Mittwoch, 20. Oktober 2021, 18:30 - 20:00 iCal

Geschichte am Mittwoch

Anastassiya Schacht (Wien):

“The Sick Mind of Europe”? – Soviet Political Psychiatry in its Domestic Entanglements and International Networks

Moderation: Peter Becker


Institut für Geschichte, Universität Wien Hauptgebäude, Hörsaal 30
Universitätsring 1, 1010 Wien


Rechtzeitige Anmeldung bitte an: Bitte beachten Sie ferner die an der Universität Wien geltende 3G-Regel. In den Gebäuden ist ein MNS zu tragen.


Over the course of the 1960s-1980s, Soviet psychiatry became internationally challenged on its continuous practice to falsely diagnose, confine, and forcibly treat political dissidents. Awareness of these misdoings in the “West” unleashed a series of protest campaigns by NGOs, forced politicians to intervene on behalf of those unjustly confined. For psychiatrists worldwide, the conflict triggered an epistemic crisis and an urge for stricter play-rules on what was now seen as scholarly valid, socially responsible, and medically ethical Psychiatry. Never truly processed, this conflict cast a shade of doubt on psychiatric discipline in the USSR – and on the Western ability to deal with autocratic rule-breaking in essential fields.

The talk approaches the Soviet psychiatry in a twofold way. From the viewpoint of History of Science & Public Health, it discusses political processes within and upon psychiatry in the USSR, that made it vulnerable to power inputs from state. With the example of schizophrenia as the most common “political” diagnosis, the talk analyses structural and functional logic of epistemic entry-points for political abuse. Stepping up to an international scale, from the perspective of International History & Cold Wars Studies, the talk embeds the conflict in a rapidly changing world-map with the new re-politicization of Human Rights in ever more intertwined, though conflicted world, split between ideological tensions, but also cooperation attempts – in politics as it is in science.


Zur Vortragenden:

Anastassiya Schacht works on her PhD at the Department of History (University of Vienna), where her project received a grant of the Vienna Doctoral School of Historical and Cultural Studies.

In her first academic track she studied English, German, and Historical Literary Studies at the Orenburg University (Russia), and majored in English Linguistics and Global History at the University of Vienna.



Zur Webseite der Veranstaltung


Institut für Geschichte

Um Anmeldung wird gebeten


Martina Fuchs
Institut für Geschichte
0043 4277 40842