Picture of Erika Dyck

Erika Dyck PhD (McMaster), MA (USask), BA (Dalhousie)

Professor, Canada Research Chair in the History of Medicine

Faculty Member in History

Arts 615

Research Area(s)

  • History of health and medicine
  • History of madness and psychiatry
  • History of eugenics
  • LSD and psychedelic drugs
  • History of reproductive rights

About me



Selection of Publications (by Year)

  • Journal Issue: Dyck, Erika, and Katherine Zwicker. "Special Issue on Medical History". Canadian Journal of History In Press
  • Dyck, Erika. "Tripping through the Doors of Perception? Can LSD be resurrected as a treatment?". Canadian Medical Association Journal Accepted
  • Dyck, Erika. "Sterilization and Birth Control in the Shadow of Eugenics: Married, Middle-Class Women and Catholics on the Prairies". Canadian Bulletin for Medical History In Press
  • Journal Issue: Dyck, Erika. "The History of Eugenics Revisited". Canadian Bulletin for Medical History In Press
  • Journal Issue: Dyck, Erika. "Revisiting Eugenics: Science, Gender, and Body Politics". Canadian Bulletin of Medical History, 2014.
  • Dyck, Erika. "Partnership for Excellence: Medicine at the University of Toronto and Academic Hospitals, by Edward Shorter" Review of , Historical Studies in Education. Accepted
  • Dyck, Erika. Facing the History of Eugenics: Reproduction, Sterilization and the Politics of Choice in 20th century Alberta. Toronto, Ontario: University of Toronto Press, 2013.
  • Dyck, Erika. "A Whisper Past: Childless after Eugenic Sterilization in Alberta, by Leilani Muir" Review of , Alberta Journal of Educational Research. In Press
  • Dyck, Erika. "It’s All a Kind of Magic: The Young Ken Kesey, by Rick Dodgson" Review of , Journal of American History. Accepted
  • Dyck, Erika. "Neuropsychedelia: The Revival of Hallucinogen Research Since the Decade of the Brain, by Nicolas Langlitz" Review of , Journal for the History of Behavioural Sciences. Accepted
  • Dyck, Erika. "An Image of God: The Catholic Struggle with Eugenics, by Sharon M. Leon" Review of , Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith: A Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation. In Press
  • Dyck, Erika. "Framing the Moron: The social construction of feeble-mindedness in the American Eugenic Era, by Gerald V. O’Brien" Review of , Reveiws in History (UK – electronic journal). Accepted
  • Bryden, P.E., etc., and Erika Dyck. "Eugenics Module for Canadian History textbook" In Visions: The Canadian History Modules Project, i, edited by Bryden, P.E., Colin Coates, Maureen Lux, Lynne Marks, Marcel Martel, Daniel Samson. Toronto: Nelson Education Ltd., 2013.
  • Dyck, Erika. "Sterilized by the State: Eugenics, Race and the Population Scare in Twentieth-Century North America, by Randall Hansen and Desmond King" Review of , Canadian Journal of History. Accepted
  • Roth, Edwin I. "The Post-LSD Syndrome: Diagnosis and Treatment, Forgotten but not gone: Chronic effects of LSD (Book Review)" Review of The Chronicle of Neurology and Psychiatry
  • Dyck, Erika. "Assessing the Rise and Fall of the Asylum". Synergy: Psychiatric Writing Worth Reading In Press
  • Dyck, E, Mousseau, D. & Baker, G. "Leading the Pack: Historical Reflections on Saskatchewan Innovations in Neuroscience". Saskatchewan History 64, 1 (2012): 32-37.
  • Dyck, Erika, Tolly Bradford. "Peyote on the Prairies: Religion, Scientists and Native-Newcomer Relations in 1950s Western Canada". Journal of Canadian Studies 46, 1 (2012): 1-25.
  • Dyck, Erika. Psychedelic Psychiatry: LSD on the Canadian Prairies. Winnipeg, Manitoba: University of Manitoba Press, 2012.
  • Dyck, Erika. "The Psychedelic Sixties in North America: Drugs and Identity" In Debating Dissent: The Sixties in Canada, edited by Campbell, Lara, Clement, Dominique & Kealey, Gregory, 46-63. Toronto, Ontario: University of Toronto Press, 2012.
  • Dyck, E. "After the Asylum/Aprés l'asile". Histoire Sociale, 2011.
  • Dyck, E. "Dismantling the Asylum and Charting New Pathways into the Community: Mental Health Care in 20th century Canada". Histoire Sociale/Social History 88, 2 (2011): 181-196.
  • Dyck, Erika , Warsh, Cheryl Krasnick. "Gender, Health, and Popular Culture: Historical Perspectives (Book Review)" Review of Labour/Le Travail
  • Dyck, Erika, and Christopher Fletcher. "Healthscapes: Health and Place Among and Between Disciplines" In Locating Health: Explorations of Healing and Place, edited by Dyck, Erika and Christopher Fletcher. London, Ontario: Pickering and Chatto Publications Ltd., 2011.
  • Dyck, Erika. "Just Say Know: Criminalising LSD and the Politics of Psychedelic Expertise" In "The Real Dope:" Historical and Legal Perspectives on the Regulation of Drugs in Canada, edited by Edgar-Andre Montigny, 169-196. Toronto, Ontario: University of Toronto Press, 2011.
  • Dyck, Erika , and Christopher Fletcher. Locating Health: Explorations of Healing and Place. London, Ontario: Chatto & Pickering Publications Ltd., 2011.
  • Dyck, E. "Madness, Mennonites and Modernity: An Historical Look at the Mennonite Youth Farm in Rosthern, Saskatchewan". Journal of Mennonite Studies (2011): 91-104.
  • Dyck, E, & Beveridge, Allan. "Portrait of the psychiatrist as a Young Man: the early writing and work of r.d. laing, 1927-1960 (Book Review)" Review of Medical History
  • Dyck, E. "Spaced Out in Saskatchewan: Modernism, Anti-Psychiatry and Deinstitutionalization, 1950-1968". Bulletin for the History of Medicine 84, 4 (2010): 640-666.
  • Dyck, E, Prull, Cay-Rudiger, Maehle, Andreas-Holger & Halliwell, Robert Francis. "A Short History of the Drug Receptor Concept (Book Review)" Review of Isis. In Press
