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You are here: FRIAS Fellows Fellows 2017/18 Prof. Dr. Anne Harrington

Prof. Dr. Anne Harrington

Harvard University
History of science and medicine
External Senior Fellow (Alexander von Humboldt-Fellowship)
June - August 2016

Room 01 022


Anne Harrington is the Franklin L. Ford Professor of the History of Science and Director of Undergraduate Studies. She is also Faculty Dean of Pforzheimer House, a residential position involving oversight of 400 Harvard College undergraduates. She is the author of three books: Medicine, Mind and the Double Brain (1987), Reenchanted Science (1997) and The Cure Within; A History of Mind-Body Medicine (2007).   She is currently completing a fourth book entitled The Biological Revolution in Psychiatry: What Really Happened. She has also published many articles and produced a range of edited collections including The Placebo Effect (1997), Visions of Compassion (2000), and The Dalai Lama at MIT (2006). Other research interests include relations between religion and medicine, interdisciplinary relations between the science and the humanities (especially the biobehavioral sciences),  and first person experiences (narratives) of brain disorder.

Selected Publications

  • Harrington, Anne, and John D. Dunne. "When mindfulness is therapy: Ethical qualms, historical perspectives." American Psychologist 70.7 (2015): 621.
  • Harrington, Anne “Thinking about trance over a century: The making of a set of impasses,” Hypnosis and meditation: Towards an integrative science of conscious planes, eds. Michael Lifshitz and Amir Raz. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.
  • Harrington, Anne “Mother Love and Mental Illness: An Emotional History,” Osiris, special issue on “Emotions in the History of Science,” edited Otniel Dror and Bettina Hitzig, in press.
  • Harrington, Anne “Zen and the Art of Psychotherapy,” Science and Religion: East and West, ed. Yiftach J.H. Fehige, New York: Routledge, in press.

FRIAS Project

Mental Illness and Medical Miracles

At FRIAS, Professor Harrington will be focused on two projects: she will be working on drafting the chapters of her fourth book, tentatively titled, The Biological Revolution in Psychiatry: What Really Happened?  She will also be launching a new project, titled Almost a Miracle, focused on making sense of the medical archive of some 7,000 cases of alleged healing miracles stored at Medical Bureau of the Catholic healing shrine of Lourdes, France. A big focus of this new project will be on making sense of the patient first-person testimonies included in each of the files, why they are included, and whether one can read them for insights other than the ones they were originally intended to provide.