Jenifer Dodd studies American cultural history, with specializations in women’s and gender studies and the history of psychiatry in America. Her dissertation examines attempts by feminists and psychiatrists to redefine sexual assault in the 1980s. Her dissertation demonstrates the ways in which activism shaped psychiatry both through individual feminist psychiatrists and through organized activism targeting the American Psychiatric Association. She is particularly interested in the tension between ideas of the individual as socially constructed versus individually pathological and in the growing role of empiricism in postwar psychiatry. More broadly, she is interested in the process of change in psychiatric thought and its institutional manifestation. Her research is supported by the Woodrow Wilson Dissertation Fellowship in Women’s Studies.
Jenifer has previously done research on the role of psychedelic drugs in shaping psychiatric thought in the 1960s and 1970s. This work examines the use of these drugs in redefining schizophrenia as a perceptual disorder. More broadly, she is interested in theories of the mind that emphasize the continuity between pathology and normality. This work also examines the ways in which psychiatric research was adopted and interpreted in popular culture and how these popular interpretations marginalized psychiatric researchers. Her advisor is Dr. Sarah Igo.
Jenifer just received a Mellon Fellowship at Berea College and will begin work there in late August 2016, after an August 2016 graduation. Congratulations Jenifer!