  • Dyck, E. "Building an 'Ideal Society': Mixing Politics and Health in Canadian Prairie Society". The Annual Review of Canadian Studies 7 (2009): 59-71.
  • Dyck, E. "Kiyoshi Izumi and Mental Hospital Designs". Annual Bulletin of the Institute for Economic and Cultural Studies (2009): 71-87.
  • Dyck, E. "Prairies, Psychedelics and Place: The Dynamics of Region in Psychiatric Research". Health and Place 15, 3 (2009): 888-894.
  • Dyck, E, & Tone, Andrea. "The Age of Anxiety: A History of America's Turbulent Affair with Tranquilizers (Book Review)" Review of Bulletin for the History of Medicine
  • Dyck, E, & Kuzmarov, Jeremy. "The Myth of the Addicted Army: Vietnam and the Modern War on Drugs (Book Review)" Review of Journal of American History
  • Dyck, E, & Herzberg, David. "Happy Pills in America: From Miltown to Prozac (Book Review)" Review of Isis
  • Dyck, E, & Ablard, Jonathan. "Madness in Buenos Aires: Patients, Psychiatrists, and the Argentine State, 1880-1983 (Book Review)" Review of Canadian Journal of History
  • Dyck, E, & Healy, David. "Mania: A Short History (Book Review)" Review of Isis
  • Dyck, E, & Rasumussen, Nicholas. "On Speed: The Many Lives of Amphetamine (Book Review)" Review of Medical History
  • Dyck, E. Psychedelic Psychiatry: LSD from Clinic to Campus. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008.
  • Dyck, E, Schneider, Eric C. "Smack: Heroin and the American City: Politics and Culture in Modern America (Book Review)" Review of American Historical Review
  • Dyck, E, & Kroker, Kenton. "The Sleep of Others and the Transformations of Sleep Research (Book Review)" Review of University of Toronto Quarterly, "Letters in Canada"
  • Dyck, E, & Mills, John. "Trust Amply Recompensed: Psychological Research at Weyburn, Saskatchewan, 1957-1961". Journal for the History of Behavioral Sciences 44, 3 (2008): 199-218.
  • Dyck, E, & Sperber, G. "Dentistry in the 'Wild West': Exhibiting a Profession in Western Canada". Dental Historian 45, 1 (2007): 87-98.
  • Dyck, E. "The Original Psychedelic Drug: Historical Reflections on LSD". The Biochemist 29 (2007): 2-5.
  • Dyck, E, & Campbell, Nancy. "Discovering Addiction: The Science and Politics of Substance Abuse Research (Book Review)" Review of History of Psychiatry
  • Dyck, E. "Land of the Living Sky with Diamonds: A Place for Radical Psychiatry?". Journal of Canadian Studies 41, 3 (2007): 42-66.
  • Dyck, E, & Smail, Daniel Lord. "On Deep History and the Brain (Book Review)" Review of Canadian Journal of History
  • Dyck, E, & Ahmad, Diana L. "The Opium Debate and Chinese Exclusion Laws in the Nineteenth-Century American West (Book Review)" Review of New Mexico Historical Review
  • Dyck, Erika. "'Psychedelic Pioneers': Mental Health Research in Saskatchewan, 1945-1967" In Mental Health and Canadian Society: Historical Perspectives, Mental Health and Canadian Society: Historical Perspectives, edited by Moran, J. and Wright, D., 221-244. Montreal, Quebec: McGill-Queen's Press, 2006.
  • Dyck, E. "Hitting Highs at Rock Bottom: LSD Treatment for Alcoholism, 1950-1970". Social History of Medicine 19, 2 (2006): 313-329.
  • Dyck, E, & Carstairs, Catherine. "Jailed for Possession: Illegal Drug Use, Regulation and Power in Canada, 1920-1950 (Book Review)" Review of Canadian Historical Review
  • Dyck, E, Martel, Marcel. "Not this Time: Canadians, Public Policy, and the Marijuana Question 1961-1975 (Book Review)" Review of Canadian Historical Review
  • Dyck, E, & Orr, Jackie. "Panic Diaries: A Genealogy of Panic Disorder (Book Review)" Review of Social History of Medicine
  • Dyck, E, & DeGrandpre, Richard. "The Cult of Pharmacology: How America Became the World's Most Troubled Drug Culture (Book Review)" Review of Isis
  • Dyck, E, & Greenfield, Robert. "Timothy Leary: A Biography (Book Review)" Review of Social History of Alcohol and Drugs
  • Dyck, E. "Flashback: Psychiatric Experimentation with LSD in Historical Perspective". Canadian Journal of Psychiatry 50, 7 (2005): 381-388.
  • Dyck, E, Tracy, Sarah & Acker, Caroline Jean. "Altering American Consciousness: The History of Alcohol and Drug Use in the United States, 1800-2000 (Book Review)" Review of Social History of Alcohol and Drugs
  • Dyck, E, Andrews, Jonathan & Digby, Anne. "Sex and Seclusion, Class and Custody: Perspectives on Gender and Class in the History of British and Irish Psychiatry (Book Review)" Review of Canadian Bulletin for the History of Medicine
  • Dyck, E, & Healy, David. "The Creation of Psychopharmacology (Book Review)" Review of Medical History. In Press
  • Dyck, Erika, and Amy Samson. "Better Babies and Beauty Pageants: ‘Weighing in’ on Eugenics Discourse in Canada" In Refashioning Nature, i, edited by Daniel Samson and Ingrid Makus. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press Accepted
  • Russell, Ginny, and Erika Dyck. "Challenging Psychiatric Classification: the Neurodiversity Movement" In Mental Health in Historical Perspective, i, edited by Ginny Russell and Erika Dyck. London: Palgrave Macmillan Accepted
  • Dyck, Erika, 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, i, edited by John Stogner, Bryan Miller, and David Khey. London: CRC Press Accepted
  • Edward S. Neukrug etc., and Erika Dyck. "Psychedelic Therapy" In Encyclopedia of Theory and Counseling in Psychotherapy, i, edited by Edward S. Neukrug. Thousand Oaks etc.: Sage Publications Inc. Accepted
  • Dyck, Erika , Maureen Lux. "Red Power, pro-natalism, and reproductive health in Canada’s North". Canadian Historical Review Accepted

