Contemporary history of Europe

Workshop: psychiatry in the 19th and 20th century from a transnational perspective

21 November 2018 to 22 November 2018

Workshop: psychiatry in the 19th and 20th century from a transnational perspective
In recent years the buzzword in historical research has been "transnational history". Although over the past 15 years some historians have begun to integrate this perspective into the history of medicine and psychiatry, especially with respect to colonial history, this research area remains underdeveloped. It goes without saying that there have been transnational contacts and transfers of knowledge in the psychiatric field - translations of books, international conferences, correspondence, memberships in associations, international travel - but research on these processes remains rare. This raises the urgent question of how to approach research on psychiatric history with a transnational framework in mind.


The workshop will take place on 21-22 November 2018, in Belval, Luxembourg.

Organisation: Benoît Majerus & Eva Andersen.

For further information contact



DAY 1 — 21 November 2018
Black Box – Maison des Sciences Humaines, University of Luxembourg

17h30-17h45 Registration and beginning of day 1

17h45-18h00 Welcome word and introduction of keynote speaker

18h00-19h00 Keynote lecture: Psychiatry in Global, Local, Transnational and Connected Context (by Waltraud Ernst, Oxford Brookes University)

19h00-20h00 Dinner with speakers @Dimi Si (Belval)


DAY 2 — 22 November 2018
3.070 – Maison du Savoir, University of Luxembourg

8h45-9h00 Beginning of day 2

9h00-9h30 Following in Bowlby’s footsteps: transnational processes and the travelling of child psychiatric knowledge in post-war Europe (by Karin Zetterqvist Nelson, Linköping University & Frank van der Horst, Erasmus University Rotterdam)

9h30-10h00 How to deal with institutions? A history of European psychiatry in the middle of the 20th century (by Heloise Haliday, Université Sorbonne Paris Cité)

10h00-10h30 Balkan Transmitter: Yugoslavia and the Transnational Flow of
Psychiatric Knowledge (by Matt Savelli, McMaster University)

10h30-11h00 Coffee break

11h00-11h30 London County Council, its Mental Health Policy and the Politics of
International Consultation: 1888-1918 (by Rob Ellis, University of Huddersfield)

11h30-12h00 The non-restraint method: a case-study into (trans)national knowledge
dissemination in the 19th and early 20th century (by Eva Andersen, University of Luxembourg)

12h00-12h30 Transformation of Psychiatry in Post-Communist China: Case of
Neurasthenia (by Simon/Shuxi Yin, Hefei University of Technology)

12h30-13h30 Lunch

13h30-14h00 Nordic Decline: Transnationalising the Conceptual History of
Degeneration Theory within Scandinavian Psychiatry (by Rebecka Klette, Birkbeck, University of London)

14h00-14h30 Atlantic Slavery and the Free Air and Family Life Model of Mental Health
(by Wendy Gonaver, independent scholar)

14h30-15h00 “On the periphery”: psychiatrists on Soviet Western borderlands (1918-
1945) (by Andrei Zamoiski, Freie Universität Berlin)

15h00-15h30 Coffee break

15h30-16h00 Koro as a Paradigm in Transcultural Psychiatry: Global Circulations
Between China and the West (by Howard Hsueh-Hao Chiang, University of California)

16h00-17h00 Discussion with participants and closing remarks

17h00 End of conference