On Deep History and the Brain

On Deep History and the Brain
Daniel Lord Smail

Deep (a.k.a. Long or Big) History steps way back to take all of human development into consideration. In quest of a seamless narrative connecting such a large span of time, Daniel Lord Smail proposes making the brain the focus of the story. After a fascinating tour of historiography in relation to the “time revolution” of the 1860s (when the metaphorical bottom dropped out of our sense of the past), Smail provides an example of how his “new neurohistory” might work by looking at the biological and cultural evolution of various psychotropic mechanisms. Just a sketch, but it does put some interesting ideas in play.