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Anne Harrington

Franklin L. Ford Professor of the History of Science; Director of Undergraduate Studies
Ph.D., Oxford University

Anne Harrington is the Franklin L. Ford Professor of the History of Science and Director of Undergraduate Studies, specializing in the history of psychiatry, neuroscience, and the other mind and behavioral sciences. She is also Co-Master of Pforzheimer House (with her husband, Dr. John Durant). From 2007-2010, she was Department Chair, and in 2012-2013, she was Department Acting Chair

Professor Harrington received her Ph.D. in the History of Science from Oxford University, and has held postdoctoral fellowships at the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine in London,  and the University of Freiburg in Germany. For six years, she co-directed Harvard's Mind, Brain, and Behavior Initiative. She also was a consultant for the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Mind-Body Interaction, and also served for 12 years on the Board of the Mind and Life Institute, dedicated to cross-cultural exchange and collaboration between the sciences and various contemplative traditions. She was also a founding co-editor of Biosocieties, a journal concerned with social science approaches to the life sciences.

Professor Harrington 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 working on a new book, tentatively titled, When Minds Fal
l Ill. 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 the history of the Catholic healing shrine of Lourdes and especially the historical meaning of the archive of 7,000 medical records and narratives of extraordinary healings recorded there.

Professor Harrington's courses at Harvard include or have included  "Madness and Medicine" (General Education) "Evolution and Human Nature" (undergraduate) "Narrative and Neurology," (undergraduate) “Stories under the Skin,” (undergraduate) "Freud and the American Academy" (graduate) "The Minded Body" (graduate) and "In Search of Mind" (graduate). She also regularly offers graduate reading courses in the history of psychiatry, psychology, and neuroscience. For some years, she both taught and oversaw the required research methods course for History and Science undergraduates, and now is faculty instructor of the department’s sophomore tutorial, which she radically overhauled in 2012-13 with a grant from the Hauser Initiative on Learning and Teaching.   Finally, she and her husband, Dr. John Durant (based at MIT) co-teach a Harvard Summer School study abroad program in Cambridge, England, “Science, Medicine, and Religion in an Age of Skepticism.”


 

Photo © Susan Kreiter, Boston Globe

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