Historical roots of social justice and advocacy
  • History of marginalized psychologists advocating for equity and justice
  • Explorations of the historical work of underrepresented groups in shaping applied psychology

Submission Guidelines: Interested authors are welcome to submit an abstract for feedback from the editorial board regarding the topic’s fit and focus for this issue by emailing the editors (see below). Completed manuscripts should be submitted through the Psychology from the Margins portal found at 

Questions and correspondence are welcomed and may be directed to Nicole Theiss Fogwell, M.A. ( and Devynn Campbell-Halfaker, M.A., (

Ludwig Binswanger’s Comments on Hermann Rorschach’s Psychodiagnostik

AHP readers may be intersted in a new piece in History of Psychiatry: “Ludwig Binswanger’s Comments on Hermann Rorschach’s Psychodiagnostik,” Marvin W Acklin, Peter Tokofsky, Reneau Kennedy, Peter Tokofsky, Marvin W Acklin. Abstract:

This article presents an introduction to Ludwig Binswanger’s Comments on Hermann Rorschach’s Psychodiagnostik, published in the International Journal of Psychoanalysis in 1923, after Rorschach’s death in 1922. Binswanger, one of the most distinguished psychiatrists of the twentieth century and a close professional colleague and compatriot in the Swiss Psychiatric and Psychoanalytic Societies, was blazing new trails by incorporating turn-of-the-century phenomenology and experimental psychology into Swiss psychiatry. His comments, which have been noted for over 100 years but never before translated, are a critical review of Rorschach’s monograph, highlighting the undeveloped status of the test theory and philosophical foundations. Binswanger’s comments illuminate philosophical, conceptual and scientific pathways not taken in the development of the test following Rorschach’s untimely demise.

Aboriginal Australian mental health during the first 100 years of colonization, 1788–1888: A historical review of nineteenth-century documents

A new piece in History of Psychiatry will interest AHP readers: “Aboriginal Australian mental health during the first 100 years of colonization, 1788–1888: a historical review of nineteenth-century documents,” Toby Raeburn, Kayla Sale, Paul Saunders, Aunty Kerrie Doyle. Abstract:

Past histories charting interactions between British healthcare and Aboriginal Australians have tended to be dominated by broad histological themes such as invasion and colonization. While such descriptions have been vital to modernization and truth telling in Australian historical discourse, this paper investigates the nineteenth century through the modern cultural lens of mental health. We reviewed primary documents, including colonial diaries, church sermons, newspaper articles, medical and burial records, letters, government documents, conference speeches and anthropological journals. Findings revealed six overlapping fields which applied British ideas about mental health to Aboriginal Australians during the nineteenth century. They included military invasion, religion, law, psychological systems, lunatic asylums, and anthropology.

New Isis: Open Access Section on Amorous Matching, the “Mediterranean race”, and More

The December 2021 issue of Isis is now online. A number of articles in this issue may interest AHP readers:

“Mediterraneanizing Europe: The Project of Subaltern Race and the Postimperial Search for Hybridity,” Marina Mogilner. Abstract:

This essay explores the predicament of subaltern self-racializing in terms of European political and scientific modernity by tracing attempts to reconsider and appropriate the “Mediterranean race” concept on behalf of new and underrecognized nationalisms. The essay develops a perspective that brings together the least obvious global “coauthors” of the counternarrative of the “Mediterranean race”—such as Russian Zionism, turn-of-the-century Italian nationalism, and W. E. B. Du Bois’s “Negritude” nationalism—which were equally engaged in self-racializing and claiming the status of archetypal Europeanness. Jewish self-racializing, in particular, which is usually interpreted as a response to racial anti-Semitism or as an expression of self-hatred, is treated here as a paradigmatic case of subaltern nationalism and subaltern science. Ultimately, the essay explores the hybridizing potential and politics of comparison embedded in the “Mediterranean race” counternarrative that continue to inspire historical and cultural revisionism today.

How Western Science Corrupts Class Consciousness: East Germany’s Presence at IIASA
Till Düppe
Full Text

The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Laxenburg, Austria, was founded during the period of détente in 1972 to bring scientists from East and West together to research shared problems and thus to build a “bridge” between the two opposed systems. The underlying image of knowledge at the institute was in stark contrast to the intellectual culture established in East Germany. Contributing to our understanding of the history of Cold War knowledge transfer, this essay reconstructs East Germany’s ambivalent and complex role at IIASA. Even if participation was considered important for displaying East German science, the essay argues that East Germany’s contribution was caught up in the perception of the Western scholar as a class enemy. It illustrates this by examining the best-documented case: that of Harry Maier, a social scientist who spent two years at IIASA between 1978 and 1980 and then, in 1986, used a conference visit to escape from East Germany.


