Katja Guenther specializes in the history of modern medicine and the mind sciences. She is a trained doctor (M.D., University of Cologne) who has worked in hospitals in Germany, France, and the United Kingdom, and holds a research degree in neuroscience (M.Sc., Oxford University). She received her Ph.D. from the Department of the History of Science at Harvard. Her work has been funded by the ACLS/ Mellon Foundation, the Krupp Foundation, the Medical Research Council, and the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes. She came to Princeton in 2009 where she currently holds the Johanna and Alfred Hurley University Preceptorship in History.
Professor Guenther’s research focuses on the history of subjectivity and the ways in which modern ideas of the self have been constituted through the interplay of cultural and scientific norms. Her book project, Localization and Its Discontents – A Genealogy of Psychoanalysis and the Neuro Disciplines, c. 1850-1950, explores divergent practices and shared theoretical assumptions within the medicine of mind and brain. Re-conceptualizing the reflex as a clinical and hermeneutic principle, she shows a common heritage for such diverse specialties as neurology, neurosurgery, psychiatry and psychoanalysis, and provides new ways for thinking about the relationship between mind and brain in modernity.
Professor Guenther is a Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study Konstanz (Kulturwissenschaftliches Kolleg) in 2012-13.
"Recasting Neuropsychiatry. Freuds Critical Introduction and the Convergence of French and German Brain Science," Psychoanalysis and History 14.2 (July 2012): 203-226.
Sigmund Freud, "Critical Introduction to Neuropathology (1887)," edition and translation, Psychoanalysis and History 14.2 (July 2012): 151-202.
"Freuds Kritische Einleitung in die Nervenpathologie. Kontext und Bedeutung," LUZIFER-AMOR Zeitschrift zur Geschichte der Psychoanalyse 49 (2012): 7-32.
"Sigmund Freud, Kritische Einleitung in die Nervenpathologie (1885-87)," first edition, with Gerhard Fichtner and Albrecht Hirschmüller, LUZIFER-AMOR Zeitschrift zur Geschichte der Psychoanalyse 49 (2012): 33-82.
"The Disappearing Lesion. Sigmund Freud, Sensory-Motor Physiology, and the Beginnings of Psychoanalysis," forthcoming in Modern Intellectual History, Fall 2013.
"Mastering the Unmasterable. Hysteria and Its History," Review Essay, forthcoming in Modern Intellectual History, Summer 2013.
"Exercises in Therapy – Neurological Gymnastics between Kurort and Hospital Medicine, 1880-1945," forthcoming in Bulletin of the History of Medicine, March 2014.
Professor Guenther teaches undergraduate and graduate-level courses on the history of medicine, the history of the body, and the history of the mind sciences.