Dr Ana Antic
Lecturer in Twentieth Century International History
I am a social and cultural historian whose research focuses on the history of modern Europe and the Balkans, history of war and violence, and history of psychiatry. Before joining Exeter, I was a post-doctoral fellow at Birkbeck College. I received my PhD in history from Columbia University. My first monograph, 'Therapeutic fascism: Experiencing the violence of the Nazi New Order in Yugoslavia', has been published by Oxford University Press, and my articles have appeared in a variety of journals, such as the Journal of Social History, Social HIstory of Medicine, History of Psychiatry, Contemporary European History, and East European Politics and Societies.
My first monograph, Therapeutic Fascism: Experiencing the Violence of the Nazi New Order in Yugoslavia - the winner of the 2015 Fraenkel Prize in Contemporary History - explores the development of psychiatric culture during and after the Nazi occupation of Eastern Europe, offering a fresh perspective on the history of mass violence in the 1940s through the prism of personal experience, and at the same time highlights the significance of this period as a key transitional moment in the intellectual history of psychiatry. The book sheds light on the effects of total war and revolution on the development of psychiatric and scientific concepts, and on the close relationship between psychiatry/psychoanalysis and political authoritarianism in twentieth-century Europe. It also explores the importance of personal narrative and testimony in writing the history of psychiatry and mental illness, and looks at psychiatric patients' experiences of wartime psychiatric environments.
More recently, my research has focused on the creation of transnational scientific and psychiatric networks between Eastern and Western Europe. In my current project, I am exploring Eastern Europe as a vigorously contested site of internationalism in the Cold War, and use the history of psychiatry and psychoanalysis as a window into complicated professional and cultural exchanges across the Iron Curtain. My work thus aims to unsettle the traditional narratives of Cold War faultlines by focusing on unexpected alliances and collaborations across the great ideological divide. I am currently preparing a book manuscript tentatively titled 'Parenting the nation: The politics of psychiatric treatment and political "re-education" in post-WWII Europe,' while my article 'The pedagogy of workers' self-management: Terror, therapy and reform Communism in Yugoslavia after the Tito-Stalin split' has been published in the Journal of Social History.
Moreover, my research not only traces the development of transnational medical and psychiatric links within Europe, but also places Europe in a broader, global context by exploring the history of 'Communist internationalism' and its global medical networks in Eastern Europe and Africa. By exploring the connections between the 'second' and 'third' worlds after 1945, I look at the concept of transcultural psychiatry and its multiple definitions and uses in the context of socialist globalisation and Cold War internationalism. I am currently completing an article titled 'Imagining Africa in Eastern Europe: Transcultural psychiatry in Cold War Yugoslavia', which will be part of a special issue hosted by Contemporary European History.
I am interested in supervising research students in a variety of fields in modern European history, especially the history of war, violence and genocide; the history of psychiatry and psychoanalysis; the history of children and childhood; the history of communist and fascist internationalisms; the history of Eastern Europe, socialism and the Cold War, and other related topics.