Michel Foucault examines the archeology of madness in the West from 1500 to 1800 - from the late Middle Ages, when insanity was still considered part of everyday life and fools and lunatics walked the streets freely, to the time when such people began to be considered a threat, asylums were first built, and walls were erected between the "insane" and the rest of humanity.
A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason
Author: Michel Foucault
The Routledge History of Madness and Mental Health explores the history and historiography of madness from the ancient and medieval worlds to the present day. Global in scope, it includes case studies from Africa, Asia, and South America as well as Europe and North America, drawing together the latest scholarship and source material in this growing field and allowing for fresh comparisons to be made across time and space. Thematically organised and written by leading academics, chapters discuss broad topics such as the representation of madness in literature and the visual arts, the material culture of madness, the perpetual difficulty of creating a classification system for madness and mental health, madness within life histories, the increased globalisation of knowledge and treatment practices, and the persistence of spiritual and supernatural conceptualisations of experiences associated with madness. This volume also examines the challenges involved in analysing primary sources in this area and how key themes such as class, gender, and race have influenced the treatment and diagnosis of madness throughout history. Chronologically and geographically wide-ranging, and providing a fascinating overview of the current state of the field, this is essential reading for all students of the history of madness, mental health, psychiatry, and medicine.
Author: Greg Eghigian
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Originally published: London: Thames & Hudson Ltd, 2015.
A Cultural History of Insanity, from the Bible to Freud, from the Madhouse to Modern Medicine
Author: Andrew Scull
Publisher: Princeton University Press
A man desperately tries to keep his pact with the Devil, a woman is imprisoned in an insane asylum by her husband because of religious differences, and, on the testimony of a mere stranger, “a London citizen” is sentenced to a private madhouse. This anthology of writings by mad and allegedly mad people is a comprehensive overview of the history of mental illness for the past five hundred years-from the viewpoint of the patients themselves. Dale Peterson has compiled twenty-seven selections dating from 1436 through 1976. He prefaces each excerpt with biographical information about the writer. Peterson's running commentary explains the national differences in mental health care and the historical changes that have take place in symptoms and treatment. He traces the development of the private madhouse system in England and the state-run asylum system in the United States. Included is the first comprehensive bibliography of writings by the mentally ill.
Author: Dale Peterson
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
Michel Foucault has had an extraordinary impact on writers in the human sciences since his first book Madness and Civilization appeared in English. This title assesses the reactions to Madness and Civilization.
Studies in Foucault's `Histoire de la Folie'
Author: Arthur Still,Irving Velody
Category: Social Science
This magisterial work explores how Renaissance Germans understood and experienced madness. It focuses on the insanity of the world in general but also on specific disorders; examines the thinking on madness of theologians, jurists, and physicians; and analyzes the vernacular ideas that propelled sufferers to seek help in pilgrimage or newly founded hospitals for the helplessly disordered. In the process, the author uses the history of madness as a lens to illuminate the history of the Renaissance, the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, the history of poverty and social welfare, and the history of princely courts, state building, and the civilizing process. Rather than try to fit historical experience into modern psychiatric categories, this book reconstructs the images and metaphors through which Renaissance Germans themselves understood and experienced mental illness and deviance, ranging from such bizarre conditions as St. Vitus’s dance and demonic possession to such medical crises as melancholy and mania. By examining the records of shrines and hospitals, where the mad went for relief, we hear the voices of the mad themselves. For many religious Germans, sin was a form of madness and the sinful world was thoroughly insane. This book compares the thought of Martin Luther and the medical-religious reformer Paracelsus, who both believed that madness was a basic category of human experience. For them and others, the sixteenth century was an age of increasing demonic presence; the demon-possessed seemed to be everywhere. For Renaissance physicians, however, the problem was finding the correct ancient Greek concepts to describe mental illness. In medical terms, the late sixteenth century was the age of melancholy. For jurists, the customary insanity defense did not clarify whether melancholy persons were responsible for their actions, and they frequently solicited the advice of physicians. Sixteenth-century Germany was also an age of folly, with fools filling a major role in German art and literature and present at every prince and princeling’s court. The author analyzes what Renaissance Germans meant by folly and examines the lives and social contexts of several court fools.
Author: H. C. Erik Midelfort
Publisher: Stanford University Press
First Published in 2004. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
Author: W F Bynum,Michael Shepherd,Roy Porter
“Madness” is, of course, personally experienced, but because of its intimate relationship to the sociocultural context, it is also socially constructed, culturally represented and socially controlled—all of which make it a topic rife for sociological analysis. Using a range of historical and contemporary textual material, this work exercises the sociological imagination to explore some of the most perplexing questions in the history of madness, including why some behaviors, thoughts and emotions are labeled mad while others are not; why they are labeled mad in one historical period and not another; why the label of mad is applied to some types of people and not others; by whom the label is applied, and with what consequences.
