Psychedelic Prophets (2018)

Cynthia & Paul Bisbee, Erika Dyck, Patrick Farrell, James Sexton, and Jim Spisak

This critical edition provides the complete correspondence between author Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) and British-trained psychiatrist Humphry Osmond (1917-2004), chronicling an exchange between two brilliant thinkers who explored such subjects as psychedelics, the visionary experience, the nature of mind, human potentialities, schizophrenia, death and dying, Indigenous rituals and consciousness, socialism, capitalism, totalitarianism, power and authority, and human evolution. The letters bear witness to the development of mind-altering drugs aimed at discovering the mechanisms of mental illness and eventually its treatment.

Managing Madness (2017)

Erika Dyck & Alex Deighton

The Saskatchewan Mental Hospital at Weyburn has played a significant role in the history of psychiatric services, mental health research, and community care in Canada. Its history provides a window to the changing nature of mental health services over the twentieth century.

A Culture's Catalyst (2016)
Author: Fannie Kahan
Editor: Erika Dyck

A Culture’s Catalyst revives a historical debate. Revisiting it now encourages us to reconsider how peyote has been understood and how its appearance in the 1950s tested Native-newcomer relations and the Canadian government’s attitudes toward Indigenous religious and cultural practices.

The Uses of Humans in Experiment (2016)
Editor: Erika Dyck and Larry Stewart

Ethics in human experimentation has a long history and The Uses of Humans in Experiment draws on examples from the early modern period to illustrate how humans have been both subjects and instruments over the past four centuries.

Facing Eugenics: Reproduction, Sterilization, and the Politics of Choice

(2013) Dyck, E. Facing Eugenics: Reproduction, Sterilization, and the Politics of Choice (Toronto: University of Toronto Press)

Psychedelic Psychiatry: LSD from Clinic to Campus

(2008) Dyck, E. Psychedelic Psychiatry: LSD from Clinic to Campus (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press)

(2012) Republished as Psychedelic Psychiatry: LSD on the Canadian Prairies (Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press)

Read an interview Dr Dyck gave for this publication for the Alcohol and Drugs History Society here.

Canadian Journal of History

(2014) Dyck, E. and Katherine Zwicker (guest eds),Canadian Journal of History, 49(3).

For more information on this text click here 

The History of Eugenics Revisited

(2014) Dyck,E. (guest ed.) "The History of Eugenics Revisited", special issue of Canadian Bulletin for Medical History, 31(1). 

Locating Health: Explorations of Healing and Place

(2011) Dyck, E. and Chris Fletcher (eds), Locating Health: Explorations of Healing and Place (London: Pickering and Chatto Pubs Ltd)

For more information on this text click here

Dismantling the Asylum and Charting New Pathways into the Community: Mental Health Care in 20th century Canada

(2011) Dyck, E. “Dismantling the Asylum and Charting New Pathways into the Community: Mental Health Care in 20th century Canada,” (introduction) Histoire Sociale/Social History (7,000 words) 88(2): 181-196


