Perhaps the most shocking part of this book are the stories of what happened to these Jewish psychologists after fascism had fallen during and after World War Two. Unfortunately, as with many other Jews who had been discriminated against or sacked in a variety of sectors, their reintegration and rehabilitation was neither easy nor straightforward. Would these people simply be offered their former jobs back? Some were happy to stay where they were, but others tried to return to Italy. Others appeared lost – nobody seemed to know where they were or what they were doing. Should those who ‘replaced’ these people be themselves sacked or moved on?

Patrizia Guarnieri, Italian Psychology and Jewish Emigration under Fascism. From Florence to Jerusalem and New York New York, Palgrave Macmillan US, 2016, 275 pages, Hardcover $100.00; E-Book: $79.99,  ISBN: 978-1-137-30655-5/978-1-137-30656-2 by John Foot This is a difficult and at the same time a fascinating book. It has many sites of focus and can also be read as a set of collective biographies or individual pathlines through the worlds of psychology, fascism and Jewish identity in Italy and elsewhere. The overall analysis of the book is linked to the study of psychology and psychologists in Italy – and the way this nascent and marginalised discipline developed in that country before, during and after fascism – and in particular in the city of Florence. Thus, Guarnieri tells us a number of important stories of individuals who carried forward this discipline and taught and research within various areas of psychology. Within this world, in Italy, we quickly come across the all powerful role played by

Agostino Gemelli in the private Catholic University in Milan. As Guarnieri points out, Gemelli had institutional resources behind him. Gemelli, a friar, turns up time and time again in this book as a king-maker, able to create or destroy careers – and someone who, within Italian psychology, it was very difficult to avoid. For me, the most fascinating parts of this volume are those linked to the pernicious effects of Italy’s anti-semitic laws of 1938.  These laws led in most cases to the expulsion of all Jews from academic posts in Italian universities.  These people were forced to find another job – not easy in a country which officially discriminated against Jews and where psychology itself was hardly a major discipline. Guarnieri then takes up individual pathways of certain key psychologists. There is the detailed and extraordinary story of Enzo Bonaventura, who emigrated to Palestine in March 1939 and became Professor of Psychology in the Hebrew University. But perhaps the…

When placed in a broad multicultural and historical context, the Chinese approach to emotion differs substantially and substantively from that favoured in the West. While the West has long been concerned with the ways that emotion can distort 'reality,' the Chinese notion of qing holds that emotion 'discloses something that is true about the person and the world' by grounding the person in reality. This sensitizes the person to the undisclosed or implicit impact that the world has upon us. While Western theory focuses on differences ('symmetry breakdown') that foster action and control, the Chinese privilege symmetry as evidenced by a heightened appreciation of harmony and resonance with others and nature as a whole.

Louise Sundararajan, Understanding Emotion in Chinese Culture: Thinking Through Psychology.  Springer International Publishing, 2015, 201 pages, Hardcover £90.00/-Book £72.99, ISBN: 978-3-319-18220-9/978-3-319-18221-6 by Gerald C. Cupchik Louise Sundararajan’s book offers a comparison between Western and Chinese culture based in part on differing modes of cognition that underlie lived experiences. Her approach is more nuanced than the usual East and West comparison. First, she is careful to focus on Chinese culture instead of making sweeping generalizations about the East. Second, while using the term “West,” she focuses on contemporary Western psychology. Since scientific psychology does not necessarily represent the full scope of knowledge about Western emotions, this book pertains primarily to western psychological conceptualizations of emotions, not Western emotional experiences per se. Sundararajan presents as a scholar with a foot in each of two worlds. On the one hand, she introduces many valuable concepts from Chinese culture and, in particular, the contrast by Confucian and Daoist approaches to life and meaning. On the other hand, she is

well versed and established in the mainstream literature from Western psychology with a bit of philosophy thrown in. Sundararajan summarizes the challenge of understanding Chinese emotions as follows: 'This suggests that a central problem for understanding Chinese emotions is the gap between mainstream western scientific terminology and indigenous Chinese psychology.'  At the heart of her book is the bridging of dynamics of emotional processes in Chinese culture with concepts and findings in the Western empirical tradition. Implicitly juxtaposed against mechanistic thinking in Western psychology is the Chinese approach that focuses on dynamic processes.  Sundararajan explains this difference in terms of that between non-relational and relational cognition. Relational cognition, which applies to Chinese culture, focuses on holistic mind-to-mind transactions based on shared meanings. Western culture embodies more linear non-relational cognition emphasizing mind-to-world transactions and mastery over the environment. Whereas the former is marked by Communal Sharing, the latter is reflected in Market Pricing. Understood in terms of…

Social historians of medicine have been especially adamant that medicine should be framed, as the title of the conference suggests, in its place. Medical knowledges could well be understood in a similar or an identical manner across geographical boundaries, but ultimately they have been influenced by the social and cultural contexts within which they were practiced.