An American History of Mental Illness and Its Treatment
Author: Mary de Young
Category: Social Science
Feminist icon Phyllis Chesler's pioneering work, Women and Madness, remains startlingly relevant today, nearly 50 years since its first publication in 1972. With over 2.5 million copies sold, this seminal book is unanimously regarded as the definitive work on the subject of women's psychology. Now back in print this completely revised and updated edition from 2005 adds to her original research and findings perspectives on the issues of eating disorders, postpartum depression, biological psychology, important feminist political findings, female genital mutilation and more.
Author: Phyllis Chesler
Publisher: Chicago Review Press
The History of Reason in the Age of Madness revolves around three axes: the Foucauldian critical-historical method, its relationship with enlightenment critique, and the way this critique is implemented in Foucault's seminal work, History of Madness. Foucault's exploration of the origins of psychiatry applies his own theories of power, truth and reason and draws on Kant's philosophy, shedding new light on the way we perceive the birth and development of psychiatric practice. Following Foucault's adoption of 'limit attitude', which investigates the limits of our thinking as points of disruption and renewal of established frames of reference, this book dispels the widely accepted belief that psychiatry represents the triumph of rationalism by somehow conquering madness and turning it into an object of neutral, scientific perception. It examines the birth of psychiatry in its full complexity: in the late eighteenth century, doctors were not simply rationalists but also alienists, philosophers of finitude who recognized madness as an experience at the limits of reason, introducing a discourse which conditioned the formation of psychiatry as a type of medical activity. Since that event, the same type of recognition, the same anthropological confrontation with madness has persisted beneath the calm development of psychiatric rationality, undermining the supposed linearity, absolute authority and steady progress of psychiatric positivism. Iliopoulos argues that Foucault's critique foregrounds this anthropological problematic as indispensable for psychiatry, encouraging psychiatrists to become aware of the epistemological limitations of their practice, and also to review the ethical and political issues which madness introduces into the apparent neutrality of current psychiatric discourse.
Foucault’s Enlightenment and a Radical Critique of Psychiatry
Author: John Iliopoulos
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
In the mid-1800s, a utopian movement to rehabilitate the insane resulted in a wave of publicly funded asylums—many of which became unexpected centers of cultural activity. Housed in magnificent structures with lush grounds, patients participated in theatrical programs, debating societies, literary journals, schools, and religious services. Theaters of Madness explores both the culture these rich offerings fomented and the asylum’s place in the fabric of nineteenth-century life, reanimating a time when the treatment of the insane was a central topic in debates over democracy, freedom, and modernity. Benjamin Reiss explores the creative lives of patients and the cultural demands of their doctors. Their frequently clashing views turned practically all of American culture—from blackface minstrel shows to the works of William Shakespeare—into a battlefield in the war on insanity. Reiss also shows how asylums touched the lives and shaped the writing of key figures, such as Emerson and Poe, who viewed the system alternately as the fulfillment of a democratic ideal and as a kind of medical enslavement. Without neglecting this troubling contradiction, Theaters of Madness prompts us to reflect on what our society can learn from a generation that urgently and creatively tried to solve the problem of mental illness.
Insane Asylums and Nineteenth-Century American Culture
Author: Benjamin Reiss
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Madness: A History is a thorough and accessible account of madness from antiquity to modern times, offering a large-scale yet nuanced picture of mental illness and its varieties in western civilization. The book opens by considering perceptions and experiences of madness starting in Biblical times, Ancient history and Hippocratic medicine to the Age of Enlightenment, before moving on to developments from the late 18th century to the late 20th century and the Cold War era. Petteri Pietikäinen looks at issues such as 18th century asylums, the rise of psychiatry, the history of diagnoses, the experiences of mental health patients, the emergence of neuroses, the impact of eugenics, the development of different treatments, and the late 20th century emergence of anti-psychiatry and the modern malaise of the worried well. The book examines the history of madness at the different levels of micro-, meso- and macro: the social and cultural forces shaping the medical and lay perspectives on madness, the invention and development of diagnoses as well as the theories and treatment methods by physicians, and the patient experiences inside and outside of the mental institution. Drawing extensively from primary records written by psychiatrists and accounts by mental health patients themselves, it also gives readers a thorough grounding in the secondary literature addressing the history of madness. An essential read for all students of the history of mental illness, medicine and society more broadly.
