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contributed by CCHP graduate assistant Arianna Iliff.

Conference season is upon us, and between all the seminars, workshops, forums, keynotes, poster sessions, and opportunities for continuing education credit, psychologists like to have fun too. Today, in honor of National Anti-Boredom month, we explore some gems from the AHAP special interest collection, specifically from a variety of professional conference programs.

Professional conferences offer not only educational presentations for psychologists, but also opportunities to network and socialize with fellow professionals. For some, the big annual conference of their favorite organization might be the only time during the year that they get to meet up with particular friends and colleagues. Even in 1967, conference planners with the Tri-State Group Psychotherapy Society were responsive to this with various social activities.

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Sometimes, this looks like a simple “social hour,” for others, this might be a coffee-and-donuts session or other informal gathering.

American Psychological Society

The organization Association for Psychological Science, formerly the American Psychological Society, is known for its focus on the advancement of quality research and good scientific practice in psychology. However, their ability to create conferences with a breadth of interesting activities is also worth mentioning. In 1992, a two-part film festival with topics relevant to psychology was part of the conference activities.

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In 2003, APS took advantage of Atlanta’s great zoo, offering the opportunity to “hang out with your friends (human and animal alike),” which I imagine is a nod to the animal behaviorists among them.

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The year 2004 offered a chance to enjoy comedy at Chicago’s Second City.

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The Association for Behavior Analysis

The psychologists of the ABA, or currently the ABAI, are evidently a lighthearted bunch. Two conference programs show evidence of fantastic entertainment. The 1979 conference dedicated several program events to fun activities: the “behavioral boogie,” a mini-marathon, a performing arts talent show with a focus on behavioral science, and even a banquet with two key figures in behaviorism! I can only imagine the kind of academic fandom that participants felt. What I wouldn’t do to meet some of my professional idols!

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Their 1990 conference in Nashville included a grand dance and banquet featuring a Grammy-winning country-western artist. Like APS, they chose to take advantage of the spirit of their conference location. Additionally, when pulling this program from our collection, you can find a ticket to Jacksonville State University’s after-dinner hospitality suite—very fancy.

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Clinical Hypnotism

When I found these materials, I showed our Digital Projects Manager, Dr. Jodi Kearns. When I expressed my amusement at the fun activities available to clinical hypnotists, she quipped, “they know how to relax.” Clearly! The 1975 meeting of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis dedicates a full page of their program to enjoying the sights during their Seattle-based proceedings. With a luncheon at a waterfall, a Seattle harbor cruise, a dinner theater event that includes “kosher turkey,” a champagne brunch at the Space Needle, and a glamorous party that includes dancing until “____”. Anyone knows that when the invitation puts a blank space where the end time should be, it’s going to be a good time. The art on the front page of the program accurately describes these events: “Great! Useful! Worthwhile! Timely!”

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As the pièce de résistance, let’s end our exploration of conference fun here: at the Seminars for Hypnosis cruise. With a full itinerary of academic and fun activities both in and out of port, participants had access to the whole of the ship. I’ve heard it whispered that some people treat conferences like their vacations, but it seems that Seminars for Hypnosis didn’t even try to hide it.

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 So for those of you headed to conferences this summer and fall, I wish you easy travel, good knowledge, and great fun!

contributed by Anthony Pankuch and Arianna Iliff. Anthony is an undergraduate student assistant, and Arianna is a graduate student assistant at the CCHP.

Last Monday, the World Health Organization released an early version of the upcoming ICD-11 to the public, the first major revision of the organization’s health and disease guidelines in 18 years. Included in this edition are two victories for the LGBTQ community: the removal of gender identity disorder and the reclassification of gender incongruence, alterations made with the expressed intent of destigmatizing the lives of transgender and non-binary individuals.

This change comes five years after the removal of the gender identity disorder diagnosis from the DSM, a similar diagnostic manual utilized exclusively within the United States. Traditionally, the DSM has followed in the footsteps of the ICD, changing to reflect the latter publication’s broader directions. So why has this dynamic seemingly been reversed with the subject of gender identity?

