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17:30 - 19:30 8 December 2010

Making Minds and Madness: From Hysteria to Depression

Location

5th Floor Seminar Room | Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at UCL (link Map)
183 Euston Road | London | NW1 2BE | United Kingdom

Open to: Academic | Alumni | Public | Student
Admission: Free
Ticketing: Open

Speaker information

Professor Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen, University of Washington

Why do “maladies of the soul” such as hysteria, anxiety disorders or depression wax and wane over time? Through a study of the history of psychiatry, Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen argues that most mental illnesses are not, in fact, diseases but the product of varying expectations shared and negotiated by therapists and patients. With a series of historical vignettes, stretching from Freud's creation of false memories of sexual abuse in his early hysterical patients to today's promotion and marketing of depression by drug companies, Making Minds and Madness offers a critique of all the theories, such as psychoanalysis and biomedical psychiatry, that claim to discover facts about the human psyche while, in reality, producing them. Borch-Jacobsen proposes such objectivizing approaches should be abandoned in favour of a constructionist and relativist psychology that recognizes the artifactual and interactive character of psychic productions instead of attempting to deny or control it.


Contact

Lauren Cracknell
+44 (0)20 7679 8100 | l.cracknell@ucl.ac.uk


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