Dr. Ana Antic is a social and cultural historian whose research focuses on the relationship between politics, violence and psychiatry in twentieth century Europe, as well as the decolonization of psychiatric practices and concepts. She is a Professor of European history at the University of Copenhagen.
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 ‘psy’ disciplines played a vital role in crucial ideological conflicts and debates.
She is the author of Therapeutic Fascism: Experiencing the Violence of the Nazi New Order (Oxford University Press, 2017), and Non-Aligned Psychiatry in the Cold War: Revolution, Emancipation and Re-Imagining the Human Psyche (Springer Nature, 2022).
Antic heads the European Research Council-funded project Decolonizing Madness: Transcultural Psychiatry, International Order and the Birth of a ‘Global Psyche,’ which tackles the debate on the universality and cross-cultural applications of the notions of mental health and illness by offering an inter-disciplinary account of the historical origins and development of transcultural psychiatry and the concept of the global psyche.
She is also in the process of founding a new research institute – Centre for Culture and the Mind – with funding from the Danish National Research Council. The institute aims to address some of the most pressing issues of our time, like how to address mental health in the integration of refugee populations or the relationship between mass migration and mental health, exploring whether theories and methods of modern psychiatry can be used to alleviate the suffering of diverse groups of people from around the world.
Antic earned a PhD in modern European history from Columbia University in 2012.