The biennial Society for the Social History of Medicine (SSHM) conference took place at the University of Kent, 7-10 July 2016. The conference was opened by the chairman of the society Carsten Timmermann, and Julie Anderson, who organised the event with half a dozen of other postgraduate students in Kent’s history department. They made it clear that as a biennial meeting of members of the field from all over the world, the programme was kept flexible, to enable historians of medicine of diverse approaches and methodologies to present their work, even beyond social history itself. Nonetheless, the conference was officially titled Medicine in its place: situating medicine in historical contexts. The notion of place was open to different interpretations: physical and geographical places, ‘places’ of knowledge production, and the idea of a ‘social space’ as originally conceived by Henri Lefebvre. However, historians were perhaps in agreement that medicine must be understood, as stated in the title, within the social and cultural contexts in which they were

practiced at the time. ‘Medicine’, often misinterpreted as a branch of western science within the popular imagination, has always been contingently constructed within its own time and space. The clearest reflection of the theme of medicine in its place was how many of the papers discussed medicine as practiced within a specific geographical or physical space. Fabrice Cahen explored the geographically located pathology of congenital hip dislocation in provincial France, while at the transnational level Bill Leeming compared the process of institutional diffusion of prenatal diagnosis between Canada and Mexico. Kate Grauvogel’s fascinating paper discussed the renovation of an infamous mental hospital in suburban Stockholm to a modern residential area, articulating how the stigma associated with mental health was ‘contagious’ to the land even after the function of the space changed. As an appropriate commentary on the role of ‘place’ in the construction of medical knowledge, Steve Sturdy delivered the first plenary of the event on the commercialisation of…

One of the most important contributions of this book is its consideration of how late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century descriptions and understandings of the brain and the nervous system fell within a wider humanistic project. Casper’s exploration of the archives of the Neurological Society of London offers a unique window onto the nature of debates on topical issues at the time, in particular the conflict between specialisation and general medicine or generalist approaches to the body and mind.

Stephen T. Casper, The Neurologists: A History of a Medical Specialty in Modern Britain c. 1789-2000 Manchester, Manchester University Press, 2014, 288 pages, hardcover £70.00, ISBN: 978-0-7190-9192-6 Stephen T. Casper’s first book is an interesting reflection on the early origins of neurological sciences and the reasons why they came to dominate descriptions of mental processes and human reasoning.  Casper uses traditional techniques in the history of medicine to reveal the long history of the birth and development of the specialism of neurology in Britain. One of the most important contributions of this book is its consideration of how late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century descriptions and understandings of the brain and the nervous system fell within a wider humanistic project. Casper’s exploration of the archives of the Neurological Society of London offers a unique window onto the nature of debates on topical issues at the time, in particular the conflict between specialisation and general medicine or generalist approaches to the body and mind.  As Casper argues, ‘specialisation’

was an idea that was ‘peculiar to modernity’ which otherwise employed the language of evolution to develop organic models of society ultimately within functionalist sociology. His reflection on neurology as a discipline thus offers insights into how and why neurological hypotheses and ideas prospered in the British context as well how neurologists themselves negotiated their ability to offer wider insights on human nature whilst simultaneously protecting their own science. Although the term ‘neurology’ can be traced to 1664 in the work of Thomas Willis, and was used by phrenologists in the late 18th-century, it appeared rarely in both medical and lay literature until the latter part of the 19th century.  The specialty of neurology also emerged at this time. Its origins are associated with the foundation of the journal Brain: A Journal of Neurology in 1876. However, Casper argues, neurology did not achieve a coherent form until the interwar period.  And even when it did, there were always…

Nicholls’ monograph is the very first comprehensive English-language introduction to Blumenberg’s theory of myth, but even compared with introductions that are available in German, it is unique in its commitment to making Blumenberg’s arguments accessible combined with an extraordinary depth of scholarship on his intellectual background.

