Article ID: CBB049318165

Planes of Phenomenological Experience: The Psychology of Deafness as an Early Example of American Gestalt Psychology, 1928–1940 (2017)

unapi

When, in 1928, the Clarke School for the Deaf in Northampton, Massachusetts, opened a psychological research division, it was nothing unusual in a time fascinated with the sciences of education. Yet with its longstanding ties to Northampton’s Smith College, the school was able to secure the collaboration of eminent Gestalt psychologist Kurt Koffka, who, in turn, engaged 2 more German-speaking emigrants, Margarete Eberhardt and social psychologist Fritz Heider, and Heider’s American wife Grace Moore Heider. This collaboration has seen little attention from historians, who have treated Koffka’s and Heider’s time in Northampton as a transitory phase. I argue, however, that their research on deafness adds to the history of emigration and knowledge transfer between European and American Schools of psychology, and to historical understanding of the interrelation of Gestalt, child, and social psychology. Professionals in child studies and developmental psychology were keenly interested in the holistic and introspective approach Gestalt psychology offered. Deaf children were considered a particularly fascinating research population for exploring the relationship between thought and language, perception and development, Gestalt, and reality. At the Clarke School, Grace Moore Heider was among the first Americans to apply Gestalt principles to child psychology. In a time in which pejorative eugenic beliefs dominated professional perceptions of disability, the Heiders’ groundbreaking work defined the deaf as a social and phenomenological minority. This was in opposition to dominant beliefs in deaf education, yet it points to early roots of a social model of deafness and disability, which historians usually locate in 1960s and ’70s activism. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved) (Source: journal abstract)

...More
Citation URI
https://data.isiscb.org/isis/citation/CBB049318165/

Similar Citations

Book Edwards, R. A. R.; (2012)
Words Made Flesh: Nineteenth-Century Deaf Education and the Growth of Deaf Culture (/isis/citation/CBB001212540/)

Book Marion Andrea Schmidt; (2020)
Eradicating deafness?: Genetics, pathology, and diversity in twentieth-century America (/isis/citation/CBB370208665/)

Book Max Wertheimer; Viktor Sarris; (2020)
Max Wertheimer Productive Thinking (/isis/citation/CBB044488405/)

Article Hatfield, Gary; (2012)
Koffka, Köhler, and the “Crisis” in Psychology (/isis/citation/CBB001221631/)

Article Benjafield, John G.; (2008)
Revisiting Wittgenstein on Köhler and Gestalt Psychology (/isis/citation/CBB000774203/)

Article Plháková, Alena; (2008)
Reflections on the Main Schools of the World Psychology in the Czech Interwar Psychology (/isis/citation/CBB000931960/)

Thesis Mills, Mara C.; (2008)
The Dead Room: Deafness and Communication Engineering (/isis/citation/CBB001560646/)

Article Kirakosian, Katie; (2015)
Mapping the Social Worlds of Shell Midden Archaeology in Massachusetts (/isis/citation/CBB001552994/)

Book Sarah F. Rose; (2017)
No Right to Be Idle: The Invention of Disability, 1840s–1930s (/isis/citation/CBB247390759/)

Thesis Byrom, Bradley Allen; (2004)
A Vision of Self Support: Disability and the Rehabilitation Movement in Progressive America (/isis/citation/CBB001562082/)

Book Schirmacher, Wolfgang; Nebelung, Sven.; (2001)
German Essays on Psychology (/isis/citation/CBB000102540/)

Book Claire L. Shaw; (2017)
Deaf in the USSR: Marginality, Community, and Soviet Identity, 1917-1991 (/isis/citation/CBB205072501/)

Article Noel Patrick O'Connell; (2016)
A Tale of Two Schools: Educating Catholic Female Deaf Children in Ireland, 1846–1946 (/isis/citation/CBB228629384/)

Authors & Contributors
Nebelung, Sven.
Schirmacher, Wolfgang
Benjafield, John G.
Plháková, Alena
Hark, Michel ter
Ash, Mitchell G.
Journals
History of Psychology
Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences
History of Education Quarterly
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Medical History
Bulletin of the History of Archaeology
Publishers
Continuum
New York University Press
Harvard University
University of Iowa
Birkhäuser Basel
Helion & Company
Concepts
Disabilities; disability; accessibility
Psychology
Deafness
Gestalt psychology
Education
Disability technology
People
Köhler, Wolfgang
Wertheimer, Max
Husserl, Edmund
Wundt, Wilhelm Max
Freud, Anna
Fromm, Erich
Time Periods
20th century, early
19th century
20th century
20th century, late
Places
United States
Germany
Massachusetts (U.S.)
Europe
Czechoslovakia
Southern states (U.S.)
Institutions
American Telephone and Telegraph Company
Comments

Be the first to comment!

{{ comment.created_by.username }} on {{ comment.created_on | date:'medium' }}

Log in or register to comment