New: History of the Human Sciences Early Career Prize

The journal History of the Human Sciences has announced a new early career award. Details below.

Guidelines for the Award

Scholars who wish to be considered for the award are asked to submit an up-to-date CV (a maximum of two pages in length and including a statement that confirms eligibility for the award) and an essay that is a maximum of 12,000 words long (including footnotes and references). The essay should be unpublished and not under consideration elsewhere, based on original research, written in English, and follow History of the Human Science’s style guide. Scholars are advised to read the journal’s description of its aims and scope, as well as its submission guidelines.

Essays will be judged by a panel drawn from the journal’s editorial team and board. They will identify the essay from the field of entries that best fits the journal’s aims and scope.


Scholars of any nationality who have either not yet been awarded a PhD or are no more than five years from its award are welcome to apply. The judging panel will use the definition of “active years”, with time away from academia for parental leave, health problems, or other relevant reasons not counting towards the definition of eligibility.


The winning scholar will be awarded £250 and have their essay published in History of the Human Sciences (subject to the essay passing through the journal’s peer review process). The intention is to award the prize to a single entrant but the judging panel may choose to recognise more than one essay in the event of a particularly strong field.


Entries should be made by 31st January 2020. The panel will aim to make a decision by 1st May 2020. The winning entry will be submitted for peer review automatically. The article, clearly identified as the winner of the History of the Human Sciences Early Career Prize, will then be published in the journal as soon as the production schedule allows. The winning scholar and article will also be promoted by History of the Human Sciences, including on its website, which hosts content separate to the journal.

To Apply

Entrants should e-mail an anonymised copy of their essay, along with an up-to-date CV, to

Further Enquiries

If you have any questions about the prize, or anything relating to the journal, please email

New CBHM/BCHM: Deinstitutionalization in Québec and Graphics in Psychiatric Drug Maintenance Therapy

Two articles in the fall issue of the Canadian Bulletin of Medical History may interest AHP readers. Details below:

En quête de financement pour la création d’une clinique externe et d’un service social comme parachèvement de la désinstitutionnalisation à l’Hôpital Saint-Michel-Archange de Beauport, 1961–72,” by Karine Aubin. Abstract:

La parution du rapport de la Commission d’étude des hôpitaux psychiatriques (rapport Bédard) en 1962 fut longtemps considérée comme un point de rupture dans l’histoire de la psychiatrie québécoise. L’historiographie récente propose une nouvelle interprétation du phénomène de la désinstitutionnalisation au Québec en s’intéressant à des initiatives datant du début du 20e siècle. Dans cette perspective, nous proposons l’hypothèse que le rapport Bédard constitue un levier politique pour obtenir un financement après l’entrée en vigueur de la Loi de l’assurance-hospitalisation en 1961 et que ses recommandations s’appuient sur les changements en cours. Cet article offre une relecture du rapport de la commission en ce qui concerne l’Hôpital Saint-Michel-Archange de Beauport et jette un éclairage différent sur la désinstitutionnalisation au Québec. Pour illustrer les changements organisationnels qui se produisent entre 1962 et 1972, notamment grâce à un nouveau financement public, nous nous appuyons sur les informations contenues dans un dossier médical spécifique.

The release of the report of the Commission d’étude des hôpitaux psychiatriques (Bédard report) in 1962 was long considered a transformative moment in the history of Québec psychiatry. But recent historiography suggests that deinstitutionalization in Québec features initiatives dating back to the early 20th century. Following this line of argumentation, we suggest that the Bédard report was primarily a political tool to obtain funding in the wake of the 1961 Hospital Insurance Act, and that the report’s recommendations built upon ongoing changes. This article proposes a new reading of the commission’s report on Beauport’s Hôpital Saint-Michel-Archange, and offers a new perspective on deinstitutionalization in Québec. Data gathered from medical records help illustrate the organizational changes that occurred between 1962 and 1972 through new public funding.

Erasing the Personal Baseline: Graphing Responders to Psychiatric Drug Maintenance Therapy,” by Dorian Deshauer. Abstract:

Since the 1950s, the practice of psychiatric drug maintenance therapy has been supported by graphics. Lacking physical markers to identify “responders” to long-term drugs, psychiatrists have used graphics to make the outcomes of their interventions visible. This article identifies changes in the graphical representation of drug responders in psychiatric journals between the mid-1950s and the mid-1990s. It argues that before 1970, psychiatrists assessed patients’ responses in relation to their personal baselines or symptom trajectories. After 1970, clinical trials made it possible to see responders through a statistical lens, as a homogeneous population, decontextualized from its past and having a future consisting of two possible states: relapse or remission. Abstracted from their life’s context, responders became the desired outcome of prescribing protocols that could be applied anywhere. Psychiatry’s graphical language supported an authoritative view of mental health as something to be optimized and maintained with prescription drugs.

