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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : History

Undergraduate Course: In Search of Modern Selves: Psychiatry and Psychotherapies in India and Japan, 1880 - the Present (HIST10372)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits40 ECTS Credits20
SummaryThis course introduces students to a number of pressing contemporary problems concerning the modern self and mental health.
Course description This course introduces students to a number of pressing contemporary problems concerning the modern self and mental health, currently being debated within the 'psy disciplines' - psychiatry, psychotherapy, and psychology - and by historians/anthropologists of transcultural mental health. We tackle these problems by framing them historically, with a comparative focus on modern India and Japan (including their relationship with the West) and via the theories and techniques of medical anthropology and philosophy of psychiatry. Our core primary source materials include: letters, novels, books, and autobiographies produced by pioneering Indian and Japanese psy professionals and thinkers, alongside clinical case reports, reports of fieldwork, published patient testimony, film, and other art forms. Although our focus is upon exploring contemporary dilemmas through an historical lens, for the sake of clarity and ease of learning the course progresses broadly along chronological lines.

Content note: The study of History inevitably involves the study of difficult topics that we encourage students to approach in a respectful, scholarly, and sensitive manner. Nevertheless, we remain conscious that some students may wish to prepare themselves for the discussion of difficult topics. In particular, the course organiser has outlined that the following topics may be discussed in this course, whether in class or through required or recommended primary and secondary sources: one or two weeks of the course in Semester Two include discussion of depression and suicide. While this list indicates sensitive topics students are likely to encounter, it is not exhaustive because course organisers cannot entirely predict the directions discussions may take in tutorials or seminars, or through the wider reading that students may conduct for the course.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements A pass in 40 credits of third level historical courses or equivalent.

Students should only be enrolled on this course with approval from the History Honours Programme Administrator
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  0
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 400 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 42, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 8, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 348 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 50 %, Coursework 50 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework:
2 x 4,000 word essays, one due in each semester (each worth 25%)

3 hour exam (50%)
Feedback Students will receive written feedback on their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the Course Organiser during their published office hours or by appointment.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)3:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. An ability to tackle contemporary cultural questions, especially relating to selfhood and mental health, by framing these in historical and cross-cultural comparative terms;
  2. An ability to discuss subtle and sensitive topics, such as these, in a rigorous and careful manner, and writing about them in essay format;
  3. A strong general understanding of India and Japan's cultural history from 1880 to the Present, especially as it pertains to selfhood and mental health;
  4. A strong general understanding of how the 'psy disciplines' - psychiatry, psychotherapy, psychology - have emerged historically, both in the West and in Asia, and of their general principles of operation;
  5. A familiarity with the basic languages and methodologies of medical anthropology and philosophy of psychiatry, and be able to deploy these in tandem with standard techniques of the modern historian.
Reading List
Anthony Elliott, Concepts of the Self (Third Edition, 2014).
Jerrold Seigel, The Idea of the Self: Thought and Experience in Western Europe Since the Seventeenth Century (2005)
Edward Shorter, A History of Psychiatry: From the Era of the Asylum to the Age of Prozac
James Mills, 'The History of Modern Psychiatry in India, 1858 - 1947', History of Psychiatry, 12 (2001)
Christopher Harding, Iwata Fumiaki, and Yoshinaga Shin'ichi (eds), Religion and Psychotherapy in Modern Japan (2014)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills - Enhanced reasoning skills where the careful choice of illustrative primary and secondary reading material is concerned.
- Ability to present and to defend in debate a set of ideas on a specific topic.
- Ability to combine theoretical methodologies in a coherent and productive way.
- Confidence in general group discussions.
- Awareness of the origins and principle themes in pressing contemporary questions of culture and mental health.
- Enhanced essay-writing abilities, developed through tackling conceptually complex topics with guidance from course organizer
KeywordsModern Selves
Course organiserDr Christopher Harding
Tel: (0131 6)50 9960
Course secretaryMrs Ksenia Gorlatova
Tel: (0131 6)50 8349
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