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Monthly Archives: February 2015

Ling Han accepts post-doc at Stanford U.

Ling Han has received a post-doc at the Stanford University Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society. Congratulations to Ling for landing this terrific post!

Alexandra Vinson accepts postdoc at Northwestern U.

Alexandra Vinson has accepted a two year postdoctoral position at Northwestern University. She will be working with a NSF funded science studies project called the “Learning Ethnographies of New Engineers.” Congratulations to Alexandra.

Professor Scull’s new book, Madness in Civilization

Professor Andrew Scull’s new book, Madness in Civilization: A Cultural History of Insanity, from the Bible to Freud, from the Madhouse to Modern Medicine is now out on Princeton Press.   For more information click on http://press.princeton.edu/titles/10439.html


The loss of reason, a sense of alienation from the commonsense world we all like to imagine we inhabit, the shattering emotional turmoil that seizes hold and won’t let go—these are some of the traits we associate with madness. Today, mental disturbance is most commonly viewed through a medical lens, but societies have also sought to make sense of it through religion or the supernatural, or by constructing psychological or social explanations in an effort to tame the demons of unreason. Madness in Civilization traces the long and complex history of this affliction and our attempts to treat it.

Beautifully illustrated throughout, Madness in Civilization takes readers from antiquity to today, painting a vivid and often harrowing portrait of the different ways that cultures around the world have interpreted and responded to the seemingly irrational, psychotic, and insane. From the Bible to Sigmund Freud, from exorcism to mesmerism, from Bedlam to Victorian asylums, from the theory of humors to modern pharmacology, the book explores the manifestations and meanings of madness, its challenges and consequences, and our varied responses to it. It also looks at how insanity has haunted the imaginations of artists and writers and describes the profound influence it has had on the arts, from drama, opera, and the novel to drawing, painting, and sculpture.

Written by one of the world’s preeminent historians of psychiatry, Madness in Civilization is a panoramic history of the human encounter with unreason.

Prof. Mary Blair-Loy’s center receives “Frontiers of Innovation” funds

The “Frontiers of Innovation” program is a campus-wide effort to support the primary research initiatives of the UC San Diego Strategic Plan. One component provides fellowships for undergraduate and graduate students as well as postdoctoral scholars. The other component provides funding to support teams of UC San Diego scholars from across campus in their efforts to launch large-scale, multidisciplinary research-center applications. This year, some of the Frontiers of Innovation funds will go to The Center for Research on Gender  inScience, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine led by Mary Blair-Loy, Wendy Campana, and Pamela Cosman.

Research Area: Understanding Cultures and Addressing Disparities in Society

Mary Blair-Loy, associate professor sociology and associate vice chancellor for faculty diversity and equity: “The new Center for Research on Gender in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM) brings together faculty and graduate students who use basic social science to study cultural and interactional factors that create gender inequality in STEMM fields. Subtle yet persistent barriers to women’s full participation in STEMM fields persist, despite official commitments to meritocracy, objectivity and excellence in diversity. Our center begins with two empirical studies on the obstacles to recruiting women at a top research university. We also convene a Faculty Learning Community, an interdisciplinary group of faculty and graduate-student instructors who engage in teaching about gender.”

Center co-directed by Prof. Skrentny and Prof. FitzGerald to host Immigration Research Initiative

The Center for Comparative Immigration Studies (co-directed by Prof. John Skrentny and Prof. David FitzGerald) has been awarded $525,000 by the UC Office of the President to host the California Immigration Research Initiative. The initiative will bring together faculty and graduate students across the University of California system to research how the state’s 10 million immigrants and their descendants are incorporated into California’s schools, workforce, businesses, public health, politics, and culture.

Sabrina Strings accepts position at UC Irvine

Congrats to Sabrina Strings who has accepted a position as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at UC Irvine.