About Dr Hans Pols

Hans is interested in what happens when science investigates human beings. That includes the history of medicine (in particular psychiatry), psychology, sociology, and anthropology.

Hans Pols is interested in the history of the human sciences. He has conducted research in the history of psychiatry in the United States, focusing on the mental hygiene movement, which articulated ideas of how normal, well-adjusted, and happy citizens look like. He then embarked on a research project on the involvement of psychiatrists in World War II in the USA, the UK, and Australia. Currently, he is investigating the history of medicine in the Dutch East Indies and Indonesia.

Selected publications

  • Pols, Hans. 2009. European Botanists and Physicians, Indigenous Herbal Medicine in the Dutch East Indies, and Colonial Networks of Mediation. East Asian Science, Technology, and Society: An International Journal 3. 
  • Pols, Hans. 2009. ‘Beyond the clinical frontiers': The mental hygiene movement in the United States. In International relations in psychiatry: Britain, Germany, and the United States through World War II, edited by V. Roelcke, P. J. Weindling and L. Westwood. Rochester, NY: Rochester University Press. 
  • Pols, Hans. 2007. Psychological knowledge in a colonial context: Theories on the nature of the "native" mind in the former Dutch East Indies. History of Psychology 10 (2):111-131. 
  • Pols, Hans. 2007. The nature of the native mind: Contested views of Dutch colonial psychiatrists in the former Dutch East Indies. In Psychiatry and empire, edited by S. Mahone and M. Vaughan. London: Palgrave MacMillan. 
  • Pols, Hans. 2007. War neurosis, adjustment problems in veterans, and an ill nation: The disciplinary project of American psychiatry during and after World War II. OSIRIS 21:72-92. 
  • Pols, Hans. 2006. Waking up to shell shock: Psychiatry in the US military during World War II. Endeavour 30 (4):144-149. 
  • Pols, Hans. 2006. The development of psychiatry in Indonesia: From colonial to modern times. International Review of Psychiatry 18 (4):363-370. 
  • Pols, Hans. 2003. Anomie in the metropolis: The city in American sociology and psychiatry. Osiris 18 (Science and the City):194-211. Pols, Hans. 2002. Between the laboratory and life: Child development research in Toronto, 1919-1956. History of Psychology 5 (2):135-162. 
  • Pols, Hans. 2001. Divergences in American psychiatry during the Depression: Somatic psychiatry, community mental hygiene, and social reconstruction. Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences 37 (4):369-388.