Peer Reviewed articles and Book Chapters

  • Dyck, E. “Disability in the 1970s: The NewGenics of Institutional Care,” in Preventing Mental Illness (eds) Matthew Smith, Vicky Long, Despo Kritsotaki, and Oonagh Walsh (Palgrave MacMillan, in press) 
  • Dyck, E. Invited author of Introduction in Psychedelic Prophets: The Letters of Aldous Huxley and Humphry Osmond (eds) Cynthia & Paul Bisbee, Erika Dyck, Patrick Farrell, James Sexton, and Jim Spisak, (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press 2018). 
  • Dyck, E. and Karissa Patton. “Activists in the ‘Bible Belt’: Conservatism, Religion, and Reproductive Rights in 1970s Southern Alberta,” in History of Women’s Social and Political Activism in the Canadian West (Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, in press) 
  • Dyck, E. “Who is Keeping Tabs? LSD Lessons from the Past,” in Plant Medicinces, Healing and Psychedelic Science (ed) Bia Labate, (Springer, 2018) 
  • Dyck, E. and Patrick Farrell. "Psychedelics and Psychotherapy in Canada: Humphry Osmond and Aldous Huxley," History of Psychology (2018) 21:2 (in press) 
  • (2018) Dyck, Erika. “Bitter Pills: the Impact of Medicare on Mental Health,” Health Economics, Policy and Law (2018): 1-17.
  • Dyck, Erika. “Pills, Plans, and the Politics of Closing Mental Hospitals” Health Policy (in press)
  • (2017) Dyck, Erika. “Psychedelic Renaissance: Historical Reflections on the Future” Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies Bulletin – special issue on Psychedelic Science, 27(1): 24-27. 
  • (2016) Dyck, E and Maureen Lux, “Population Control in the ‘Global North’? Canada’s Response to Indigenous Reproductive Rights and Neo-Eugenics,” Canadian Historical Review 97(4): 481-512 * Canadian Historical Association Prize for best article in 2016
  • (2017) Dyck, E. “Eugenics in Canada: Choice, Coercion and Context,” in Eugenics in the British Commonwealth edited by Hamish Spencer, Diane Paul, John Stenhouse (Palgrave MacMillan, 2017), pp. 41-61.
  • (2017) Dyck, E. “Abortion and Birth Control in English-Canada: Feminists, Catholics and Family Values in the 1970s,” in Shannon Stettner, Kristin Burnett, Travis Hay and Tracy Penny Light (eds) Abortion:  History, Politics, and Reproductive Justice After Morgentaler (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2017), pp.74-94.
  • (2016) Megan Davies and Erika Dyck with, Leslie Baker, Lanny Beckman, Geertje Boschma, Chris Dooley, Kathleen Kendall, Eugene LeBlanc, Robert Menzies, Marina Morrow, Diane Purvey, Nérée St-Amand, Marie-Claude Thifault, Jayne Whyte, Victor Willis. “After the Asylum in Canada: Surviving Deinstitutionalisation and Revising History,” in Post-War Psychiatry in the Western World. Deinstitutionalisation and After, ed. Despo Kritsotaki, Victoria Long, Matthew Smith (Palgrave MacMillan, 2016), pp. 75-96
  • (2016) Dyck, E. and Lucas Richert, “No Longer Novel: The Transition from Emerging to Mainstream Drug,” in Novel and Synthetic Drugs: Emerging Issues, Legal Policy, and Public Health (eds) John Stogner, Bryan Miller and David Khey (CRC Press), in press.
  • (2016) Dyck, E. “Eugenics, Experiments and Economics:  Medical Ethics and Informed Consent in Alberta’s Sexual Sterilization Program,” in The Uses of Humans in Experiments Erika Dyck and Larry Stewart (eds) (Amsterdam: Clio Medica Series/Brill, 2016), pp. 260-280
  • (2016) Dyck, E. “Peyote, Psychedelics and Post-colonial Encounters on the Canadian Prairies,” in Labate, B. C. & Cavnar, C. (eds). (2016). Peyote: History, Tradition, Politics, and Conservation. (Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO/Praeger Publishers. 2015), pp. 151-170
