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Title: A history of the Rorschach ink blot test in Britain
Author: Hubbard, Katherine A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5918 8749
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2016
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The Rorschach ink blot test was first developed by Hermann Rorschach in 1921. This thesis explains the history of the test in Britain throughout the 20th century. This is a history of a test which has power, is able to do things, and has become embedded into popular culture like no other. My approach to this history in this thesis is critical and interdisciplinary: I borrow from Psychology, History, Sociology, Gender Studies and Comic Studies. I use a particular queer feminist lens through which to approach this research and in doing so I aim to tell a more hidden history. I pay particular attention to the marginal, invisible and ‘white spaces’ of the history of the Rorschach. In regards to these ‘white spaces’ I specifically consider where the ink from the blots has metaphorically ‘bled’ in and out of Psychology. Chapter 1 introduces the thesis as a whole and based on this, Chapter 2 provides the theoretical underpinnings of the thesis and situates it within the history of Psychology more generally. Chapter 3 provides the core British history of the Rorschach. This is developed further in Chapter 4, where I pay closer attention to queer women and develop my own form of analysis for the history of Psychology. Chapter 5 provides a specific analysis of the graphic novel Watchmen which I argue exemplifies a significant ‘loop’ of Psychology into popular culture, and Chapter 6 concludes the thesis. In all, I provide an account of the Rorschach in Britain which allows for those who used the Rorschach; those who were tested with it; and the public; to be included. I argue that this interdisciplinary study of the history of the Rorschach test in Britain exemplifies what is possible when the marginal aspects of history are included. Consequentially, this has the power to allow historians of Psychology to re-imagine more normative histories. After all the Rorschach is all about imagination.
Supervisor: Hegarty, Peter Sponsor: Science Museum ; Funds for Women Graduates ; British Federation for Women Graduates
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available