Article ID: CBB502970872

Race, alcohol and general paralysis: Emil Kraepelin’s comparative psychiatry and his trips to Java (1904) and North America (1925) (2018)


This article examines Emil Kraepelin’s notion of comparative psychiatry and relates it to the clinical research he conducted at psychiatric hospitals in South-East Asia (1904) and the USA (1925). It argues that his research fits awkwardly within the common historiographic narratives of colonial psychiatry. It also disputes claims that his work can be interpreted meaningfully as the fons et origio of transcultural psychiatry. Instead, it argues that his comparative psychiatry was part of a larger neo-Lamarckian project of clinical epidemiology and was thus primarily a reflection of his own long-standing diagnostic practices and research agendas. However, the hospitals in Java and America exposed the institutional constraints and limitations of those practices and agendas.

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Authors & Contributors
Broere, Sebastiaan
Borri, Matteo
Rattray, David
Scarfone, Marianna
Keuck, Lara
Leitner, Bernhard
História, Ciências, Saúde---Manguinhos
NTM: Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften, Technik und Medizin
Technology and Culture
Physis: Rivista Internazionale di Storia della Scienza
Medicina nei Secoli - Arte e Scienza
Journal of Military History
Palgrave Macmillan
Oxford University Press
New York University
New York, City University of
Clinical psychology
Mental disorders and diseases
Cross-cultural interaction; cultural influence
Netherlands, colonies
Kraepelin, Emil
Engelhard, C. F.
Spitzer, Robert L.
Rüdin, Ernst
Kehl, Renato Ferraz
Janet, Pierre
Time Periods
20th century, early
19th century
20th century, late
20th century
United States
Java (Indonesia)
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
Great Britain. Royal Air Force

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