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Otniel E Dror
In this contribution, I study the post–World War II discovery of a new “supramaximal” “super-pleasure” in the brain. I argue that the excessiveness of the newly discovered supramaximal super-pleasure challenged existing models of organisms, of the self, and of nature and society, and that it prescribed a rethinking and a repositioning of pleasure. I reconstruct the laboratory enactments and models that constituted this new pleasure as “supramaximal,” instant, and insatiable, suggest several postwar contexts that situate the new pleasure, and examine expert and vernacular reactions to the new super-pleasure...
2016: Osiris
Anja Laukötter
This essay focuses on health education films in Germany and the United States in the first decades of the twentieth century, illustrating how these films developed their potential as a teaching tool capable of shaping the emotions and changing the behavior of audiences. The essay argues that the films’ educational goals were inspired by certain contemporary ideas on the relation between perception, cognition, and emotions. In concentrating on youth as a target audience, it traces the way in which the sciences of psychology and pedagogy discovered the significance of emotions to this specific age group’s learning process...
2016: Osiris
Eric J Engstrom
This essay examines some of the research practices and strategies that the German psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin (1856–1926) deployed in his efforts to account for the significance of emotions in psychiatric illnesses. After briefly surveying Kraepelin’s understanding of emotions and providing some historical context for his work in the late nineteenth century, it examines three different approaches that he took to studying emotions. First, it discusses his work in experimental psychology and his use of so-called artificial insanity to study affective disorders...
2016: Osiris
Dolores Martin Moruno
Paolo Mantegazza’s science of emotions represents the dominant style of thinking that was fostered by the late nineteenth-century Italian scientific community, a positivist school that believed that the dissemination of Darwin’s evolutionary ideas would promote social progress in that country. Within this collective thought, Mantegazza was committed not only to studying the physiological experience of pain by means of vivisection but also to completing an anthropological study that examined the differences between the expressions of suffering in primitive and civilized cultures...
2016: Osiris
Rafael Mandressi
From the end of the thirteenth century, when the practice of human anatomical dissections emerged in Europe, the dead body became part of the cultural economy of knowledge. This had epistemic, technical, and social consequences, in which the affective dimension played a crucial role. The type of manipulations the corpse underwent brought into play affective phenomena of unusual intensity. To a great extent, anatomy owed its repertoire of gestures, spaces, and instruments to the need to control these affects, and this repertoire contributed to the discourse that shaped the professional identity of anatomists...
2016: Osiris
Anne Harrington
Most scholarship on the medicalization of emotions has focused on projects that locate emotions, one way or another, within individual brains and minds. The story of mother love and mental illness, in contrast, is a medicalization story that frames the problem of pathological emotions as a relational issue. Bad mother love was seen as both a pathology (for the mother) and a pathogen (for her vulnerable child).Moreover, different forms of pathological mother love—smothering love, ambivalent love, love that masked an actual desire to dominate and control—were supposed to have different effects on children, ranging from lack of fitness for military service to homosexuality to juvenile delinquency to outright psychosis, especially schizophrenia...
2016: Osiris
Bettina Hitzer, Pilar León-Sanz
This essay examines how psychosomatic medicine, as it emerged between 1920 and 1960, introduced new ideas about the emotional body and the emotional self. Focusing on cancer, a shift can be mapped over the course of the twentieth century. While cancer was regarded at the beginning of the century as the organic disease par excellence, traceable to malignant cells and thus not caused or influenced by emotions, in later decades it would come to be thoroughly investigated within the field of psychosomatic medicine...
2016: Osiris
Naama Cohen-Hanegbi
Theories of the soul and its faculties, including emotions, are recognized to have evolved significantly from the twelfth to the fifteenth century. While these concepts were widely researched, they have been to a large extent isolated to their theoretical realm with little attention given to their practical application. This essay begins with a question asked by natural philosophers, theologians, and physicians throughout the thirteenth century: “Can the soul be moved by the body?” While the proposed answers to this question had substantial implications for understanding the nature of living creatures, I argue that they had very practical ramifications for formulating and treating emotions within medical practice...
2016: Osiris
Damien Boquet, Piroska Nagy
The standard narrative of the development of Western thinking about emotions is that the concept of emotions emerged alongside the secularization of European society and thought and was linked to the emergence of psychology as a discipline. This essay argues that a systematic psychology of affectivity emerged far earlier and can be found in Western Christian thought. In the context of the cultural renewal of the eleventh to thirteenth centuries, Christian anthropology—the conception of the human being—was totally reshaped...
2016: Osiris
Otniel E Dror, Bettina Hitzer, Anja Laukötter, Pilar León-Sanz
This essay introduces our call for an intertwined history-of-emotions/history-of science perspective. We argue that the history of science can greatly extend the history of emotions by proffering science qua science as a new resource for the study of emotions. We present and read science, in its multiple diversities and locations, and in its variegated activities, products, theories, and emotions, as constitutive of the norms, experiences, expressions, and regimes of emotions. Reciprocally, we call for a new reading of science in terms of emotions as an analytical category...
