Katherine Angel is a Wellcome Trust Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for the History of Medicine at the University of Warwick. She is writing a monograph, entitled Psychiatric Ontologies: Female Sexual Dysfunction and the DSM, 1960 to the Present, based on her Wellcome Trust-funded research into FSD in American and British psychiatry. Examining the emergence of ‘FSD’ as a category over this period, the research scrutinises the shifting relationships between psychiatry, feminism and sex research through the decades. It probes the contemporary legacy of psychoanalytic psychiatry’s decline and of second-wave feminism; and assesses the relationship between American and British psychiatry, and between medico-pharmaceutical and popular ‘post-feminist’ discourse about sexual problems and pleasures. It probes the discomfort with speaking psychologically and historically about female sexuality, exploring in the process contemporary relationships to the activity of looking back at the past – of psychiatry, feminism, and indeed the activity of looking back itself.
Katherine has a book of literary non-fiction forthcoming in September 2012, published by Penguin/Allen Lane, Unmastered: A Book on Desire, Most Difficult to Tell (also being published in by USA by Farrar, Straus & Giroux; Germany by Klett-Cotta/Tropen; and the Netherlands by De Bezige Bij). Klett-Cotta has described the book as an ‘oustanding literary contribution to the ongoing discussion about women’s desire, sexuality, and power’. Poet and Booker-shortlisted novelist Adam Foulds has described Unmastered as ‘poetic in the best sense; sharply truthful, musical, and beautifully patterned’, as well as ‘an act of cultural resistance, and a book you immediately start to re-read.’ More information is available here.