The Forum for the History of the Human Sciences is putting together a special issue of the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences in honor of historian John Burnham on the topic of “Living Well: Histories of Emotions, Wellness & Human Flourishing.”

As guest editor Mark Solovey notes: “Though the CFP doesn’t mention the history of anthropology specifically, we’d love to have a contribution from this area.  Anthropologists have often considered what it means to live well. What can historians today tell us about the nature and significance of anthropological work in this area?”

The submission deadline is November 1, 2018. Read on for application instructions and additional details.

CFP: Living Well: Histories of Emotions, Wellness & Human Flourishing

A special issue of the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences

Organized by the Forum for the History of the Human Sciences in honor of historian John C. Burnham (1929-2017), this special issue will bring together historical studies that analyze how the social and behavioral sciences have attended to the meanings and conditions of living well and human flourishing. We are interested in accounts that consider what these sciences, as well as popular works that draw on them, have said about living well, in its spiritual, psychological, cultural, social, economic, and/or political dimensions.

We welcome article-length submissions that explore the development, implementation, and critique of social and behavioral science research and theoretical frameworks in this area. In addition, we are interested in studies that consider the uptake of such work in the broader society, at the level of ideas, social practices, popular culture, and/or public policy.  We welcome manuscripts that engage with the topics, geographical areas, and theoretical approaches that Burnham used himself.  But we are equally interested in manuscripts that advance other lines of analysis.


Possible topics of historical investigation include:

– self-help and other advice literature

– humanistic psychology, positive psychology, and happiness studies

– work on mindfulness and resilience

– studies of the emotions

– research from behavioral economics

– social justice movements’ use of the behavioral sciences to challenge the conditions and inequalities impeding human flourishing at the levels of the individual, group, and/or society

– social and behavioral scientific studies of “bad habits” and strategies for overcoming them

– critiques of scholarly work and popular accounts of living well, happiness, and/or positive thinking

– the biopolitics of living well

-the relationship between popular and expert views of how to live well and flourish

– the sponsorship of studies on well-being and the use of such work by communities, groups, private organizations, philanthropy, business, and government.


Send manuscript submissions of approximately 10,000, including notes and references, by November 1, 2018 to guest editors Mark Solovey ( and Debbie Weinstein ( The guest editors also welcome preliminary inquiries about the appropriateness of particular subject matters and lines of analysis. All submissions should follow the format outlined in the journal’s Author Guidelines.  Submissions selected by the guest editors will be peer-reviewed per the standard procedures of the journal.

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