2016: Osiris
Felicity Callard
The category of panic disorder was significantly indebted to early psychopharmacological experiments (in the late 1950s and early 1960s) by the psychiatrist Donald Klein, in collaboration with Max Fink. Klein's technique of "psychopharmacological dissection" underpinned his transformation of clinical accounts of anxiety and was central in effecting the shift from agoraphobic anxiety (with its spatial imaginary of city squares and streets) to panic. This technique disaggregated the previously unitary affect of anxiety-as advanced in psychoanalytic accounts-into two physiological and phenomenological kinds...
2016: Osiris
Zeb Tortorici
This essay examines the medical and legal construction of predatory masculinity in New Spain by contrasting criminal cases of rape [estupro] with those of violent or coercive sodomy [sodomía]. In the context of male-female rape, the rulings of most criminal and ecclesiastical courts imply that predatory masculinity was a "natural" manifestation of male sexual desire, whereas in cases of sodomy and nonconsensual sexual acts between men, courts viewed such desire as "against nature." The processes by which the colonial state prosecuted certain sexual crimes simultaneously criminalized and validated predatory masculinity...
2015: Osiris
Alexandra Rutherford
Using mid-twentieth-century American psychology as my focus, I explore how scientific psychology was constructed as a distinctly masculine enterprise and was navigated by those who did not conform easily to this masculine ideal. I show how women emerged as problems for science through the vigorous gatekeeping activities and personal and professional writings of disciplinary figurehead Edwin G. Boring. I trace Boring's intellectual and professional socialization into masculine science and his efforts to understand women's apparent lack of scientific eminence, efforts that were clearly undergirded by preexisting and widely shared assumptions about men's and women's capacities and preferences...
2015: Osiris
Beth Linker, Whitney Laemmli
At the conclusion of the Second World War, more than 600,000 men returned to the United States with long-term disabilities, profoundly destabilizing the definitions, representations, and experiences of male sexuality in America. By examining an oft-neglected 1950 film, The Men, along with medical, personal, and popular accounts of impotence in paralyzed World War II veterans, this essay excavates the contours of that change and its attendant anxieties. While previous scholarship on film and sexuality in the postwar period has focused on women's experiences, we broaden the analytical lens to provide a fuller picture of the various meanings of male sexuality, especially disabled heterosexuality...
2015: Osiris
Nathan Ha
During the 1960s and 1970s, Kurt Freund and other researchers developed phallometry to demonstrate the effectiveness of behaviorism in the diagnosis and treatment of male homosexuality and pedophilia. Researchers used phallometers to segment different aspects of male arousal, to discern cryptic hierarchies of eroticism, and to monitor the effectiveness of treatments to change an individual's sexuality. Phallometry ended up challenging the expectations of behaviorist researchers by demonstrating that most men could not change their sexual preferences--no matter how hard they tried or how hard others tried to change them...
2015: Osiris
Mary Terrall
In the Royal Academy of Sciences of Paris (founded 1666), expressions of a masculine culture of science echoed contemporary language used to articulate the aristocracy's value to crown and state--even though the academy was not an aristocratic institution as such. In the eighteenth century, the pursuit of science became a new form of manly service to the crown, often described in terms of useful knowledge and benefit to the public good [le bien public]. This article explores the connection of academic scientific knowledge to the domestic spaces where it was made and, in particular, to the household of R...
2015: Osiris
Michael S Reidy
Golden-age mountaineers attempted to codify gender, like flora and fauna, by altitude. They zoned the high Alps masculine. As women also reached into the highest regions, male alpinists increasingly turned to their bodies, and the bodies of their guides, to give scientific validity to their all-male preserve. Edward Whymper traveled to the Andes in 1879, where he transformed Chimborazo into a laboratory and his own body and those of his guides into scientific objects. His work helped spearhead a field-based, vertical approach to human physiology that proliferated after the turn of the century...
2015: Osiris
Eugenia Lean
In the first decade of Republican China (1911-49), masculinity was explored in writings on how to manufacture makeup that appeared in women's magazines. Male authors and editors of these writings--some of whom were connoisseurs of technology, some of whom were would-be manufacturers--appropriated the tropes of the domestic and feminine to elevate hands-on work and explore industry and manufacturing as legitimate masculine pursuits. Tapping into time-honored discourses of virtuous productivity in the inner chambers and employing practices of appropriating the woman's voice to promote unorthodox sentiment, these recipes "feminized" production to valorize a new masculine agenda, which included chemistry and manufacturing, for building a new China...
2015: Osiris
Frances Bernstein
Millions of Soviet soldiers were disabled as a direct consequence of their service in the Second World War. Yet despite its expressions of gratitude for their sacrifices, the state evinced a great deal of discomfort regarding their damaged bodies. The countless armless and legless veterans were a constant reminder of the destruction suffered by the country as a whole, an association increasingly incompatible with the postwar agenda of wholesale reconstruction. This article focuses on a key strategy for erasing the scars of war, one with ostensibly unambiguous benefit for the disabled themselves: the development of prostheses...
2015: Osiris
Michael Robinson
Americans crowded newsstands in early 1910 to read Robert Peary's firsthand account of his expedition to the North Pole. As they read "The Discovery of the North Pole," serialized exclusively in Hampton's Magazine, few knew that this harrowing, hypermasculine tale was really crafted by New York poet Elsa Barker. Barker's authorship of the North Pole story put her at the center of a large community of explorers, writers, patrons, and fans who were taken with Arctic exploration as much for its national symbolism as for its thrilling tales...
2015: Osiris
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