Courses


1994-2016 Humboldt University (Department of History, Berlin, Germany)
Mad and Bad in Imperial Berlin (1870-1914)
The course examines the ensemble of actors, institutions, and policies that were deployed in dealing with criminal lunatics in Imperial Berlin. In exploring what it meant to be designated criminally insane, it considers the different institutional 'receptacles' for criminal lunatics, the statutory contexts and administrative protocols that regulated their lives, as well as the psychiatric, juridical, and penal practices designed to normalize their polymorphic/polysemous deviance. Students study the tensions and conflicting agendas that characterized forensic-psychiatric governance along the thresholds between law, psychiatry, social welfare, and public order.

Aspects of the Normal in the 19th and Early 20th Century
This course explored some of the various attempts in the human sciences to define normality and abnormality. How and to what degree did academics and other scientists contribute to the normalization of the human body (orthopedics), mind (psychology), and behavior (criminology)? And what strategies of legitimation did they resort to in their demarcation of normalcy? Texts by Immanuel Kant, Adolphe Quetelet, Claude Bernard, Daniel Schreber, Charles Darwin, Sigmund Freud, Emile Durkheim and others were assigned for reading and discussion.

History of Criminology in the 19th Century
This course examined the historical interaction between knowledge, power, and morality in the 19th century for the case of criminology -- one of the most influential disciplinary sciences. Proceeding from the works of late 18th century reformers (Beccaria, Howard, Bentham), the development of various (sociological, biological, psychological) theories of crime in nineteenth century Europe were explored in texts by Quetelet, Lombroso, Durkheim and others.

Contemporary Debates in American Historiography  (Teaching Evaluation)
This course was designed to provide German students with an survey of contemporary debates and issues in American historiography. Topics for the course included -- among others -- film, memory, oral history, gender studies, new cultural history, new historicism, literary criticism, the linguistic turn, and world history.

Madness as a Social and Scientific 'Problem' in 19th Century Germany
This course considered as its central topic the question of how positivists dealt with irrationality and how in Wilhelmine society 'health' and 'normality' were negotiated and organized. How did psychiatrists around 1900 come to believe that they could solve social problems and what solutions did they advance? The course took a wide, interdisciplinary approach in addressing issues ranging from psychiatric institutions, psychoanalysis, hysteria and 'combat neurosis,' as well as representations of madness in literature and the fine arts.

History of Sexology around 1900 (Teaching Evaluation)
This class sought to introduce students to the core texts and theoretical positions of early German sexologists. Excerpts from the works of Krafft-Ebing, Iwan Bloch, Magnus Hirschfeld, Albert Moll, Sigmund Freud and others were analyzed and compared with one another in an effort to map out the landscape of the emerging discipline of sexology.  Theories of masculinity and femininity, overlapping social and scientific perceptions of gender roles and identities, the 'modernization' of sex, and competing biological, sociological, and psychological theories of sexuality were focal points of discussion.

Gender and Science from the Scientific Revolution to the Present
This course was designed as an exercise in analyzing gender issues in putatively gender neutral scientific texts. It dealt with representations of masculinity and femininity and assessed the similarities and differences of those representations across different branches of science and historical periods. Alongside primary texts extending from Francis Bacon to contemporary debates on human genetics, theoretical writings by Evelyn Fox Keller, Sandra Harding, and Joan Scott were read and discussed.

Darwinism (Teaching Evaluation)

Wie kaum eine andere Naturtheorie, hat Darwins Evolutionslehre unser Denken über die Natur und ihre Geschichte bis in die Gegenwart hinein maßgeblich geprägt.  Zugleich ist sie ein scheinbar unerschöpflicher Steinbruch für zahlreiche Gesellschafts- und Kulturtheorien gewesen. Doch heute wird zunehmend Kritik an die umfassende Erklärungsansprüche der Evolutionslehre geübt.  In den Worten eines Englischen Wissenschaftlers: “Evolution is to allegory as statues are to birdshit: a convenient platform upon which to deposit badly digested ideas.”  Angesichts solcher kritischen Stimmen sowie zahlreiche Neuerscheinungen in den 1980er und 1990er Jahre, soll einen historischen Rückblick auf Darwin vorgenommen werden.  Die Lehrveranstaltung wird den wissenschaftlichen wie auch sozial-politische Voraussetzungen und Inhalte von Darwins Lehre, Ihre Rezeption, und ihre Übertragung auf sozialen und politischen Verhältnissen im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert thematisieren.