The DSM-I, shown in an exhibit at the National Museum of Psychology. This first edition, published in 1952, categorized homosexuality as a “sexual deviation” and a “sociopathic personality disturbance.”

Diagnoses of homosexuality and gender identity first appeared in the ICD in 1948 and 1965, respectively. Both homosexuality and “transvestitism,” as it was then labeled, were categorized as sexual deviances. Their inclusion validated purported “cures” for homosexuality and gender non-conformance, including drug and electroshock therapies, castration, and lobotomy.

Popular psychology magazines such as “Sexology” sought to find both causes and cures for the “deviation” of homosexuality. Source: Ludy T. Benjamin Popular Psychology Magazine Collection.

The DSM-II, published in 1968, followed with matching diagnoses. However, with the rise of gay and transgender activism in the United States (remembered notably through the 1969 Stonewall Riots), the American publication became embroiled in controversy. A major protest against the American Psychiatric Association in 1970, combined with the efforts of researchers like Evelyn Hooker (1907-1996), led to a 1973 revision of the DSM-II and the gradual removal of homosexual diagnoses in the following decades.

Since then, the DSM has tended to be one step ahead of the ICD in diagnosing sexuality and gender identity. Psychology is a science of immense societal implications and an agent of social change, given its ability to classify and often stigmatize entire livelihoods. Even today, following the release of the ICD-11, activists have expressed a desire for further changes to the diagnosis of gender incongruence. The shifting nature of the DSM’s outlook on LGBTQ identities reminds us of this human element to psychology. The science, built upon a desire to better understand our human nature, continues to thrive not just through lab methods, but also through engagement with a diverse range of human perspectives.

The National Museum of Psychology features a unique exhibit on researcher Evelyn Hooker and the evolving diagnosis of homosexuality within the DSM.

This is the first in a series of blogs regarding the relationship between sexuality, gender identity, and psychology. Watch this space for additional posts.

Citations:

Branson, Helen Kitchen. “Can we prevent HOMOSEXUAL DEVELOPMENT?” Sexology, Nov. 1954, 245.

Drescher, Jack. “Queer diagnoses revisited: The past and future of homosexuality and gender diagnoses in DSM and ICD.” International Review of Psychiatry, vol. 27, no. 5, 2015, pp. 386-395. http://ezproxy.uakron.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=psyh&AN=2016-08809-004&site=ehost-live

Herek, Gregory M. “Sexual Orientation Differences as Deficits: Science and Stigma in the History of American Psychology.” Perspectives on Psychological Science, vol. 5, no. 6, 2010, 693-699. https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/41613587.pdf

-contributed by Emily Gainer.

The Victor D. Sanua papers are open for research! The collections of 135 boxes showcases Sanua’s variety of research interests. Sanua was a clinical psychologist who focused on cross-cultural issues of mental health.  Research topics included in the collection are: cross-cultural studies of mental illness; schizophrenia; autism; Jewish communities and Jews of Egypt; and prescription privileges. Documents in the collection include correspondence, administrative files, research files, written works, and photographs.

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Victor D. Sanua papers, Box M6359, Folder 1

Victor D. Sanua (1920-2009) was born in Egypt and attended American University at Cairo, graduating with two bachelor’s degrees in Social Sciences and Education in 1945 and 1947, respectively. He immigrated to the United States in 1950. Sanua continued his education at Michigan State University where he received his master’s degree in experimental psychology in 1953 and a doctorate in clinical psychology in 1956, with a minor in sociology and anthropology. Throughout his career, Sanua studied Jewish communities, including Egyptian Jews, and worked to preserve his family history as Jews of Egypt.

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Sanua at the International Council of Psychologists meeting, 1994. Box M6490, Folder 32.