Special open-access section

“Introduction: Epistemologies of the Match,” Hansun Hsiung and Elena Serrano. Abstract:

Algorithmically driven online dating platforms today promise the ability to sort through relevant data and identify one’s ideal amorous matches effectively. Yet the appeal of technological and scientific solutions to the messy problem of finding partners is hardly new. This introduction to the Focus section “It’s a Match!” argues that the history of amorous matching has long been part and parcel of the history of science, in particular the social sciences. Taking matching as an “applied science of social harmony,” the authors argue that concern over more reliable techniques for determining the suitability of partners has formed an essential part of both the maintenance of social order and the shaping of subjectivities, enabling discourses of informed choice and the rational management of the passions, while also reinforcing and subverting structures of age, gender, race, and sexuality.

“Are the Stars Aligned? Matchmaking and Astrology in Early Modern Italy,” Monica Azzolini. Abstract:

This essay examines how early moderns used birth horoscopes (genitures) to assess the compatibility of prospective spouses before marriage. Astrologers could probe the horoscope of an individual to investigate his or her present and future physical and moral qualities or compare charts to reveal the personal compatibility of a couple and help establish the best time to consummate their marriage. These practices aimed at ensuring a fruitful marriage and the harmony and happiness of the couple and their families. Focusing on a few key examples, the essay outlines both the astrological theories and the social politics that propelled astrological matching, suggesting that its appeal lay in the promise of informed choice while also preserving free will. Finally, the author suggests ways in which astrological practices and the use of vast amounts of astronomical data share affinities with data-driven matching in our own time.

“A Feminist Physiology: B. J. Feijoo (1676–1764) and His Advice for Those in Love,” Elena Serrano. Abstract:

This essay analyzes how the Benedictine monk Benito Jerónimo Feijoo (1676–1764), one of the most popular Spanish natural philosophers in Europe and America, discussed amorous attraction. In an attempt to reconcile Catholic dogma with empirical knowledge, Feijoo explained the origin of love as the result of wave-like interactions between sensual stimulus, imagination, nerve fibers, and the heart. His physiological model considered men and women to be equal in their internal constituents, which had important consequences for a possible science of matching. First, a possible match could only be known by a physical encounter; second, love bonds could be controlled by training the imagination; third, a harmonious society with happy marriages required accepting the intellectual equality of the sexes. The essay suggests how our knowledge about the nature of emotions influences the way we imagine an ideal society, as it is ultimately about the forces that attract and separate people, as well as the mechanisms to control them.

“From Harmony to eHarmony: Charles Fourier, Social Science, and the Management of Love,” Hansun Hsiung. Abstract:

This essay examines techniques of amorous matching in the work of the “utopian socialist” Charles Fourier (1772–1837), recovering the practices and the institutions he proposed for the management of love, as well as his political arguments for their centrality in a perfected society. In doing so, it argues more broadly for the need to position the management of love at the origin of early social science. Much as early defenses of capitalism had at their core a discourse of the passions, so too was Fourier’s socialism invested in exploring how problems of political economy were those of passional economy. To rectify the latter, Fourier attempted to articulate both a mathematical system—a calcul des passions—and a centralized information system for the gathering and sorting of personal data. The recovery of his vision thus has the potential to inform critically a radical politics of algorithmic matching through Big Data—the province today not of utopian socialism but of online dating apps.

“Cranial Compatibility: Phrenology, Measurement, and Marriage Assessment,” Carla Bittel. Abstract:

This essay examines phrenological tools as instruments of matchmaking and focuses on the personal ad as a site for producing and exchanging knowledge about individuals. It shows how cranial measurement produced character profiles for the purpose of judging suitable marriage partners and how users integrated those profiles into personal advertisements published in the Water-Cure Journal. A popular but contested science of the mind, phrenology maintained that one could truly know others and oneself through measuring “organs” of the mind via protrusions on the skull. While much has been written about phrenology, less attention has been paid to its focus on marriage and mating and to how users enrolled phrenology to find and judge the viability of a mate. Focused on the American context in the 1850s, this essay will show that notions of race and gender, heredity, and marital “relations” were embedded in the shorthand of phrenological measurements and personal ads.

“Love Is a Problem of Knowledge,” Dan Bouk. Abstract:

Faced with the complicated problem of matching people, matchmakers over the last few centuries have sought for, experimented with, and embraced various intellectual tools that promised to help. This commentary on the preceding essays in the Focus section “It’s a Match!” discusses the tools for matchmaking developed from fields like astrology or phrenology and their social implications. The essay closes with a meditation on the continuities evident in efforts to predict and match possible lovers using apps and algorithms today.