During the period of imperial decline, the mind sciences became a key site for negotiating the ‘political’, understood both in terms of power relations and, more narrowly, as expressive collective projects. Psychiatry, psychoanalysis, and psychology were venues for reformatory, emancipatory and repressive approaches alike, and thus became a central foil on which differences and similarities were discussed as, after 1945, biological notions of race seemingly receded to the background and questions about personalities, inner selves, dreams, and traumas were posed in a new way and on a worldwide scale.
Recent research has charted the ways in which late-colonial rule and the modern human subject of psychoanalysis and psychiatry were co-produced. However, the mind sciences also offered means to envisage forms of world-making beyond colonial rule. Local sites of practices and specific encounters have moved into the focus of studies that show how a plethora of historical actors, not just clinicians and scientists, have shaped the history of the psyche since the mid-century.
Inspired by this new wave of research, the workshop provides a forum for the discussion of ongoing research on the politics of psychoanalysis, psychiatry, and psychology during decolonization. In addition to conventional paper presentations, emphasis is also given to the discussion of emerging PhD projects.
Organizers: Magaly Tornay (History of Medicine, University of Bern), Mischa Suter (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies)
Please note: the workshop will be non-hybrid, in presence only