Hannah Proctor looks afresh at the methodologies of a key Sovietological study, The Harvard Project on the Soviet Social System, and uncovers the surprising ways that anxieties and assumptions about totalitarianism structured social scientific research.
Jacy Young discusses the troubled history of Oak Ridge Psychiatric Unit, Ontario, in the light of recent allegations of unethical treatment by psychiatric staff during the 1960s and 70s, including the use of LSD and other drug therapies.
“We are tightly wrapped in a spider net of electronic surveillance”… deliberately confused by “an incessant flow of dismembered and dislocated fragments” (Zygmunt Bauman on brainwashing, surveillance, and modern society).* In July 2015 Daniel Pick interviewed Zygmunt Bauman on the subject of brainwashing. His wide ranging responses travel from the Cold War to the virtual… Read more »
Erik Linstrum discusses his research on the complex role played by psychologists in the British Empire. How did the science of subjectivity which emerged in the twentieth century — the apparatus of mental tests, talking cures, and other techniques for measuring, exploring, and managing minds — matter to imperial rule?
Kira Lussier, a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto, discusses a recent New York Times article on Amazon employees, placing its critique within the history of how motivational psychology has been used in the workplace.
Asylum, Peter Robinson’s 1972 documentary about one of R.D. Laing’s residential ‘clinics’, has just been released on DVD. Katie Joice reviews the film in the context of both Laing’s therapeutics and current debates on mental illness.
Artificial Intelligence, Orientalism, totalitarianism, brainwashing, and the counter-culture: all these themes, and more, were deftly woven together by the historian of science, Simon Schaffer in a memorable lecture delivered at an engaging conference on cinema, Cold War and mind control which took place earlier this year. This event was organised by the Hidden Persuaders Project in partnership with the Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image, and held on 3-4 July 2015.
In early 2016 the Hidden Persuaders project will advertise a post-doctoral research position to be based at Birkbeck College, University of London. The position will begin in September 2016 and continue for three years. Watch this blog for additional information about this opportunity, and to keep up to date with the work and development of… Read more »
In April 2014, Daniel Pick sat down with Robert Jay Lifton for a wide-ranging discussion about Prof. Lifton’s life and research. In this third installment from that interview, Prof. Lifton speaks about his experiences during the Korean War as a psychiatrist serving in the US Air Force. Lifton describes how he spent his… Read more »
Cartoon drawn by Robert Jay Lifton, published in Robert Jay Lifton, Birds: Words and Birds (New York: Random House, 1969) In April 2014, Daniel Pick sat down with Robert Jay Lifton for a wide-ranging discussion about Prof. Lifton’s life and research. In this second installment from that interview, Prof. Lifton speaks about his intellectual… Read more »