Tutorial in the History of the Human Sciences


Course Description: This graduate-level tutorial introduces the major problems, debates, and methods of historical writing on the human sciences in Western Europe and the United States since around 1800.  It is intended particularly, though not exclusively, as field preparation for the general examination.  Emphasizing anthropology, sociology, and the mind sciences (psychology, psychoanalysis, and psychiatry), we consider the intellectual as well as the institutional dimensions of how disciplines emerged; how they created new forms of power; how they affected old forms of power; and how they changed everyday life.  We also consider concepts and techniques which cross disciplinary boundaries, including evolutionary theory, probability theory, and “behavioral science.”  Readings include a selection of primary and theoretical texts as well as a broad survey of the secondary literature.

Sample Reading List:

John Carson, The Measure of Merit: Talents, Intelligence and Inequality in the French and American Republics
Jamie Cohen-Cole, The Open Mind: Cold War Politics and the Sciences of Human Nature
Kurt Danziger, Constructing the Subject: Historical Origins of Psychological Research
Emile Durkheim, Suicide
Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality, vol. 1
Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams
Peter Ghosh, Max Weber and The Protestant Ethic: Twin Histories
Nils Gilman, Mandarins of the Future: Modernization Theory in Cold War America
Jan Goldstein, Console and Classify: The French Psychiatric Profession in the Nineteenth Century
Ian Hacking, The Taming of Chance
Henrika Kuklick, The Savage Within: The Social History of British Anthropology
Daniel Immerwahr, Thinking Small: The United States and the Lure of Community Development
Joel Isaac, Working Knowledge: Making the Human Sciences from Parsons to Kuhn
Kathleen Jones, Taming the Troublesome Child: American Families, Child Guidance, and the Limits of Psychiatric Authority
George Makari, Revolution in Mind: The Creation of Psychoanalysis
Peter Mandler, Return from the Natives: How Margaret Mead Won the Second World War and Lost the Cold War
Theodore Porter, The Rise of Statistical Thinking, 1820-1900
Ron Robin, The Making of the Cold War Enemy: Culture and Politics in the Military Intellectual-Complex
Ben Shephard, A War of Nerves: Soldiers and Psychiatrists in the Twentieth Century
George Stocking, Victorian Anthropology
Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism
Alison Winter, Mesmerized: Powers of Mind in Victorian Britain
Eli Zaretsky, Secrets of the Soul: A Social and Cultural History of Psychoanalysis

Corcoran Department of History
University of Virginia
Nau Hall - South Lawn
Charlottesville, VA 22904


(434) 924-7147
(434) 924-7891
M-F 8am to 4:30pm
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