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Narratives of Non-normative Bodies and Minds
This volume calls for a Narratology of Diversity by investigating narratives of non-normative bodies and minds. It explores mental health representations in literature, including neurodiversity, the body-mind nexus, and embodied non-normativities, therein emphasizing the importance of understanding diverse psychological conditions as represented in narratives. The contributions include perspectives from a wide variety of scholars of European, North American, and comparative literature and culture.

While post-classical narratology has evolved through phases of diversification and consolidation, this volume represents innovation in understanding narrative development to embrace new areas of social awareness, including gendered narratologies (specifically feminist and queer narratologies) and post-colonial criticism, paving the way for a more inclusive narratology.
Psychoanalysis and the Neurotic in Contemporary Society
Volume Editors: and
Sigmund Freud’s work has influenced the modern world in many profound ways. The “father of psychoanalysis,” Freud wrote numerous works wherein his psychoanalytic perspectives were applied to history, society, religion, and other cultural phenomenon. By expanding his psychoanalytic theories into these realms, Freud insured his place within the disciplines of philosophy, sociology, history, theology, and religious studies, wherein his works are still studied. More specifically, his psychoanalytic theories were adopted, revised, and expanded upon by philosophers and sociologist, such as Theodor W. Adorno, Erich Fromm, Herbert Marcuse, Jürgen Habermas, Jacques Derrida, Julia Kristeva, Gilles Deleuze, Judith Butler, Slavoj Žižek, and many others, who in some cases radicalized the latent political content within Freud’s thought, using it to critique modern industrialized capitalism and theorize about the possibility for alternative forms of societies more conducive towards mental health. Although Freud is often marginalized, or even denigrated, we think there are elements still within the corpus of Freud’s work that are valuable for both diagnosing social problems and addressing such problems psychoanalytically. The book demonstrates the lasting relevancy of Freud’s thought to a variety of disciplines as they diagnose a myriad of social issues.
This volume highlights the importance of diverse voices and perspectives in understanding the history and heritage of psychiatry. Exploring the complex interrelations between psychiatry, heritage and power, Narrating the Heritage of Psychiatry complicates the pervasive biomedical narrative of progress in which the history of psychiatry is usually framed. By examining multiple perspectives, including those of users/survivors of mental health services, the collection sheds light on neglected narratives and aims to broaden our understanding of psychiatric history and current practices. In doing so, it also considers the role of art, activism, and community narratives in reimagining and recontextualizing psychiatric heritage. This volume brings into conversation perspectives from practitioners as well as scholars from the humanities and social sciences.
Narratives and Mental Health offers a forum for dialogue between the arts, humanities and other disciplines interested in mental health and well-being.

Narrative is a central tool for meaning-making. Yet, its relevance has long been sidelined in the mental health sector including psychiatry, clinical psychology, medicine and social work.

To explore the intersection of narratives and mental health, the peer-reviewed book series takes an interdisciplinary approach and accommodates studies which investigate, for one, the uses and usefulness, but also the possible limitations of narrative in mental health care settings. The series is also very interested in studies that examine mental health issues in the representation, conceptualization, medialization and dissemination of mental health-narratives in areas as varied as literature and life-writing, the arts and film, journalism and (oral) history, digital and graphic storytelling, and many more.

Monographs and themed volumes are invited that include perspectives from comparative literary studies, history, narratology, psychology and philosophy, amongst others.

Authors are cordially invited to submit proposals for manuscripts to the publisher at BRILL, Masja Horn.
Please advise our Guidelines for a Book Proposal.
Author:
The Freudian Exodus redefines the traumatic experience that Freud argued was the origin of Judaic monotheism, the murder of Moses. Focusing instead on the Babylonian Exile, the study explores a series of topics understood as the aftershocks of that cultural trauma. Among these are the nature of anti-Semitism, Christianity’s vexed relationship to Judaism, the fantasmatic status of subjectivity, the cultural function of Torah, and Freud’s escape at the end of his life from Nazi-controlled Austria. The in-depth analysis of these topics aims for a new understanding of psychoanalysis, conceived more as a philosophy than as a mode of therapy.

Abstract

The aim of this article is to clarify and describe the relationships between levels of personality functioning, pathological personality traits from the borderline and narcissistic functioning, and time perspective (TP). The study was conducted online, and 210 participants completed eight questionnaires: Inventory of Personality Organization, Boredom Proneness Scale, Rejection Sensitivity Questionnaire, Barratt Impulsiveness Scale, Hypersensitive Narcissism Scale, Narcissistic Admiration and Rivalry Questionnaire, Depressive Experience Questionnaire, and Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory. The results reveal that the pathological personality functioning was consistently associated with a deviation on each dimension of TP and the Deviation from the Balanced Time Perspective (DBTP) while the higher functioning personality indicator was associated with a balanced time perspective. When accounting for all traits in the regression, pathological personality traits predicted variance of Past-Negative, Present-Hedonistic, Present-Fatalistic, and the DBTP. Borderline and narcissistic traits were associated with the DBTP but demonstrated different time perspective profiles. Borderline traits showed an overall negative TP with a tendency to seek quick and intense pleasure in the present with no regards toward the future. These results show that there can be TP profile differences between borderline personalities, depending on their specific trait profile. Impulsivity plays an important role in how borderline personalities cope with their negative temporalities. Vulnerable narcissism is characterized by a negative past with the ability to recruit the future, while grandiose narcissism denotes an overall more balanced time perspective than their vulnerable counterpart.

