Amanda Lynn Brewer

Year in Program: 5

Research Interests: U.S. Social and Cultural History, Psychiatry and Mental Illness, Food and Diet

Research Languages: English, German (Reading)

Advisor: Naoko Wake

Committee: Helen Veit, John Waller, Sean Forner

Education: B.A. Honors History, University of Richmond, 2014


CV: Download

I am a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate at MSU studying to be a US cultural and social historian of the early to mid twentieth century, with a particular focus on the history of mental illness and psychiatry. I’m interested in the history of science and medicine broadly as well as the development of nutritional science and dietetics alongside popular ideas concerning diet, food, and eating habits. My dissertation project seeks to illuminate the intersection of psychiatric ideas, institutions, and ideas about food, diet, and health in the long Progressive-Era United States.

In 2014, I earned my B.A. in History with Honors alongside a minor in Computer Science from the University of Richmond. I developed my interest in the history of psychiatry when I came across the lunacy case of John Armstrong Chaloner, which ultimately lead to my Honors thesis, “The Case of “Who’s Looney Now?”: Psychologists, Psychiatrists, the Public, and Contested Notions of Insanity in Turn-of-the-Twentieth Century America.” Additionally, while at UR, I worked in the Digital Scholarship Lab as an intern for two semesters, where I explored my interest in the digital humanities and digital history.

Research and Teaching Assistant Appointments 

HST 203: U.S. History Since 1876 | Spring 2019, Spring 2017

HST 202: U.S. History to 1876 | Fall 2018

HST 202: U.S. History to 1876 (online)| Summer 2018

HST 220: History of Food and Alcohol | Spring 2018

IAH 206: Self, Society, Technology: Biotechnology and the Human Condition |Fall 2016, Fall 2017

HST 425: American and European Healthcare Since 1800 (online) | Summer 2017

ISS 335: National Diversity and Change: Sex Research and Social Science (online)| Summer 2016

Graduate Research Assistant for Dr. Naoko Wake | Fall 2015 – Spring 2016