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 a 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, Reflex and Interpretation – 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 specialities as neurology, neurosurgery, psychiatry and psychoanalysis, and provides new ways for thinking about the relationship between mind and brain in modernity.
Professor Guenther will be a Junior Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study Konstanz (Kulturwissenschaftliches Kolleg) in 2012-13.
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.
1. Recasting Neuropsychiatry. Freuds Critical Introduction and the Convergence of French and German Brain Science, Psychoanalysis and History 14.2 (July 2012): 203-226.
2. Sigmund Freud, Critical Introduction to Neuropathology (1887), edition and translation, Psychoanalysis and History 14.2 (July 2012): 151-202.
3. Freuds Kritische Einleitung in die Nervenpathologie. Kontext und Bedeutung, LUZIFER-AMOR Zeitschrift zur Geschichte der Psychoanalyse 49 (2012): 7-32.
4. 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.
5. The Disappearing Lesion. Sigmund Freud, Sensory-Motor Physiology, and the Beginnings of Psychoanalysis, forthcoming in Modern Intellectual History.