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International Conference: "Gloom Goes Global: Towards a Transcultural History of Melancholy since 1850", 2-4 October 2014

Announcement | Call for Abstracts | Programme | Participants | Reports | Photos

Conference Programme 

Thursday, 2 October 2014

4:00 pm: Registration

4:30 - 5:00 pm:

Conference Opening

William Sax (Heidelberg), Speaker of Cluster’s Research Area C “Knowledge Systems”


Frank Grüner & Maike Rotzoll (Heidelberg): “The Transcultural Approach to Melancholy: Problems and Perspectives”

5:00 - 7:00 pm:

I. Section "Conceptualizing Emotions and Mental Illness"

Chair: Maike Rotzoll

Edward Shorter (Toronto): “Doctors, patients, and the history of melancholia in western society”

Helena Jaskov (Heidelberg): “The Impact of Clinical Psychiatry on Melancholia as a Category”

Åsa Jansson (London): “Melancholia, Melancholy, and Suicidality: Normal and Pathological Mental Pain in Victorian Medicine”


Discussion (ca. 30 min)

8:00 pm: Conference Dinner 

Friday, 3 October 2014

9:30 am - 12:30 pm:

II. Section "Cross-Cultural Approaches to Melancholy and Depression"

Chair: Frank Grüner

Radikha P. (Bangalore): “Melancholia and Vishaad (dejection): The encounter between ‘western’ and ‘Indian’ systems of medicine in nineteenth century India”

Nancy R. Hunt (Ann Arbor): “Melancholia, Mobility, and Patterns of Resort in Africa’s Atlantic and Colonial Zones”

Rotem Kowner (Haifa): “A Culture-Bound Gloom? Body, Identity and the Emergence of Neurasthenia in Imperial Japan”

11:00 - 11:30 am: Coffee Break

Peter Kaiser (Winnenden): “Depression in contemporary China and the influence of the West”

Discussion (ca. 30 min)

12:30 - 2:00 pm: Lunch Break

2:00 - 4:00 pm:

III. Section "Political and Social Dimensions of Melancholy and Depression”

Chair: Nancy R. Hunt

Kim Friedlander (New York): “Before PTSD: Psychological Trauma, Depressive Disorders, and the Russo-Japanese War”

Sebastian Musch (Haifa): “Call for Spiritual Renewal through Eastern wisdom and Jewish Counter-discourses during Wilhelmine Era and Weimar Republic”

Mat Savelli (Pittsburgh): “A Very Modern Disease: Discussions of Depression in Yugoslavia (1945-1991)”

Discussion (ca. 30 min)

4:00 - 4:30 pm: Coffee Break

4:30 - 6:30 pm:

IV. Section "Scientific Knowledge Production, Public Discourses on Melancholy and Depression, and the Self"

Chair: Lisabeth M. Hock

Natalie Eller (Heidelberg): “Debating Melancholia: National and International Perceptions of Melancholia and Depression in the Journal of Mental Science, 1860-1912”

Dimitria Vassiliadou (Crete): “Whenever I get sad, I feel so wiped out”. Autobiographics of melancholia in Greece by the end of the nineteenth century”

Anne-Fleur van der Meer (Amsterdam): “‘In terms we ordinary mortals can understand’: On the representation of depression in contemporary autobiographical literature”

Discussion (ca. 30 min)


Saturday, 4 October 2014

9:00 - 11:00 am:

V. Section "Melancholy in Literature and the Arts beyond National and Disciplinary Boundaries"

Chair: Anne-Fleur van der Meer

Lisabeth Hock (Detroit): “Melancholy, the Female Life Cycle, and Women Writers”

Horst-Jürgen Gerigk (Heidelberg): “Turgenev’s Story "Enough" (1865): an example of being imprisoned by melancholy”

Petra Joswig (Heidelberg): “Going Back to Zero: Emotions in Abstract Expressionism and Gutai”

Discussion (ca. 30 min)

11:00 - 11:30 am: Coffee Break

11:30 am - 12:00 pm:

Comments by Irina Sirotkina (Moscow) and Wolfgang Eckart (Heidelberg)

12:00 am - 1:00 pm: Final Discussion

Chairs: Frank Grüner & Maike Rotzoll

1:00 - 2:30 pm: Lunch

3:00 - 4:00 pm:

Option to take part in a guided tour by Maike Rotzoll through the exhibition “Uniform und Eigensinn. Militarismus, Weltkrieg und Kunst in der Psychiatrie”“Uniform and Obstinacy: Militarism, World War and Arts in Psychiatry” at Sammlung Prinzhorn, the Prinzhorn Collection at the Heidelberg University Hospital.

The pavillon hosting the Prinzhorn Collection is in direct vicinity of the Karl Jaspers Centre where our conference takes place.


Conference Poster

click to enlarge