Sanua started his career as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University’s Department of Social Relations (1958-1960). He also pursued post-graduate studies at New York’s Bellevue Hospital and New York Hospital-Cornell University Medical School. He also served as Director of Research at the Associated Young Men’s and Young Women’s Hebrew Association of Greater New York from 1960-1965.

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Sanua at a meeting of the Interamerican Society of Psychology (SIP), 1995. Box M6492, Folder 2.

Sanua was an associate professor at Yeshiva University in the School of Social Work and the School of Education (1960-1967). He then served a a professor at the City College of the City University of New York (1967-1976) and the Adelphi University School of Social Work (1976-1980). Finally, he was a professor of psychology at St. John’s University (1980-1990) and a research professor from 1990 until his death in 2009.

 

contributed by reference archivist and mother – Lizette R. Barton 

One of my favorite things about working with archival collections is that I get a glimpse into the personal lives of the psychologists whose papers we house. Everyday I see reminders of real life – personal notes and letters, journals,  family photos and home videos.

Catharine Cox Miles (1890-1984) was a “supermom” well before that term even existed.

A student of Lewis Terman at Stanford, Catharine Cox earned her PhD in 1925 and her dissertation, focused on the assignment of IQ estimates of several hundred prominent figures who lived prior to IQ testing, was published in 1926 as the second volume in Terman’s Genetic Studies of Genius series. While working as Terman’s research assistant in 1927 she met Walter R. Miles (a widower).  They were married that same year and Catharine Cox Miles became the stepmother of three teenagers.

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Walter R. and Catharine Cox Miles papers, V57

In 1928 Catharine and Walter welcomed a daughter and a portrait of Catharine as a mother is preserved through a folder of personal letters between Walter and Catharine during their daughter Anna’s first year. Three cheers for (relatively) complete archival manuscript collections!

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Tomorrow is her birthday, 7 months. Thank thee, dear husband, for making me so happy and giving me this precious little person. [WR & CC Miles papers, M1129.25, folder 1]

The Miles family moved east in 1930 as Walter took a sabbatical from Stanford at the Institute of Human Relations at Yale. Catharine took a position in the Institute as well. The letter below is one of several seeking day care options for their young daughter. As a mother of a recent preschool reject myself, I appreciated the multiple letters and name dropping. Looks like some things never change.

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Walter R. and Catharine Cox Miles papers, M1123, folder 10

The Miles’s went back to Stanford but eventually returned to Yale in 1932 as Walter took a position at the Institute and Catharine accepted a professorship.

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Walter R. and Catharine Cox Miles papers, M1104, folder 1

While at Yale, Catharine continued work on a Masculinity-Femininity scale she had started with Lewis Terman at Stanford and in 1936 they published “Sex and Personality.”

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Walter R. and Catharine Cox Miles papers, M1104, folder 1

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1936 was a good year! Walter R. and Catharine Cox Miles papers, V55, folder 15

Catharine and Walter both retired from Yale in 1953. They traveled to Istanbul where Walter taught for several years and later returned to the United States to settle in Connecticut. Catharine Cox Miles died on October 11, 1984.

Catharine Cox Miles was a clinical psychologist, a professor, and a researcher. She is known for her work in intelligence and aging and the assessment of femininity-masculinity. She traveled the world.

And she managed all that while being a mom to four children. Happy Mother’s Day Catharine Cox Miles. I salute you.

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Walter and Catharine Cox Miles papers, V57

– contributed by Kate Gray.

Kate describes the process of designing, researching, and installing an exhibition to fulfill course requirement for 1900:302 Foundations in Museums & Archives II. 

The concept of time has baffled the greatest minds in human history, while timekeeping devices originally left the students of Museums and Archives II equally bewildered. When beginning work on this exhibition, we were each given about seven or eight time pieces from the Cummings Center’s collections.

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The artifacts varied greatly in the background information already provided on them. Some of us had a manufacturer, date, and specific classification of the instrument. Others received pieces simply classified as “timers.” At times, this made research very difficult. However, all of us were up to the challenge.

