Jiemin Tina Wei

PhD student in History of Science, Harvard University

2023 to 2024
Research Fellow

Ameliorating Fatigue at Work: Workplace-Management, Mind-Body Medicine, and Self-Help for Industrial Fatigue in the U.S., 1900-1950

My dissertation investigates the history of attempts to ameliorate workplace fatigue in the first half of the twentieth century. The project asks: How did scientists, in partnership with governments, corporations, labor leaders, reformers, lawyers, and consumer markets, employ workplace-management techniques, mind-body medicines, and self-help recommendations to ameliorate the physical and mental fatigue brought on by rising industrialization in the U.S., from 1910s-1940s? I present the history of burgeoning fatigue-related scientific subdisciplines in the U.S. by investigating the research of scientists aiming to reset the body from the disturbance of industrial capitalist conditions. These scientists were united in their interest in activating the body's natural ability to recover, recuperate, and heal, whether that be through physiology, psychology, psychoanalysis, diet, spatial rearrangement, task management, or time. The arc of my argument reveals how work and the worker became objects of scientific study.