“I think it is very important to understand the relations between mental illness, violence and politics,” says 2023 Dan David Prize winner Dr. Ana Antic.
On the eve of the ceremony, I met one of the laureates, Dr. Ana Antic. Born and raised in Serbia, Antic is a professor of European history at Copenhagen University. Her research focuses on the relationship between politics, violence and psychiatry in 20th-century Europe, as well as the decolonization of psychiatric practices and concepts. Antic’s research explores the historical development of ideas about the human psyche, pathology and normality, and approaches these debates as windows into some of the most important political and social issues in modern history. She also examines how decolonization and the Cold War shaped different societies’ understanding of the human mind, psychology, suffering and healing. Her work is driven by the argument that psychology disciplines have played a vital role in crucial ideological conflicts and debates.