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 »
We are pleased to announce a fully funded three-year post-doctoral fellowship as part of our project. Applications are due 13 April.
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.
Prof. Robert Jay Lifton speaks about ‘thought reform’ in religious cults, and his study of veterans of the Vietnam War, in this final instalment of his interview with Daniel Pick.
A still from the film Obedience (1962), a production by the psychologist Stanley Milgram made in the course of his ‘Obedience to Authority’ experiments at Yale University. It is now widely believed that these experiments could not be recreated today due to ethical guidelines established by psychologists in 1973. By Laura Stark ‘I… Read more »