Medical History


Transnational History of Medicine after 1950: Framing and Interrogation from Psychiatric Journals

John C. Burnhama1

a1 * Professor John C. Burnham, Ohio State University, Department of History, 106 Dulles Hall, 230 West 17th Avenue, Columbus OH, 43210, USA. Email:


Communication amongst medical specialists helps display the tensions between localism and transnationalisation. Some quantitative sampling of psychiatric journals provides one framework for understanding the history of psychiatry and, to some extent, the history of medicine in general in the twentieth century. After World War II, extreme national isolation of psychiatric communities gave way to substantial transnationalisation, especially in the 1980s, when a remarkable switch to English-language communication became obvious. Various psychiatric communities used the new universal language, not so much as victims of Americanisation, as to gain general professional recognition and to participate in and adapt to modernisation.

Key Words:

  • Citation Analysis;
  • Communication;
  • Dissemination;
  • English Language;
  • Globalisation;
  • Information;
  • Internationality;
  • Medical Publications;
  • Psychiatry;
  • Transnationalisation