Felix Rietmann (2)

Seeing the Infant: Audiovisual Technologies and the Rise of Infant Mental Health

Université Fribourg

Historien de la médecine


My book project, Seeing the Infant,explores epistemic, social, and cultural dimensions of the use of audiovisual technologies in infant psychology and psychiatry in the USA and Western Europe from the mid-twentieth to the present. It investigates how scientific and medical practitioners employed cinematography, video, computational assessment methods, and digital interfaces to analyze the psychology of young children, diagnose normal and pathological development in infants, and treat relationship problems within families. The study engages with the increasing presence of old and new media in laboratories and clinics, and asks about both the limits these media pose and the opportunities they offer to science and medicine. Partly, it uses infant research as a case study of broader media-historical changes and sheds light on the historical backgrounds and potential implications of, by now, quotidian scientific and clinical tools. But the project is also an inquiry into a specific field of medical and scientific expertise. It investigates the emergence of the recent sub-specialty of infant mental health and not only explores how this multi-disciplinary field shaped and was shaped by audiovisual technologies but also how both the discipline and the technologies have contributed to the ways we conceptualize, treat, and educate families and children today.

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 Dernière mise à jour le 19/06/2019 à 09:10