Alexandra Bacopoulos-Viau is a Postdoctoral Fellow at New York University whose work centers on modern European history, with a special emphasis on the intersections between the “mind sciences” (psychiatry, psychology, psychoanalysis) and broader cultural developments. Her book manuscript, based on her doctoral dissertation completed at the University of Cambridge, illustrates how writing practices were employed as tools for producing knowledge about the psyche in late 19th- and early 20th-century France. It focuses specifically on “automatic writing”, a technique used widely at that period by Spiritualist mediums, experimental subjects, and avant-garde poets. Alexandra has taught at Cambridge, Harvard, and NYU, and has published on such topics as the links between psychopathology and Surrealism; medical representations of catalepsy in the 19th century; and the notion of automatism in the modern scientific and extra-scientific imagination. In 2013-14, she co-founded a new NYU series on the History of Science, Medicine and Technology. Her latest project examines the influence of telecommunication technologies on the development of the modern self.
Alexandra Bacopoulos-Viau was a CIRHUS Visiting Fellow in Paris during the fall of 2014.