Author: Petteri Pietikäinen
The History of Involuntary Mental Hospitalization, Presented in Selected Texts
Author: Thomas Stephen Szasz
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Category: Psychiatric hospitals
A History of Madness in England from the Restoration to the Regency
Author: Roy Porter
A compelling and evocatively illustrated exploration of the evolution of the asylum, and its role in society over the course of four centuries This Way Madness Lies is a thought-provoking exploration of the history of madness and its treatment as seen through the lens of its proverbial home: Bethlem Royal Hospital, London, popularly known as Bedlam. The book charts the evolution of the asylum through four incarnations: the eighteenth-century madhouse, the nineteenth century asylum, the twentieth-century mental hospital, and the post-asylum modern day, when mental health has become the concern of the wider community. The book reveals the role that the history of madness and its treatment has played in creating the landscape of the asylum, in all its iterations. Moving and sometimes provocative illustrations sourced from the Wellcome Collection's extensive archives and the Bethlem Royal Hospital's archive highlight the trajectory of each successive era of institution: founded in the optimistic spirit of humanitarian reform but eventually dismantled amid accusations of cruelty and neglect. Each chapter concludes with a selection of revealing and captivating artwork created by some of the inmates of the institutions of that era. This Way Madness Lies highlights fundamental questions that remain relevant and unresolved: What lies at the root of mental illness? Should sufferers be segregated from society or integrated more fully? And in today’s post-asylum society, what does the future hold for a world beyond Bedlam?
Author: Mike Jay
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
The Man Who Thought He Was Napoleon is built around a bizarre historical event and an off-hand challenge. The event? In December 1840, nearly twenty years after his death, the remains of Napoleon were returned to Paris for burial—and the next day, the director of a Paris hospital for the insane admitted fourteen men who claimed to be Napoleon. The challenge, meanwhile, is the claim by great French psychiatrist Jean-Étienne-Dominique Esquirol (1772–1840) that he could recount the history of France through asylum registries. From those two components, Laure Murat embarks on an exploration of the surprising relationship between history and madness. She uncovers countless stories of patients whose delusions seem to be rooted in the historical or political traumas of their time, like the watchmaker who believed he lived with a new head, his original having been removed at the guillotine. In the troubled wake of the Revolution, meanwhile, French physicians diagnosed a number of mental illnesses tied to current events, from “revolutionary neuroses” and “democratic disease” to the “ambitious monomania” of the Restoration. How, Murat asks, do history and psychiatry, the nation and the individual psyche, interface? A fascinating history of psychiatry—but of a wholly new sort—The Man Who Thought He Was Napoleon offers the first sustained analysis of the intertwined discourses of madness, psychiatry, history, and political theory.
Toward a Political History of Madness
Author: Laure Murat
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Category: Literary Criticism
In the late 1970s, Barbara Taylor, then an acclaimed young historian, began to suffer from severe anxiety. In the years that followed, Taylor’s world contracted around her illness. Eventually, her struggles were severe enough to lead to her admission to what had once been England’s largest psychiatric institution, the infamous Friern Mental Hospital in North London. The Last Asylum is Taylor’s breathtakingly blunt and brave account of those years. In it, Taylor draws not only on her experience as a historian, but also, more importantly, on her own lived history at Friern— once known as the Colney Hatch Lunatic Asylum and today the site of a luxury apartment complex. Taylor was admitted to Friern in July 1988, not long before England’s asylum system began to undergo dramatic change: in a development that was mirrored in America, the 1990s saw the old asylums shuttered, their patients left to plot courses through a perpetually overcrowded and underfunded system of community care. But Taylor contends that the emptying of the asylums also marked a bigger loss, a loss of community. She credits her own recovery to the help of a steadfast psychoanalyst and a loyal circle of friends— from Magda, Taylor’s manic-depressive roommate, to Fiona, who shares tips for navigating the system and stories of her boyfriend, the “Spaceman,” and his regular journeys to Saturn. The forging of that network of support and trust was crucial to Taylor’s recovery, offering a respite from the “stranded, homeless feelings” she and others found in the outside world. A vivid picture of mental health treatment at a moment of epochal change, The Last Asylum is also a moving meditation on Taylor’s own experience, as well as that of millions of others who struggle with mental illness.
A Memoir of Madness in Our Times
Author: Barbara Taylor
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
A riveting study of the violent and turbulent nation of Indonesia describes how the tumultuous end of the reign of the dictator General Suharto led to a savage and murderous rampage, a situation complicated by economic turmoil, volcanic eruption, East Timor's struggle for independence, and other disasters. Reprint.
Indonesia on the Edge of Chaos
Author: Richard Lloyd Parry
Publisher: Grove Press