Erik Linstrum works on modern British and European history in a global context, with a focus on the British Empire since 1800. His first book, Making Minds Modern: Psychology in the British Empire, explores how innovations in the science of mind — laboratory measurements, psychoanalysis, and mental testing — changed British rule overseas. Drawing on archives in Europe, Africa, South Asia, and North America, Making Minds Modern considers what happened when imperial networks globalized Western knowledge, undermining traditional assumptions of imperialism while strengthening the authority of experts to intervene in other cultures.
Educated at Princeton and Harvard, where he received his Ph.D., Linstrum held fellowships with the Institute of Historical Research in London and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard before coming to Michigan. His research has been supported by the American Philosophical Society and recognized with awards including the Walter D. Love Prize from the North American Conference on British Studies, the FHHS Article Prize from the Forum for History of Human Science, the Bowdoin Prize for best graduate essay at Harvard, and the Gross Prize for best dissertation in the History Department at Harvard. His next project is a study of technology and violence in the twentieth-century empire.
“Britain.” In Blackwell Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity, and Nationalism, ed. John Stone, et al. (Wiley-Blackwell, forthcoming 2014).
“Specters of Dependency: Psychoanalysis in the Age of Decolonization.” In Psychoanalysis in the Age of Totalitarianism, ed. Daniel Pick and Matt Ffytche (Routledge, forthcoming 2014).
“The Making of a Translator: James Strachey and the Language of Social Therapy,” Journal of British Studies (forthcoming 2014).
"The Politics of Psychology in the British Empire, 1898-1960." Past & Present 215 (2012).