Greg EghigianSep 9, 2016
The Corrigible and the Incorrigible
Science, Medicine, and the Convict in Twentieth-Century Germany
University of Michigan Press 2015
When I first read Foucault's Discipline and Punish as an undergrad, I remember wondering, "What does this look like, though? How might the disciplining of the body play out in different places?" Greg Eghigian, author of The Corrigible and the Incorrigible: Science, Medicine, and the Convict in Twentieth-Century Germany (University of Michigan Press, 2015) and Associate Professor of History at Pennsylvania State University, answers that question and more about the evolution of incarceration in modern Germany. Eghigian's background is in both German history and the history of science, and his expertise in the latter shines through as he explores discourses of criminality among professionals in the fields of psychology, psychiatry, sociology, criminology, and medicine. He has done extensive previous work on the understanding and treatment of madness in modern Europe, and shows that many of the same concerns that motivated physicians, psychoanalysts, and reformers in the emerging field of psychology occupied criminologists in twentieth-century Germany, as well. Perhaps most importantly, the book provides a chronicle of how carceral norms emerge and evolve, one particularly instructive for an America which currently imprisons nearly 2.5 million of its people.