  • (2015) Dyck, E. “LSD: a new treatment emerging from the past,” Canadian Medical Association Journal 187(14): 1079-1080.
  • (2014) Dyck, E. "Sterilization and Birth Control in the Shadow of Eugenics: Married, Middle-Class Women in Alberta, 1930-1960s," Canadian Bulletin of Medical History, 31(1): 165-187. Full text here .
  • (2012) Dyck, E. “Assessing the Rise and Fall of the Asylum,” Synergy: Psychiatric Writing Worth Reading 18(5): 6-10.
  • (2012) Dyck, E. and Tolly Bradford, “Peyote on the Prairies: Religion, Scientists and Native-Newcomer Relations in 1950s Western Canada,” Journal of Canadian Studies, 46(1): 1-25
  • (2012) Dyck, E. “The Psychedelic Sixties in North America: Drugs and Identity,” chapter in edited volume Debating Dissent: The Sixties in Canada (eds) Lara Campbell, Dominique Clement and Gregory Kealey (Toronto: University of Toronto Press): 46-63
  • (2012) Dyck, E., Mousseau, D. and Baker, G. “Leading the Pack: Historical Reflections on Saskatchewan Innovations in Neuroscience,” Saskatchewan History 64(1):32-37
  • (2011) Dyck, E. “Dismantling the Asylum and Charting New Pathways into the Community: Mental Health Care in 20th century Canada,” (introduction) Histoire Sociale/Social History (7,000 words) 88(2): 181-196
  • (2011) Dyck, E. “Madness, Mennonites and Modernity: An Historical Look at the Mennonite Youth Farm in Rosthern, Saskatchewan,” Journal of Mennonite Studies (1): 91-104
  • (2011) Dyck, E. “Just Say Know: Criminalising LSD and the Politics of Psychedelic Expertise,” chapter in (ed) Edgar-Andre Montigny “The Real Dope:” Historical and Legal Perspectives on the Regulation of Drugs in Canada (Toronto: University of Toronto Press): 169-196
  • (2011) Dyck, E. and Chris Fletcher, “Healthscapes: Health and Place Among and Between Disciplines,” in Locating Health: Explorations of Healing and Place (eds) Dyck, E. and Chris Fletcher, (London: Pickering and Chatto Pubs Ltd.) 7963 words
  • (2010) Dyck, E. “Spaced Out in Saskatchewan: Modernism, Anti-Psychiatry and Deinstitutionalization, 1950-1968,” Bulletin for the History of Medicine 84(4): 640-666
  • (2009) Dyck, E. "Building an 'Ideal Society': Mixing Politics and Health in Canadian Prairie Society," The Annual Review of Canadian Studies [Japanese Association for Canadian Studies] 7: 59-71
  • (2009) Dyck, E. “Prairies, Psychedelics and Place: The Dynamics of Region in Psychiatric Research,” Health and Place 15(3): 888-94
  • (2009) Dyck, E. “Kiyoshi Izumi and Canadian Hospital Designs” in Annual Bulletin of the Institute for Economic and Cultural Studies 71-87
  • (2008) Dyck, E. and John Mills, “Trust Amply Recompensed”: Psychological Research At Weyburn Saskatchewan, 1957-1961, Journal for the History of Behavioural Studies44(3): 199-218
  • (2007) Dyck, E. “Land of the Living Sky with Diamonds: A Place for Radical Psychiatry?”Journal of Canadian Studies 41(3): 42-66
  • (2007) Dyck, E. “The Original Psychedelic Drug: Historical Reflections on LSD,” The Biochemist 29: 2-5
  • (2007) Dyck, E. and Geoffrey Sperber, “Dentistry in the ‘Wild West’: Exhibiting a Profession in Western Canada,” Dental Historian 45(1): 87-98
  • (2006) Dyck, E. “‘Hitting Highs at Rock Bottom: LSD Treatment for Alcoholism, 1950-1970,” Social History of Medicine 19(2): 313-29
  • (2006) Dyck, E. “‘Psychedelic Pioneers’: Mental Health Research in Saskatchewan, 1945-1967,” in J. Moran and D. Wright (eds) Mental Health and Canadian Society: Historical Perspectives (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s Press): 221-44
  • (2005) Dyck, E “Flashback: Psychiatric Experimentation with LSD in Historical Perspective” Canadian Journal of Psychiatry (2005) 50(7): 381-8 

