The Manchurian Automaton

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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.

Watch this blog: New post-doc position

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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 »

Interview: Robert Jay Lifton on Korean War Psychiatry

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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 »

Interview: Robert Jay Lifton on his intellectual influences

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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 »

Interview: Robert Jay Lifton on brainwashing and totalism

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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 first excerpt from the interview, Prof. Lifton speaks about writing his 1961 book, Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism, which describes the processes of re-education (considered by some to be ‘brainwashing’)… Read more »

Interrogating minds in the Korean War

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In November 2014 the Hidden Persuaders project hosted Monica Kim, author of the forthcoming book Humanity Interrogated: The Wars over War in the Interrogation Room, 1942-1960 and assistant professor of history at New York University. In a seminar that was jointly organized with the Psychoanalysis Working Group of the Birkbeck Institute of Humanities, Dr. Kim… Read more »