In: Timing & Time Perception

Abstract

Numerous challenges that arise in the field of art history require recourse to expertise in perceptual psychology. In addition to explaining the meaning that people attach to individual works of art and their content, the effect that arises in the recipient is essential to deciding whether the work of art could adequately represent a statement. In addition, with in-depth knowledge of the human act of perception, it is easier to understand what people can and cannot process, when, and how. Art and perception have always formed a unity, as a work of art has no meaning without perception. Artists often acted as intuitive psychologists who understood very well how human perception works and how certain effects can be achieved. Accordingly, art history, which is dedicated to art from a historical perspective, requires precisely this expertise in a systematic manner to adequately depict, describe, and explain the dimension of perception. The following programmatic paper aims to make clear why both disciplines should work closely together and shows what such fruitful paths of joint work could look like.

In: Art & Perception

Abstract

The aesthetics of abstract shapes — shapes devoid of meaning or familiarity — offer an intriguing subject for study, as it can offer insights into how we perceive and appreciate visual stimuli, shedding light on the underlying mechanisms of visual cognition and the nature of artistic experience. This research investigates the impact of contour type (angular versus rounded edges) and complexity (number of vertices) on aesthetic preferences, including their potential interaction. Additionally, we explored the influence of movement as an aesthetic variable, given its potential to enhance complexity, though the relationship between movement and complexity remains unexplored. Our findings indicate that both contour type and complexity significantly influence preferences, with shapes featuring curved contours and fewer vertices being favoured. This highlights the aesthetic appeal of curvature and simplicity. Contrary to expectations, movement did not have a noticeable effect on aesthetic judgements. While no overall interaction between contour type and complexity was found, this lack of interaction was obscured by significant individual differences. Specifically, within individuals, strong interactions between contour type and complexity were observed. It appears that these individual differences are due more to the varying emphasis (dominance) placed on each variable rather than a difference in the preference for specific characteristics. Future research should further analyse these individual differences to understand the nuanced dynamics of aesthetic preferences.

In: Art & Perception

Abstract

The ability to leverage visual cues in speech perception — especially in noisy backgrounds — is well established from infancy to adulthood. Yet, the developmental trajectory of audiovisual benefits stays a topic of debate. The inconsistency in findings can be attributed to relatively small sample sizes or tasks that are not appropriate for given age groups. We designed an audiovisual speech perception task that was cognitively and linguistically age-appropriate from preschool to adolescence and recruited a large sample ( N = 161 ) of children (age 4–15). We found that even the youngest children show reliable speech perception benefits when provided with visual cues and that these benefits are consistent throughout development when auditory and visual signals match. Individual variability is explained by how the child experiences their speech-in-noise performance rather than the quality of the signal itself. This underscores the importance of visual speech for young children who are regularly in noisy environments like classrooms and playgrounds.

In: Multisensory Research

Abstract

Approximately 30–60% of people suffer from olfactory dysfunction (OD) such as hyposmia or anosmia after being diagnosed with COVID-19; 15–20% of these cases last beyond resolution of the acute phase. Previous studies have shown that olfactory training can be beneficial for patients affected by OD caused by viral infections of the upper respiratory tract. The aim of the study is to evaluate whether a multisensory olfactory training involving simultaneously tasting and seeing congruent stimuli is more effective than the classical olfactory training. We recruited 68 participants with persistent OD for two months or more after COVID-19 infection; they were divided into three groups. One group received olfactory training which involved smelling four odorants (strawberry, cheese, coffee, lemon; classical olfactory training). The other group received the same olfactory stimuli but presented retronasally (i.e., as droplets on their tongue); while simultaneous and congruent gustatory (i.e., sweet, salty, bitter, sour) and visual (corresponding images) stimuli were presented (multisensory olfactory training). The third group received odorless propylene glycol in four bottles (control group). Training was carried out twice daily for 12 weeks. We assessed olfactory function and olfactory specific quality of life before and after the intervention. Both intervention groups showed a similar significant improvement of olfactory function, although there was no difference in the assessment of quality of life. Both multisensory and classical training can be beneficial for OD following a viral infection; however, only the classical olfactory training paradigm leads to an improvement that was significantly stronger than the control group.

In: Multisensory Research