Nature and Gender (Teaching Evaluation)

'Man' ist lange Zeit davon ausgegangen, daß wissenschaftliche Theorien und Methodologien geschlechtsneutral seien.  Aber ist daß wirklich so?  Oder lassen sich nicht geschlechtsspezifische Merkmale in vermeintlich objektiven  und autonomen wissenschaftlichen Kategorien feststellen?  Von Francis Bacon ausgehend, aber mit Schwerpunkt im Positivismus des späteren 19. Jahrhundert, wird die Übung diese zentrale Frage zur Diskussion stellen.  Die ausgewählten historischen Texte werden sowohl biographischer (z.B. Bacon, Darwin, Freud) als auch thematischer (Hysterie, Criminology) Art sein.

The Human Corpse in History
Heute ist die ‘lebende Leiche’ in vielfacher Hinsicht Gegenstand des öffentlichen interesses und der Faszination. Ob im Zerrbild der Horrorfilme, ob im Skandal um das sogenannte ‘Erlanger Baby,’ ob im Medienspektakel um den prähistorischen Gletschermann ‘Ötzi’ oder in den Diskussionen um das Transplantationsgesetz, die Leiche und der Umgang mit ihr sind Themen von erstaunlicher Brisanz. Angesichts dieser Aktualität lohnt es sich, einen Blick auf den historischen Umgang mit dem toten Körper zu werfen. Wir wollen in diesem Proseminar mehreren Geschichten nachgehen: der Geschichte der utilitären Leiche (als Unterrichtsmaterial, Einnahmequelle, Organspender); der Geschichte der hygienischen Leiche (als Krankheitsherd oder Heilspender); der Geschichte der ästhetischen Leiche (als Objekt des Schauderns und des Ergötzens); der Geschichte der pädagogischen Leiche (als Gegenstand der moralischen Erbauung oder als Lehrobjekt); der Geschichte der symbolhaften Leiche (in der Politik, Religion oder im Aberglauben). Wir wollen fragen: Welche Praktiken kamen zum Einsatz beim Umgang mit Leichen? Wie wurde der tote Körper gedeutet? Wer war zum Umgang mit Leichen befugt? Welche Berufsgruppen formierten sich um die Leiche herum?

1995-2010  Upper Division Reading Seminars:
Adam Smith vs. Karl Marx
(Winter Semester 2009-2010)

Event and Mimesis: Selected Reading from G. Deleuze, G. Tarde, and Bruno Latour
(Sommer Semester 2009)

Georg Simmel: Philosophie des Geldes
(Winter Semester 2008-2009)

Lorraine Daston & Peter Galison: Objectivity
(Summer Semester 2008)

Richard Sennett: Selected Readings
(Winter Semester 2007-2008)

Michel Foucault: The Order of Things
(Summer Semester 2007)

Thing Knowledge and Object Lessons
(Winter Semester 2006-2007)

Reinhardt Koselleck
(Summer Semester 2006)

Richard Rorty: Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity
(Winter Semester 2005-2006)

Ernst Gombrich
(Summer Semester 2005)

Arthur Lovejoy: The Great Chain of Being
(Winter Semester 2004-2005)

Bruno Latour: Wir sind nie Modern Gewesen
(Summer Semester 2004)

Charles Taylor: Sources of the Self: The Making of Modern Identity
(Winter Semester 2003-2004)

Sepulchral Cultures: Selected Readings in histoire macabre
(Summer Semester 2003)

Body and Memory
(Winter Semester 2002-2003)

Mary Douglas: Ritual, Taboo, and Body-Symbolism
(Summer Semester 2000)

Visions & Visualisations: Selected Readings on Futurology and Scientific Utopias
(Winter Semester 1999-2000)

Pierre Bourdieu: Practical Reason
(Summer Semester 1999)

Barbara Orland & Elvira Scheich, eds.: The Gender of Nature
(Winter Semester 1998-1999)

Selected Readings on Mentalities and Epidemics
(Summer Semester 1998)

Michel Foucault: History of Sexuality (3 Vols.)
(Winter Semester 1997-1998)

Michel Foucault: Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison
(Summer Semester 1996)

Karin Knorr-Cetina: The Manufacture of Knowledge: An Essay on the Constructivist and Contextual Nature of Science
(Winter Semester 1995-1996)

Georges Canguilhem: The Normal and the Pathological
(Summer Semester 1995)

2002-08     Free University of Berlin / Center for Human and Health Sciences, Charité
                  (Department for the History of Medicine, Berlin, Germany)
Seminars
History of Forensic Psychiatry
(Winter Semester 2007-2008)

History of 19th Century Psychiatry
(Summer Semester 2006)

Graduate Seminar
Heroic Science: Self-Experimentation in Medicine
(Summer Semester 2002)

1991-92     University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Teaching Assistant)
Medieval History (Michael McVaugh)
(Spring 1992)

Medieval History (Frederick Behrends)
(Fall 1991)

Western Civilization (Terence McIntosh)
(Spring 1991)

1987           Shoreline Community College (Lecturer)
Summer school course on German history in Munich


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