Teaching & Supervision

My teaching varies from year to year, but I teach classes in History of Madness; History of Medicine; Prairie History; and Historical Methods.

Selection of Courses Taught (by Year)

  • 2010 - HIST 831.3: History of Psychiatry / Medical Elective
  • 2011 - HIST 870.6: Themes in the History of Medicine
  • 2012 - HIST 870.6: Themes in the History of Medicine
  • 2012 - HIST 883.3: Historical Methods
  • 2013 - HIST 484.3: History of Madness
  • 2013 - Unscheduled Teaching -
  • 2014 - HIST 870.3: History of Medicine
  • 2014 - Program Development - Continuing Education and Learning for Seniors: Plagues, People and the Politics of Medicine
  • 2014 - HIST 484.3: History of Madness
  • 2014 - Unscheduled Teaching -


20th Century Canadian medicine Deinstitutionalization Eugenics Human Experimentation LSD and Psychedelic Drugs Peyote Psychedelics Psychiatry and Mental Health

Dr. Dyck’s chief interests are in the history of psychiatry, mental health, deinstitutionalization and eugenics. She is the author of Psychedelic Psychiatry which examines the history of LSD experimentation and how it fit within broader trends in the changing orientation of psychiatry during the post-World War II period. Her second book, Facing Eugenics, examines the experiences of patients and families as they confronted eugenics in 20th century Alberta.  It traces their experiences through coercive and voluntary sexual sterilization procedures and the legacy of eugenics for influencing our perceptions of reproductive rights, disability and reproductive choice.  As part of her CRC objectives, she is currently working on a CIHR-funded project with Megan Davies (York University) called Open Doors/Closed Ranks. This project relies on an interdisciplinary team of researchers who are comparing processes and experiences related to deinstitutionalization or the closure of long-stay mental hospitals in Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan and British Columbia. Some of the results from this project are featured on the Canadian History of Madness website (www.historyofmadness.ca). As part of a Community University Research Alliance on Living Archives on Eugenics in Western Canada, she has also worked with scholars, students and community members to develop more inclusive resources on the history of disability, reproduction and eugenics in Alberta.

Awards & Honours

  • Member of The College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists, Royal Society of Canada, awarded by Royal Society of Canada November 2014
  • Shortlisted for John A. MacDonald award, awarded by Canadian Historical Association June 2014-December 2014
  • New Researcher Award, awarded by University of Saskatchewan November 2013
  • Tier 2, History of Medicine, awarded by Canada Research Chair January 2009
  • Japan Visiting Scholar, awarded by Hyogo Overseas Research Fellow September 2008-October 2008