Angus Nicholls, Hans Blumenberg on Myth and the Human Sciences  New York and London, Routledge, 2015, 277 pages, hardcover £90, e-version £34,99, ISBN: 978-0-415-88549-2 I am fully convinced that this book will become an important tool in research and teaching, not only on the twentieth-century German philosopher Hans Blumenberg (1920-1996) but in the wider areas of myth and anthropology. It may even be of interest to an even more diverse audience, bringing a new level of complexity to current debates between religion and evolutionary theory. The title of the book itself holds the possibility of bridging the gap between cultural studies and natural sciences and reclaims the term “science” from the latter. It demonstrates, through Blumenberg’s work, how interwoven mythologies and the natural sciences actually are. The border between logos and myth is, according to Blumenberg, a fictive one. Nicholls’ monograph is the very first comprehensive English-language introduction to Blumenberg’s theory of myth, but even compared with introductions that are available in German,

it is unique in its commitment to making Blumenberg’s arguments accessible combined with an extraordinary depth of scholarship on his intellectual background. Blumenberg’s highly original theory of myth, outlined in the volume Work on Myth (1979; English translation 1985), distinguishes him as the most important German theorist of myth of the second half of the twentieth-century. His work has resonated internationally across academic disciplines ranging from literary theory, philosophy, religious studies and anthropology, to the history and philosophy of science. Blumenberg’s theory of myth is deeply related to debates within the broad field known as the 'human sciences,' particularly to philosophical anthropology and evolutionary biology. Emerging from his view of humans as 'creatures of deficiency' – organisms which, by virtue of their capacity for reflective thought, find themselves at odds with the order of nature – his theory breaks with enlightenment ideas by ascribing to myth a rational function. Indeed, the distinctive feature of Blumenberg’s approach is his…

Digitisation changes the way we view our archives, as it affects the relationship between what we want to study and what is accessible.

L0005847EB Papyrus text: fragment of Hippocratic oath. Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images images@wellcome.ac.uk http://wellcomeimages.org Papyrus text: fragment of Hippocratic oath: recto, 3rd century MS. 5754 Oxyrhynchus Papyrus 2547 Published: - Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

This is part three in a four-part report from the workshop, ‘The Future of the History of the Human Sciences,’ which was held at the University of York, 7-8 April 2016 (see a storify from the workshop here). The workshop was jointly hosted by HHS and Chris Renwick (History, York), and was supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Wellcome Trust, and the University of York. Here, Maria Damjanovicova (European Institute of Oncology, University of Milan) reports on the third of the workshop’s core problematics: The Problem of The Archive. What has been the impact of biological data and digital media on the archive and on notions of human nature? In the first talk of this session, ‘Possibilities and Problems with the Growing Archive’, Michael Finn (Museum of the History of Science, Technology, & Medicine, University of Leeds) discussed the changes in how archives are used in research, and the relevance of archival material with the emergence of the digital. He focused on three sets of challenges:

in questions of storage for example, digitisation introduces software and copyright issues, as well as a risk of information-loss when physical objects are digitised. In curation-related challenges, the role of the expert on historical subjects and historical expertise in archives is lost – together with a sense of what gets excluded from what is archived and unfiltered in search results. And in interpretation-related challenges, digitisation changes the way we view our archives, as it affects the relationship between what we want to study and what is accessible. In ‘Molecular Archives of Human History: Moving Beyond Text-Based Sources,’ Jessica Hendy (Department of Archaeology, University of York) drew together a range of material and historical practices showing how, for example, cultural practice towards animals can be gauged through parchment analysis, how the molecular biography of a people (who did not have a chance to write their own history) can be learned from the remains of St. Helena slaves, and…

What these different approaches to the problem of the social – division in knowledge production; attempts of knowledge synthesis; and crisis of sociology – highlighted, is that the future of the history of the human sciences itself entails the prospect of both a ‘new merger’ of and ‘new boundary work’ between and within the social and the biological sciences.

This is part two in a four-part report from the workshop, ‘The Future of the History of the Human Sciences,’ which was held at the University of York, 7-8 April 2016 (see a storify from the workshop here). The workshop was jointly hosted by HHS and Chris Renwick (History, York), and was supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Wellcome Trust, and the University of York. Here, Maria Damjanovicova (European Institute of Oncology, University of Milan) reports on another of the workshop’s core problematics: The Problem of The Social. How do models of ‘the social’ in the life sciences challenge those in the social sciences and humanities? The first talk of this session was Des Fitzgerald’s ‘The Commotion of the Social’. Fitzgerald (School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University) engaged with a crisis of sociology considered to have been brought about by the challenge that technology poses to sociological research, and confronted the idea of duality in mainstream sociology – that sociology must be dead or alive, digital or

analogue, etc. Using urban life, a case with long established interest for both biology and sociology, Fitzgerald introduced the idea of a ‘limit sociology’ – a concept inspired by Stefan Helmreich’s notion of a ‘limit biology’ – as a form of practice, in a time of ecological crisis, and an edge case for connecting sociology and biology in an interesting way. Describing his current project, which embraces a ‘limit sociology approach,’ and looks at stress and the topologies of stress in Shanghai, Fitzgerald proposed an alternative future for the sciences of the social to go on living into the twenty-first century. In ’The Social as the Non-Biological: Genealogy and Perspectives’, Maurizio Meloni (Department of Sociological Studies, University of Sheffield) examined how we came to think, ‘it is social vs. biological’ via the notion of inheritance and its division into biological heredity and social heritage. Locating the split into soft/hard heredity and genetics/epigenetics in the period after Erasmus…

