Penguins on the Mind

Welcome to our online exhibition Penguins on the Mind, the digital counterpart of a physical exhibition hosted at the University of Stirling Archives and Special Collections. This exhibition was organised and curated by Dr Gavin Miller, Dr Beth Hannah, and Helen Beardsley, with assistance from Dr Jamie Redgate.

With the aim of using book history to open a constructive dialogue with psychological, medical and clinical professionals on the wider risks and opportunities of media work, the exhibition collects some significant Penguin titles on the 'psy' disciplines (psychology, psychiatry, psychotherapy, and others) published in the period c.1940–1980, many of them under Penguin's non-fiction imprint, Pelican.

These titles are aimed at the general reader, and cover a wide variety of topics, including IQ tests, attachment, propaganda, sexual diversity, bereavement, feminism, psychotherapy, antipsychiatry, anorexia nervosa, and the Troubles. The rich narratives behind many of these volumes illuminate the complexities of writing for the mass-market.

The online exhibition is divided into two parts. Part One on 'Psychologization, Personal and Political' looks at the spread and authorization of psychological ideas in the period, from the intimacies of family and personal life to realms of politics, conflict and revolution. Part Two on 'Mental Health: from Cradle to Grave' explores the psychologization of the life cycle, from babyhood to end of life.

To view the exhibition click on the link below, which will open a slide show. After viewing the exhibition, please take our brief survey.