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From German Psychology to British Poetics: the Reception of Empirical Psychology and Phrenology in British Literary Culture, 1780-1880


This two-year project examines the literary impact of German psychological medicine on British culture from 1780 to 1880 on a multi-disciplinary level. The applicant Dr Monika Class seeks not only to restart her career after a two-year break but to reinforce existing, and acquire new competences through the post-doctoral training provided by King’s College’s Centre for the Humanities and Health in London under the supervision of Dr Neil Vickers. The project will form part of the Centre’s innovative research programme in Medical Humanities designed to bring a variety of Humanities disciplines together to investigate a common set of questions in the sphere of healthcare. The investigation focuses on Karl Philipp Moritz’s empirical psychology and his seminal magazine, which combined aspects of the psychology of language and education, psychotherapy and parapsychology, and the phrenological tradition initiated by Franz Josef Gall and Johann Gaspar Spurzheim – a theory of functional localization in the brain, and a practice of diagnosis by cranial palpation. Building on her doctoral work on German rationalism in Britain (1796 to 1818), the applicant analyses a hitherto underresearched area by tracing Moritz’s and Gall’s reception in the private and public sphere of the period, evaluating patterns of interpretation and adaptation by various British readerships. Drawing on Foucault’s concept of genealogy and its critiques, she analyses the unorthodox nature of both psychologies in terms of their functional affinity to literature. This project will entail a move from Germany to Britain and open up the field of Medical Humanities for the applicant. The fellowship will allow her to produce a monograph that will establish her as a historian of Anglo-German literature and medicine - a milestone in her long-term career plan to become a senior academic, conduct research and teach at third level in Europe, preferably in one of the German, English or Spanish speaking countries.

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WC2R 2LS London
Reino Unido

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London Inner London — West Westminster
Tipo de actividad
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Contacto administrativo
Paul Labbett (Mr.)
Aportación de la UE
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