These books illustrate the potential for harm within any rigid model of acceptable gendered and sexual behaviour. They also highlight that scientific authority is far from neutral, that it can be used in unexpected ways, that such uses will themselves have unintended outcomes. Alternatives to criminal penalties aiming to cure rather than punish are not necessarily preferable; arguments in favour of greater tolerance on the basis of biology leave tolerance on other grounds out in the cold.

Tommy Dickinson, Curing Queers: Mental Nurses and their Patients, 1935-74, Manchester, Manchester University Press, 2013, 272 pages, £70, ISBN 978-0-7190-9588-7 (hbk). Tom Waidzunas, The Straight Line: How the Fringe Science of Ex-Gay Therapy Reoriented Sexuality, Minneapolis MN and London, University of Minnesota Press, 2015, 336 pages, £65.47 (hbk), £19.07 (pbk), ISBN 978-0-8166-9614-7 (hbk), ISBN 978-0-8166-9615-4 (pbk). In late 2015, the international campaigning organisation ‘All Out’ launched a new website: Gay Cure Watch. The aim of this was to monitor and ultimately shut down individuals and groups offering so-called reorientation therapies, in which attempts to convert LGBT people to heterosexuality and gender conformity are offered under the guise of medical science. ‘We know you can’t catch “gay” and you can’t cure it either’, the site proclaims. The process through which homosexuality, and particularly male homosexuality in north America and Europe, came to be seen as a matter for medical science over and above legal, religious, or moral considerations has been well-documented; the standpoints of both

Gay Cure Watch and the organisations against which it campaigns are legacies of this. They are not the whole story, though, and the story is not a simple one. We urgently need to understand the myriad ways in which theories, practices, and activism surrounding reorientation therapies have been used, by whom, and with what intended and unintended outcomes. Tommy Dickinson’s Curing Queers and Tom Waidzunas’s The Straight Line are both valuable contributions towards answering these complex questions. Curing Queers delves into the history of aversion therapy in Britain. It is rooted in original oral history interviews, conducted not only with eight individuals who received such treatment to cure them of homosexuality, but also with 17 nurses who were involved in providing it. The goal is to examine their experiences, their impressions and their motivations as they attempted to cure or be cured, and the memories shared in these interviews are deployed effectively throughout. The first two chapters situate…

The human that emerges from both Smith and Brenninkmeijer’s papers demonstrates notable similarities. In both accounts, the human is irreducible to a single conceptual category or body of knowledge, retaining its ability to confuse, surprise, and frustrate historian and human scientist alike. However, Fuller departs from this vision of the body, downplaying the current biological form of the human as merely one phase through which humanity will eventually pass.

This is the first in a four-part report from the workshop, 'The Future of the History of the Human Sciences,' which was held at the University of York, 7-8 April 2016 (see a storify form the workshop here). The workshop was jointly hosted by HHS and Chris Renwick (History, York), and was supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Wellcome Trust, and the University of York. Here, David Saunders (postgraduate student at the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, Manchester) reports on one of the workshop's core problematics: The Problem of The Human. “We very much hope that this is an event where we can all be provocative and disagree with each other,” notes Felicity Callard (editor-in-chief of History of the Human Sciences) in her opening address to the attendees of the ‘Future of the History of the Human Sciences’ conference. The event’s first session, ‘The Problem of the Human’, sought to address the human sciences’ most central, and yet

most frustratingly illusive, subject of inquiry – the human itself. The death of the human as a philosophical and scientific category has been endlessly prophesised and postponed over the years, from Michel Foucault’s oft-repeated prediction of man ‘erased, like a face drawn in the sand at the edge of the sea’ (Foucault, 1966) to more recent concerns regarding the supposed overthrow of ‘selfhood’ by ‘brainhood’ facilitated by the emergent neurosciences (Vidal, 2009). Discussions among historians and human scientists about the uncertain ontological status of the human clearly continue to foster the kind of passionate and provocative disagreement that the event’s organisers had hoped for. In the first paper, ‘Resisting Neurosciences and Sustaining History’, Roger Smith (Emiritus Reader in the History of Science, Lancaster) expresses his scepticism regarding the supposed novelty and radical impact of the neurosciences on conventional ideas of the human. Rather, Smith argues, materialist explanations for sentience have been present since the nineteenth-century and have had…

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…