Dr Hannah Proctor

Research Fellow



Personal statement

I joined the Centre for the Social History of Health and Healthcare at  Strathclyde in 2019.

I am a historian broadly interested in intersections between left-wing politics and the psy’ disciplines, including histories and theories of radical psychiatry, Communist and anti-Communist theories of the mind, histories of Freudo-Marxism (as both intellectual theory and clinical practice), and emotional histories of the left.

My first monograph Psychologies in Revolution: Alexander Luria's 'Romantic Science' and Soviet Social History was published as part of the Palgrave Macmillan series 'Mental Health in Historical Perspective' in 2020. 

My second book Burnout: The Emotional Experience of Political Defeat is forthcoming with Verso in spring 2024. Structured around eight concepts – melancholia, nostalgia, depression, burnout, exhaustion, bitterness, trauma and mourning ­– Burnout explores emotional experiences of political defeat, disillusionment and depletion in historical perspective. 

I was awarded an Early Career Research Fellowship from the Wellcome Trust for a postdoctoral project exploring social scientific projects based at institutions in the US that investigated the 'Soviet mind' at the dawn of the Cold War. I have since been awarded a Wellcome Trust University Award to research international campaigns against the political abuse of psychiatry in the USSR. I am currently developing my third book project, which emerges from these two research projects, tentatively/provisionally titled 'Communist Cases: Political Pathologization and US Social Science in the Cold War'. 

Before joining Strathclyde in 2019, I was a postdoctoral fellow at the ICI Berlin, taught at Bard College Berlin and Leuphana Universitaet in Germany, and held ISSF Wellcome fellowships in Medical Humanities at Birkbeck and the University of Leeds. I have also guest lectured at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam and HEAD Geneva. I completed my PhD at Birkbeck, University of London in Medical Humanities. Prior starting my Phd, I spent five years working in theatre administration and production in London.

I've written for both academic and non-academic publications on topics including rayon stockings, gender and the death drive, utopian pedagogy, Communist motherhood, wrinkles, the aesthetics of fMRI, Soviet babies, revolutionary commemoration, British antipsychiatry, mourning, depression, perfume, and Ulrike Meinhof’s brain. I have published pieces on film for Another Gaze, Tribune, Jacobin, and Parapraxis.

I'm on the editorial collective of Radical Philosophy. I’m also a contributing editor at Parapraxis Mag and web/reviews editor of History of the Human Sciences.


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Professional Activities

History of the Human Sciences (Journal)
Peer reviewer

More professional activities


De-pathologising dissent: international campaigns against psychiatric abuse in the Soviet Union and the crisis of the discipline in the West,1953-1991
Proctor, Hannah (Principal Investigator)
03-Jan-2022 - 02-Jan-2027
Cold War Mentalities: Mental Health, Migration, Cultural Exchange and the Harvard Project on the Soviet Social System
Smith, Matthew (Co-investigator) Proctor, Hannah (Fellow)
Cold War Mentalities: the Harvard Project on the Soviet Social System and Mental Health Encounters Across the Iron Curtain
01-Jan-2019 - 30-Jan-2022

More projects

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Dr Hannah Proctor
Research Fellow

Email: hannah.proctor@strath.ac.uk
Tel: Unlisted