We began by combing over the Cummings Center’s archives for any information on the pieces, manufacturers, or individuals who created them. Once we compiled that material, we then moved on to outside databases to supplement our findings. Our main goals were to track down what psychological experiments these time pieces were used in and who used them. When visiting the exhibit, you will learn about the time pieces themselves, the individuals who created them, and the psychologists who use them in their work.

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After discovering the desired information, we then moved on to planning how to display the time pieces and data. We debated artifact groupings, the objects’ placements, exhibit colors, and which display cases to use.

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As I write this blog, we are on the homestretch for this exhibit. We have already begun the to install the exhibition, finalize the displays, and have confirmed our color scheme. Through this experience, we learned about  the immense planning that goes into creating a museum exhibit. Everything from the font size to the display case choice impacts the success of the exhibition. This project led us on a challenging yet rewarding journey through time.

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Please Join Us for:

The Test of Time: Chronometry in 19th and 20th Century Psychological Laboratories

Opening reception:

  • May 10, 2018 from 2:30-4:30pm
  • Free admission for the opening event

After the opening reception, the exhibit will be open during regular hours of the National Museum of Psychology beginning June 28.  This temporary exhibit will be open June 28 through September 2018.

Location:

  • Gallery C / RDWY First Floor
  • Drs. Nicholas & Dorothy Cummings Center for the History of Psychology
  • The University of Akron
  •  Roadway Building
  • 73 S. College Street
  • Akron, OH 44325-4302

Contact: ihsc@uakron.edu; 330-972-7285

For More Information go to http://www.uakron.edu/chp/education/student-exhibit

Program info: This project fulfills the requirements for students in 1900:302, Foundations of Museums and Archives II at the Institute for Human Science and Culture.  Contact Dr. Jodi Kearns jkearns@uakron.edu for information about the Museums and Archives certificate program.

contributed by Lizette Royer Barton.

While working in the Walter and Catharine Cox Miles papers recently I came across a string of correspondence from 1928 between Walter Miles and Margaret Floy Washburn in which they reference a “motion picture film taken at Carlisle.”

I’ve always known this film as the “Titchener Film” due to the first two minutes taken at the 1927 meeting of the Experimentalists but there are 11 minutes of footage post Titchener and it’s really good stuff.

This blog was supposed to be a fluff piece for Women’s History Month to show Margaret Floy Washburn on film. But instead, and you know this is coming if you’ve read any of my contributions to this blog, I went down the rabbit hole….

I Googled, experimental psychology + Carlisle and the second hit was a 2010 History of Psychology journal article by my friend Jim Goodwin titled, “The 1928 Carlisle conference: Knight Dunlap and a national laboratory for psychology.”

And a bonus – on page 379 he appears to reference the film in question, “…a brief film, with most scenes featuring Margaret Washburn walking around the Dickinson College campus in the company of various clusters of male attendees.” 

I watched the film and noticed this.

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Walter & Catharine Cox Miles papers, Film 5-5

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Walter & Catharine Cox Miles papers, Film 5-5

Johnson…Johnson…that name was familiar….

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“I consider it [the film] very flattering, except for the indoor view of Miss Johnson and myself, and there it is comforting to observe that the beautiful and comparatively youthful Miss Johnson also suffers from the poor illumination.”  Walter & Catherine Cox Miles papers, M1121, folder 13

Due to the context of the times and the fact that Goodwin wrote that of the 32 attendees Washburn was, “...the only woman invited to the Carlisle meeting….” I assumed the woman in the still frame above was a Mrs. Buford Johnson – the wife of a man named Buford Johnson who joined him at the conference. I went back to Goodwin’s article and the footnote on page 388 includes Buford Johnson as a conference attendee. But in the letter above Margaret Floy Washburn refers to a MISS Johnson not a MRS. Johnson.

