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January 2014
History of Psychiatry

2013 Report 

The History of Psychiatry Section of the WPA, under the chairmanship of Prof. German Berrios has been active in terms of symposia organized,Journal activity, and a general fostering of interest in the history of the discipline. 

Journal activity

The History of Psychiatry journal under the editorship of Prof. German Berrios continues to flourish and to foster a growing body of researchers working in the field using a range of historiographical research methods including narrative research, research on the conceptual basis of psychiatry, qualitative research, historical epidemiology, the use of psychiatric casebooks, patients’ records and other materials. The journal has actively encouraged the development of national histories as well as fostering critical overviews of development in general.

Where the initial focus was on 19th century developments there is now active input on 20th century issues including the history of psychopharmacology and the history of other physical treatments in psychiatry. 

This journal has become the pre-eminent outlet in its field - a journal to which all the major figures in the discipline contribute. 

General development

Moregenerallynewareasof scholarship haveopenedup in recent yearswithan influxofresearchers intodomainsof physicaltreatment inpsychiatry, the development of clinical trials, andde-institutionalization in mid-20th century. Researchers in thesenewareashavebeeninteracting fruitfullywithestablished researchers. Thefieldis in otherwordsthriving. 

Recent lectures

Granada, February 2012 “Risk in Psychiatry”¦Barcelona, March 2012 “History of Psychiatric Classifications” ¦Tokyo, May 2012 “The hybrid objects of Psychiatry” ¦Milan, October 2012 “Catatonia” ¦Rome, February 2013 “Change and Recalibration in Psychopathology” ¦Lisbon, February 2013 “Affective disorders: past, present and future” ¦Barcelona, April 2013 “Concept of Atypicality in Psychiatry” ¦Barcelona, April 2013 “The Historiography of Psychiatric Institutions” ¦Copenhagen, May 2013 “Change in 19th century Psychopathology” ¦Tufts, Rutgers UCLA and APA 2012. The Changing Face of Psychosis. October 2012 ¦The Eclipse of Medicine, Rush University, February 2013 

Blogs and other media

In line with other disciplines, there are a growing number of web based resources and blogs on the History of Psychiatry. The most comprehensive is h-madness which is run by Greg Eghigian, Eric Engstrom, Andreas Killen, Elizabeth Lunbeck, Benoit Majerus, Hans Pols, Alexandra Bacopoulos-Viau. This is found at http://historypsychiatry.com/

Another comprehensive site run by a network of senior neuropsychopharmacologists - Tom Ban, Sam Gershon, Barry Blackwell and Gregers Wegener - is The international network for the history of neuropsychopharmacology at http://inhn.org/home.html

The site that most clearly tackles topical issues in psychiatry bringing an historical perspective to bear is Edward Shorter’s History of Medicine University of Toronto www.psychologytoday.com/blog/how-everyone-became-depressed

Prof. Akihito Suzuki blogs on the history of medicine in Japanese at http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/akihito_suzuki2000 & http://akihitosuzuki.blog.fc2.com/

Matthew Smith from the University of Strathclyde blogs at: www.psychologytoday.com/experts/matthew-smith-phd and www.mattsmithbooks.com/wp/

Matthias Weber runs the HistoricalArchives of the Max-Planck-Institute of Psychiatry, which holds a number of resources such as a bibliography of Emil Kraepelin, which is at www.mpipsykl.mpg.de/institute/services/archive/bibliographie/index.html

Pierre-Henri Castel from CNRS in Paris has a site at http://pierrehenri.castel.free.fr/ This covers the history of hysteria (1870-1914): http://pierrehenri.castel.free.fr/QH18701892.htm 

The history of transsexualism and related sex/gender issues in psychiatry at http://pierrehenri.castel.free.fr/chronobiblioTS1.htm

Dr. Michel Caire has a well-regarded site at http://psychiatrie.histoire.free.fr  

German Berrios

Chair, WPA Section on History of Psychiatry

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