Charles Darwin, Duchenne de Boulogne and others described the process of producing an emotional expression, but they didn’t show this process: photographs displayed just one instant that summarized that process. This instant is not conceptualized as such in their books, but was nonetheless materialized in the photographs. These photographs were later appropriated by others such as the psychologist Georges Dumas and the physiologist Charles-Émile François-Franck, who also followed their photographic methods. By doing this, Dumas and François-Franck were implicitly assuming the principle of the instant: that the smile was that frozen moment that they were seeing in the photographs.

For the latest in our series of author interviews, we spoke to Beatriz Pichel, Wellcome Trust Fellow in Medical Humanities, at the Photographic History Research Centre, De Montfort University. Dr Pichel works between the history of photography, the history of emotions, and the medical humanities; she is currently working on the relationship between psychological theories of the emotions and photography at then turn of the nineteenth century. Her new paper, 'From Facial Expressions to Bodily Gestures: Passions, Photography and Movement in French 19th-Century Sciences' is available, open access, in the current issue of History of the Human Sciences. Dr Pichel spoke to HHS Web Editor, Des Fitzgerald.  Des Fitzgerald: The fundamental claim of your paper, as I read it, and if you’ll forgive a radical simplification, is that the history of the emotions is also the history of photographic technology. Why was it that attention to the emotions, particularly, became so associated with photographic technology? Or should we understand what’s going on here as only one story within a broader history

of visual technology in the history of psychology? Beatriz Pichel: In the second half of the nineteenth century, psychologists and physiologists started to measure emotions in terms of bodily changes (breath, blood pressure, pulse, etc.). But some of them nonetheless still used photographs to see the external changes in the body. This is interesting because, at this time, the imaging of emotion is the only use of photography that I have found in the group of psychologists that I’m looking at. So yes, I would suggest that there is a special connection between photography and emotions in the history of psychology – although, of course, the uses of photography in psychology cannot be reduced to this. But there is a further question, which relates to what we understand by the ‘history of emotions’ more broadly. In my article, I refer to the history of emotions as a discipline, and I claim that part of this history should…

Philosophically, one of the goals of science studies was to show that there was no clear demarcation of science from society, that scientists were human beings like you and me, and that their claims to objectivity were unfounded. Expert knowledge was put in its place and subordinated to a democratic process. When science studies were established as a field in the 1980s, we were certainly not ruled by philosopher kings and nobody felt the need to show how Derrida and Rorty had fabricated their truth claims ­– not least because these philosophers didn't make any. But technoscientists did assert their expertise and transformed our world in powerful ways. So we started the Science Wars.

Nicolas Langlitz is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the New School for Social Research in New York City. His work lies at the intersection of anthropology and the history of science, where he has been especially engaged with the epistemic cultures of the neurobiological and psychopharmcological sciences. His most recent monograph, 'Neuropsychedilia: The Revival of Hallucinogen Research Since the Decade of The Brain' is available from the University of California Press. At the beginning of March, Des Fitzgerald, HHS Web Editor, caught up with Nicolas about his recent article in History of the Human Sciences, 'On a not so chance encounter of neurophilosophy and science studies in a sleep laboratory.' Des Fitzgerald: We’ve had a lot of reflection lately on how disciplines like anthropology and sociology intersect the natural sciences (and especially life sciences); one of the things I found especially valuable about your article was its attention to a very different set of interdisciplinary relations – those between social scientists and philosophers. Why do you think there has been relatively little attention to these interactions? And where do you see their future? Nicolas Langlitz: That's true.

Social studies of science, including anthropology and sociology, have not paid much attention to philosophy. I think there are political reasons for why the humanities and the social sciences attracted less interest. In his article "What Happened in the Sixties?", Jon Agar located the birth of science studies in the long 1960s and the countercultural upheaval against technocratic government. Philosophically, one of the goals of science studies was to show that there was no clear demarcation of science from society, that scientists were human beings like you and me, and that their claims to objectivity were unfounded. Expert knowledge was put in its place and subordinated to a democratic process. When science studies were established as a field in the 1980s, we were certainly not ruled by philosopher kings and nobody felt the need to show how Derrida and Rorty had fabricated their truth claims ­– not least because these philosophers didn't make any. But technoscientists did assert their expertise and transformed our world in powerful ways. So we started the…