I pulled the 1928 APA Directory (the year of the Carlisle Conference) from our reference library and found Buford J. Johnson listed as an APA member. Johnson was at Johns Hopkins (as was Knight Dunlap – organizer of the Carlisle Conference) and experimental psychology was listed as an interest which would make sense for a psychologist attending a conference centered around the creation of a National Laboratory of Experimental Psychology.

But then I noticed Johnson was a graduate of LaGrange College.

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Wait a minute? Wasn’t LaGrange a women’s college? Wikipedia confirmed my suspicions. LaGrange was a women’s college until  1934 and Johnson earned an A.B. in 1895.

A quick google search of “Buford Johnson” + LaGrange and I was rewarded with a fantastic blog by two LaGrange College librarians titled, “Interesting Alumni: LC’s Extraordinary Women of the Past.”

Extraordinary WOMEN of the past? Was Buford J. Johnson a woman?!

I went back to the APA directories and started leafing through all of them until I hit pay dirt in 1948.

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It turns out Dr. Buford Jeannette Johnson earned her PhD at Hopkins in 1916 and in 1924 became the first woman to be appointed professor of psychology in the department. She was also the founding editor of the journal Child Development and the first woman to be elected president of the Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology.

I did a search across our collections for Buford Jeannette Johnson and besides the film and letter in which she is mentioned in the Miles papers there was only one other hit – a postcard from 1929 from Johnson to Sarah Dunlap (Knight Dunlap’s daughter) in the Knight Dunlap papers.

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“I am…going to a reception tonight… for the International Congress of LIBRARIANS.”  International Congress of Librarians? Oh my goodness! Buford Johnson is too good to be true! Knight Dunlap papers, M569, folder “Postcards”

Buford Jeannette Johnson died in 1954 at the age of 74. Her death certificate, located by my genealogical-research savvy colleague Dr. Jodi Kearns, indicates Johnson died of acute nephritis with antecedent causes of cerebral arteriosclerosis and “nervous breakdown from excessive study.”

Reading her death certificate broke my heart a little bit. Realizing Dr. Buford Jeannette Johnson is darn near invisible in the history of psychology broke my heart a lot.

What are Buford Jeannette Johnson and Margaret Floy Washburn talking about in this film? Did their laughter stem from the gallows humor almost certainly necessary for  women in the field of experimental psychology in the 1920s? Or maybe it was lighter than that. Maybe they were just friends. Or simply colleagues.

In any case, here are two incredibly talented and bright psychologists sharing a laugh.

 

 

Postmarked for History

Contributed by Jodi Kearns & Hillary Nunn.

We went hunting in the estimated 200,000+ postcards in the David P. Campbell Postcard Collection for a Valentine to post today, and we found this card sent on New Year’s Eve 1920 and postmarked in Akron, Ohio at Firestone Park Station. What a gem!

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The message reads: “12-31-20 Hellow got to Akron seven thirty am. All well but I am sleepy. Ha Ha had the blues after I left you dont think I will get over it. How are you feeling since I left you sure miss the [illegible] but [illegible] I can [illegible] over it. good by will write tomorrow Tom

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CCHP staff have written about this postcard collection in past blogs, such as this one about women’s right to vote and this one about National Postcard Week.

The collection is so full of gems that we are co-teaching an unclass for students to investigate this postcard collection. The collection is housed primarily in binders categorized by the Dr. David Campbell. Students will be digitizing postcards in selected binders, and making them available on the digital repository. Additionally, students will be researching related topics of their choosing, which –so far– include topics such as the suffragette movement, privacy, code breaking, postmarks, transcription, and card images that don’t “match” card messages (like Tom’s Valentine postcard sent to Huldah on New Year’s Eve).

To learn more about the postcards, the unclass, and the students, please follow along with the unclass postcard project on the Institute for Human Science and Culture Blog, where students will be posting regularly. The inaugural post introduces the project: In an Unclass of its Own.

The unclass is supported by the EXL Center. Digital Humanities in the Archives is taught in the English Department and hosted at the Cummings Center.