Depuis les années 1950, les thérapies psychiatriques qui recouraient aux médicaments s’appuyaient sur des graphiques. Ne pouvant faire état de signes physiques, les psychiatres les utilisaient pour rendre « visibles » les réponses des patients aux médicaments administrés à long terme. Cet article retrace l’évolution des représentations graphiques utilisées dans les revues de psychiatrie pour exposer les réponses des patients à des médicaments entre le milieu des années 1950 et le milieu des années 1990. Avant 1970, les psychiatres évaluaient ces réponses en fonction des caractéristiques personnelles des patients ou de l’évolution de leurs symptômes. Après 1970 cependant, les essais cliniques permirent une démarche statistique, qui traitait les patients sous médication comme une population homogène, sans passé et dotée d’un futur exprimé en termes de rémission ou de rechute. Une fois détachés de leur contexte de vie, ces patients symbolisaient les résultats attendus de protocoles de prescription applicables partout. Ce langage graphique véhiculait une conception dominante selon laquelle la santé mentale peut être améliorée et maintenue grâce à la prescription de médicaments.

Credibility and Incredulity in Milgram’s Obedience Experiments: A Reanalysis of an Unpublished Test

Those following ongoing conversations about the Milrgam obedience to authority experiments may be interested in a recent article in Social Psychology Quarterly that reanalyses some of the original data from the experiment. Details below.

Credibility and Incredulity in Milgram’s Obedience Experiments: A Reanalysis of an Unpublished Test,” by Gina Perry, Augustine Brannigan, Richard A. Wanner, Henderikus Stam. Abstract:

This article analyzes variations in subject perceptions of pain in Milgram’s obedience experiments and their behavioral consequences. Based on an unpublished study by Milgram’s assistant, Taketo Murata, we report the relationship between the subjects’ belief that the learner was actually receiving painful electric shocks and their choice of shock level. This archival material indicates that in 18 of 23 variations of the experiment, the mean levels of shock for those who fully believed that they were inflicting pain were lower than for subjects who did not fully believe they were inflicting pain. These data suggest that the perception of pain inflated subject defiance and that subject skepticism inflated their obedience. This analysis revises our perception of the classical interpretation of the experiment and its putative relevance to the explanation of state atrocities, such as the Holocaust. It also raises the issue of dramaturgical credibility in experiments based on deception. The findings are discussed in the context of methodological questions about the reliability of Milgram’s questionnaire data and their broader theoretical relevance.

Hans Eysenck’s work ruled ‘unsafe’

As reported in the Guardian, numerous papers published by controversial psychologist Hans Eysenck have been ruled unsafe after an investigation by King’s College London. This follows concerns published in the Journal of Health Psychology and an Editorial in the British Medical Journal, as reported by AHP here. Particularly controversial is Eysenck’s work on cancer-prone personalities and his ties to tobacco companies. The full article in the Guardian can be read here.

New in JHBS: Mind-Body Medicine Before Freud, Reflections on Psychology and Biography

Two articles now in press at the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences will be of interest to AHP readers. Be sure to check out the fantastic images featured in the new article from Ben Harris and Courtney Stevens. Full details follow below.

Practicing mind? body medicine before Freud: John G. Gehring, the “Wizard of the Androscoggin”,” Ben Harris & Courtney J. Stevens. Abstract:

This article describes the psychotherapy practice of physician John G. Gehring and places it in historical context. Forgotten today, Gehring was a highly sought?after therapist from the 1890s to the 1920s by prominent figures in the arts, sciences, business, and law. He practiced a combination of work therapy, suggestion, and autosuggestion that has similarities to Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Behavioral Activation. Using biographies, memoirs, and archival records, the details of Gehring’s work are reconstructed and the reasons for its success are analyzed. His invisibility in the history of psychiatry is attributed to the later dominance of Freudianism within the field.

The psychologist’s biographer: Writing lives in the history of psychology,” by Eric F. Luckey. Abstract:

How should historians employ psychological insight when seeking to understand and analyze their historical subjects? That is the essential question explored in this methodological reflection on the relationship between psychology and biography. To answer it, this paper offers a historical, historiographical, and theoretical analysis of life writing in the history of psychology. It touches down in the genres of autobiography, psychobiography, and cultural history to assess how other historians and psychologists have answered this question. And it offers a more detailed analysis of one particularly useful text, Kerry Buckley’s (1989) Mechanical Man, to illuminate specific ways in which historians can simultaneously employ, historicize, and critically analyze the theories of the psychologists they study. Although ostensibly about writing biographies of eminent psychologists, this article speaks to a methodological issue facing any historian contemplating the role psychological theories should play in their historical narratives.