Websites and Online Resources

The History of Madness in Canada
Co-principal investigator (CIHR)
PIs: Megan Davies and Erika Dyck

Aprés l’Asile/After the Asylum
Co-principal investigator and author (CIHR)
PIs: Megan Davies and Erika Dyck
Hosted on The History of Madness in Canada

The Eugenics Archives
Co-Investigator (SSHRC)
PI: Rob Wilson 
Team lead on archival content; author and reviewer of content throughout the site, especially in Around-The-World exhibit, the players module, the database, and encyclopedia.

Has LSD Matured? The Return of Psychedelic R&D
Coauthors: Lucas Richert and Erika Dyck Blog post on the University of Columbia's Health and Epidemiology site The 2x2 Project

Book Reviews

  • Susan Boyd, Busted: An Illustrated History of Drug Prohibition in Canada (Fernwood: 2017), for The Ormsby Review, March 18, 2018 (267): 169. 
  • Andrew Struthers, The Sacred Herb/The Devil’s Weed (New Star, 2017), for The Ormsby Review, June 23, 2017.
  • Dan Malleck, When Good Drugs Turn Bad (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2016), for BC Studies (Winter 2016) 192: 169-170.
  • Kay Parley, Inside the Mental: Silence, Stigma, Psychiatry, and LSD for Literary Review of Canada (2016) vol 24(3), pp. 24-5
  • Claudia Malacrida, A Special Hell: Institutional Life in Alberta’s Eugenic Years (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2015) for Disability Studies Quarterly (online)
  • Sharon M. Leon, An Image of God: The Catholic Struggle with Eugenics (University of Chicago Press, 2013) for Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith: A Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation (2015) Vol. 67(1): 58.
  • Leilani Muir, A Whisper Past: Childless after Eugenic Sterilization in Alberta (Friesen Publishers, 2013) for Alberta Journal of Educational Research (2015) February, pp. 58-9.
  • Rick Dodgson, It’s All a Kind of Magic: The Young Ken Kesey, (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2013) for Journal of American History (2014) Vol. 101(3): 1005-1006.
  • Randall Hansen and Desmond King, Sterilized by the State: Eugenics, Race and the Population Scare in Twentieth-Century North America (Cambridge University Press, 2013) for Canadian Journal of History (2014) Vol. 49(2): 310.
  • Edward Shorter, Partnership for Excellence: Medicine at the University of Toronto and Academic Hospitals for Historical Studies in Education (2014) 26(2): pp. 149-151
  • Gerald V. O’ Brien, Framing the moron: The social construction of feeble-mindedness in the American Eugenic Era (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2013) for Reveiws in History (UK – electronic journal) (March 2014) Review 1561.
  • Nicolas Langlitz, Neuropsychedelia: The Revival of Hallucinogen Research Since the Decade of the Brain (University of California Press, 2013) in Journal for the History of Behavioural Sciences (2014) Vol. 50(2): 214-216.
  • (2012) Edwin I. Roth, The Post-LSD Syndrome: Diagnosis and Treatment, Forgotten but not gone: Chronic effects of LSD for The Chronicle of Neurology and Psychiatry(June/July 2012), p. 17
  • (2012) Cheryl Krasnick Warsh, Gender, Health, and Popular Culture: Historical Perspectives (Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2011), Labour/Le Travail70(2012): 296-299.
  • (2010) Allan Beveridge, Portrait of the psychiatrist as a Young Man: the early writing and work of r.d. laing, 1927-1960 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), Medical History56(4) (2010); 611-612.
  • (2010) Cay- Rüdiger Prüll; Andreas- Holger Maehle; Robert Francis Halliwell. A Short History of the Drug Receptor Concept (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009) in Isis 101(4) (2010): 904-905.
  • (2010) Jeremy Kuzmarov, The Myth of the Addicted Army: Vietnam and the Modern War on Drugs (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2009) in Journal of American History (2010): 129
  • (2010) Kenton Kroker, The Sleep of Others and the Transformations of Sleep Research(Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008) in University of Toronto Quarterly, “Letters in Canada” (2010) 79(2): 413-415
  • (2010) David Herzberg, Happy Pills in America: From Miltown to Prozac (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008) in Isis (2010) 101(1): 258-9
  • (2009) Eric C. Schneider, Smack: Heroin and the American City: Politics and Culture in Modern America (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008) in American Historical Review (2009) 114(5): 1497-8
  • (2009) Jonathan Ablard, Madness in Buenos Aires: Patients, Psychiatrists, and the Argentine State, 1880-1983 (Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2008) in Canadian Journal of History (2009) 44(2): 351-2
  • (2009) Andrea Tone, The Age of Anxiety: A History of America’s Turbulent Affair with Tranquilizers (New York: Basic Books, 2009) in Bulletin for the History of Medicine(2009) 83(4): 809-811
  • (2009) David Healy, Mania: A Short History (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008) in Isis (2009) 100 (2): 438-9
  • (2009) Nicholas Rasumussen, On Speed: The Many Lives of Amphetamine (New York: New York University Press, 2008) in Medical History (2009) July: 446-7
  • (2008) Nancy Campbell, Discovering Addiction: The Science and Politics of Substance Abuse Research (University of Michigan Press, 2007) in History of Psychiatry (2008) 19(4): 504-6
  • (2008) Daniel Lord Smail, On Deep History and the Brain (University of California Press, 2007) in Canadian Journal of History (2008) 48(2): 379-381
  • (2008) Diana L. Ahmad, The Opium Debate and Chinese Exclusion Laws in the Nineteenth-Century American West (Reno: University of Nevada Press, 2007) in New Mexico Historical Review (2008) 83(3): 402-3
  • (2008) Richard DeGrandpre, The Cult of Pharmacology: How America Became the World's Most Troubled Drug Culture (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2006) in Isis (2008) 98: 866-7
  • (2007) Robert Greenfield, Timothy Leary: A Biography (Orlando, Florida: Harcourt Books, 2006) in Social History of Alcohol and Drugs (2007) 22(1): 103-4
  • (2007) Jackie Orr, Panic Diaries: A Genealogy of Panic Disorder (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2006) in Social History of Medicine (2007) 2: 419-20
  • (2007) Marcel Martel, Not this Time: Canadians, Public Policy, and the Marijuana Question 1961-1975 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2006) in Canadian Historical Review (2007) 88(2): 324-5
  • (2007) Jonathan Andrews and Anne Digby (eds), Sex and Seclusion, Class and Custody: Perspectives on Gender and Class in the History of British and Irish Psychiatry(2004) in Canadian Bulletin for the History of Medicine 2007 24(1): 242-3
  • (2006) Catherine Carstairs, Jailed for Possession: Illegal Drug Use, Regulation and Power in Canada, 1920-1950 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2006) in Canadian Historical Review 2006 87(4): 691-3
  • (2005) Sarah Tracy and Caroline Jean Acker (eds) Altering American Consciousness: The History of Alcohol and Drug Use in the United States, 1800-2000 (Boston: University of Massachusetts Press, 2004) in Social History of Alcohol and Drugs 2005 20(1): 156
  • (2003) David Healy, The Creation of Psychopharmacology (2002) in Medical History, October 2003 47(4): 534-535