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Dr Sarah Marks

Postdoctoral Researcher

Contact details

Department of History, Classics and Archaeology
Birkbeck, University of London
Malet Street



  • Sarah Marks is a post-doctoral researcher working with the Wellcome Trust-funded Hidden Persuaders group. Her research focuses on the history of the psychiatry, psychology and psychoanalysis during the Cold War, especially in the Soviet sphere. She was awarded her PhD from UCL in 2015, and held a research fellowship at Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge before joining Birkbeck in October 2016.
  • Her current research reconstructs the ways in which mental health and illness were understood and treated in the Communist context, how psy-professionals interacted with the regime, and how psychological knowledge and practice became useful for the project of building socialism. She has also written on the history of psychotherapeutics in both East and West, including cognitive and behavioural therapies in Britain; and the history of the psy-professions in Czechoslovakia and East Germany.
  • Sarah has taught, supervised and examined on various topics in History, Politics, East European Studies, History and Philosophy of Science, and Science and Technology Studies at Birkbeck, the University of Cambridge, St. Mary’s University and UCL.


  • Journal articles
  • ‘The Romani Minority, Coercive Sterilizations, and Languages of Denial in the Czech Lands’, History Workshop Journal, 84, Autumn 2017, in press.
  • Psychotherapy in Historical Perspective’, History of the Human Sciences, 30:2, 2017, pp. 3-16
  • 'From Experimental Psychosis to Resolving Traumatic Pasts: Psychedelic Research in Communist Czechoslovakia, 1954-1974', Cahiers du monde russe, 56:1, 2015, pp. 53-75
  • Edited volumes
  • Psychotherapy in Historical Perspective’ special issue of History of the Human Sciences, 30:2, 2017
  • (edited with Mat Savelli) Psychiatry in Communist Europe (Palgrave, 2015)
  • Book chapters
  • (co-authored with Mat Savelli) 'Communist Europe and Transnational Psychiatry' in Mat Savelli and Sarah Marks (eds) Psychiatry in Communist Europe (Palgrave, 2015)
  • 'Ecology, Humanism and Mental Health in Communist Czechoslovakia' in Mat Savelli and Sarah Marks (eds) Psychiatry in Communist Europe (Palgrave, 2015)
  • 'Psychologists as Therapists: Behavioural Traditions' in John Hall, David Pilgrim and Graham Turpin (eds) Clinical Psychology in Britain: Historical Perspectives (British Psychological Society, 2015)
  • Magazine article
  • (co-authored with Daniel Pick) ‘Radicalization: Lessons on Mind Control from the 1950sThe World Today, February 2017
  • Book reviews
  • ‘Review of Mitchell Ash and Jan Surman (eds) Ash, Mitchell G. and Jan Surman. The Nationalization of Scientific Knowledge in the Habsburg Empire, 1848-1918.’ Central Europe, 14 (2016), pp. 72-74
  • 'Review of Volker Roelcke, Paul Weindling and Louise Westwood (eds), International Relations in Psychiatry: Britain, Germany and the United States to World War II' Social History of Medicine, 25 (2012) pp. 552-553
  • Blog Posts
  • On the Unexamined Presence of Psychotherapeutics: An Interview with Sarah Marks’, History of the Human Sciences Blog, 4th May 2017
  • Across the Iron Curtain’, Hidden Persuaders Blog, 10th May 2017

Professional membership

  • Member of the editorial advisory board of History of the Human Sciences
  • Member of the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies
  • Member of the British Society for the History of Science


  • Funding awards from the Wellcome Trust, Arts and Humanities Research Council, Economic and Social Research Council, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Institute of Historical Research, British Psychological Society, and German History Society.