Transnational Psychiatries: Social and Cultural Histories of Psychiatry in Comparative Perspective c. 1800-2000

This book offers something new in the history of psychiatry. Within a transnational research framework, it presents original historical case studies and conceptual reflections on comparative and related methodologies. Systematic comparison and transfer studies as well as aspects of entangled history are employed in relation to themes such as different cultural meanings pertaining to the same term; transfer of treatment practices and institutional regimes; localised practices and (re)-emerging forms of patient care; circulation of early anti-psychiatrists’ views; impact of war and politics on patients’ welfare and on psychiatric discourse; and diversification of psychotherapeutic and physical practices. The book includes chapters on the history and historiography of psychiatry and psychotherapy in different geo-cultural regions in South America, Asia, the Pacific and Europe. The contributors present multilayered interpretations, emphasising commonalities and interconnections as well as contrasts and discontinuities. With its wide-ranging geographical focus and attention to conceptual issues, this collection will assist to integrate and reconfigure the historiography of psychiatry.


Waltraud Ernst is Professor in the History of Medicine, 1700-2000, at Oxford Brookes University in the UK. She has written widely on the history of psychiatry in South Asia. Her publications include Mad Tales from the Raj (1991/2010) and “Beyond East and West. From the History of Colonial Medicine to a Social History of Medicine(s) in South Asia”, Social History of Medicine 20 (2007): 505-24.

Thomas Mueller is a medical doctor and historian. He is Head of the Research Unit in the History of Medicine at Ulm University / Centre for Psychiatry Suedwuerttemberg, Germany. He is the author of numerous publications in the history of psychiatry. Recent books include From Charlottenburg to Central Park West. Henry Lowenfeld and Psychoanalysis in Berlin, Prague and New York (2000) and Psychotherapy and Body Therapy in Berlin. Histories and Practices of Implementation (ed., 2004).

Hardback edition reviews: "[T]he most interesting aspect of this volume is its subtle provincialising of not only the history of colonial medicine and psychiatry, but the historiography about it. And in the bargain, it does this through not being based largely on scholars “from a predominantly Anglo-Saxon context” (p. xii). And as such, the volume is highly informative, refreshing, and thought-provoking."

Katherine Angel H-Soz-u-Kult, H-Net Reviews. April, 2012

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ISBN: 1-4438-2217-5

ISBN13: 978-1-4438-2217-6

Release Date: 2nd September 2010

Pages: 310

Price: £44.99

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ISBN: 1-4438-7789-1

ISBN13: 978-1-4438-7789-3

Release Date: 6th January 2016

Pages: 340

Price: £34.99

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