“Madness and Literature”
The Institute of Mental Health is hosting The 1st International Health Humanities Conference at The University of Nottingham, UK from Friday 6th to Sunday 8th AUGUST 2010.
The theme of the conference, Madness and Literature, seeks to bring critical focus to three areas:
Literature, Psychiatry, Philosophy
Reflecting the interdisciplinary work of the Institute of Mental Health, and the multifaceted nature of the conference’s theme, we invite the participation of colleagues from both the humanities and from clinical backgrounds who wish to participate in an exploration of the conceptions of “Madness and Literature”. Furthermore, to be genuinely inclusive we encourage presentations arising from completed projects and work that is in progress or of an exploratory nature.
The Institute of Mental Health welcomes abstracts of approximately 250 words in length for twenty-minute papers in English dealing with the themes outlined above. We would also welcome the organization of panels (consisting of three speakers and a moderator) dealing with specific issues related to the overall themes of the conference. Issues to be considered at the conference may include:
- What are the critical intersections between literature, psychiatry and philosophy?
- How and why is psychiatry reflected and represented in fiction?
- In what ways do fiction and autobiography treat issues such as gender, ethnicity, age, economics, sexuality and power in psychiatry?
- How far can we pursue ideas concerning creativity and madness?
- How might debates about literature and madness influence or be influenced by other disciplines, such as anthropology and sociology?
- How can literature influence the education and practice of medical, health and allied disciplines?
- What can literary studies learn from the ‘psych’ disciplines?
The Institute of Mental Health foresees the publication of papers (expanded, revised and submitted to a peer-review process) in one or more volumes post-conference, according to principles of intellectual and theoretical coherence that will give such publications editorial consistency.
Please send your abstracts as a Word attachment by email to Paul Crawford – email@example.com by 5th February 2010.
For more informations, click here.
Available beginning February 15, this anthology of primary sources chronicles the history of madness and psychiatry in western civilization, from ancient Israel to contemporary randomized clinical trials. It also includes an updated bibliography of first-person narratives of mental illness compiled by Gail A. Hornstein. For more information click here.
To hear an interview with the author, click here.
In the latest issue of Psychiatrie Sciences Humaines Neurosciences the French psychiatrist Granger tells the story of San Servolo, an island situated between San Marco and the Lido, from the 11th century on: first as the seat of a convent than of a mental hospital till its closure in the 1970s thanks to the law n°180.
Psychiatry represents an institution at the intersection of social solidarity and exclusion, with the specific configuration of these two elements differing in various historical and cultural contexts. Looking at the history of psychiatric care, one could argue that its evolutions were achieved through various crises (the crisis of the asylum and the anti-psychiatry movement, psychiatry’s inability to care for mentally ill living in the streets, human rights abuses…). For various reasons, the resolutions of these crises often relied on the creativity of groups or individuals with very practical consequences for introducing new forms of care – Basaglia’s proposals are just one compelling example among many. Often through such creative solutions, all Western countries have undertaken significant reorganization of their psychiatric care systems in the past 50 years, which also inspired changes to psychiatric care in less developed countries.
This workshop calls for reflection on the impact of ‘crisis rhetoric’ with regard to specific social, political and legal circumstances, and the role of imagination in informing the practices of caring and curing. We aim to explore how ideas on the appropriate forms of psychiatric care reflect specific cultural expectations and ideologies, and how the role of family, community, profession and the state in taking care of the mentally ill is negotiated in different contexts. Finally, we want to address the ways in which the anthropological perspective and research has been involved in, and is still challenged by these transformations.
For more informations, click here.
In a recent number of the French journal of social history, Genèses, Nicolas Henckes publishes an article on the psychiatric hospital reform during the 20th century in France.
The abstract: Borrowing the view of institutions developed by symbolic interactionism and the adopting the point of view of reform process trajectories, this article proposes a framework for analysing psychiatric hospital reform during the 20th century. It objects to the idea that the reform was linked to an institutional crisis and emphasises, on the contrary, the work required to create the conditions under which a certain number of problems can be raised and discussed by the actors at the various moments in history.
Mid-january the German public radio Deutschlandfunk had a feature about psychiatry in the GDR. The manuscript of the program can be found here
Jonathan M. Metzl, author of the well-known Prozac on the Couch, publishes a new book of how schizophrenia became the diagnostic term overwhelmingly applied to African-American men in the United States during the 1960s and 1970s. For more, click here.
Jonathan M. Metzl, The Protest Psychosis: How Schizophrenia Became a Black Disease (Boston: Beacon Press, 2010).
The Abstract: Connecticut was the exception among the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic states in not founding a public institution for the insane until after the Civil War when it opened the Hospital for the Insane at Middletown in 1868, a facility previously neglected by scholars. The state had relied on the expedient of subsidizing the impoverished at the private Hartford Retreat for the Insane that overtaxed that institution and left hundreds untreated. Despite abundant evidence to the contrary, well meaning officials oversold the idea that the Middletown site would promote cures and be cost effective. A number of unanticipated consequences occurred that mirrored fundamental changes in nineteenth-century psychiatry. The new hospital swelled by 1900 to over 2,000 patients, the largest in New England. Custodianship at the monolithic hospital became the norm. The hegemony of monopoly capitalism legitimated the ruling idea that bigger institutions were better and was midwife to the birth of eugenic responses. Class based psychiatry—the few rich at the Retreat and the many poor at Middletown—was standard as it was in other aspects of the Gilded Age. Public policy toward the insane poor in Connecticut represents an outstanding example of the transition from antebellum romanticism to fin de siècle fatalism.
- 6 novembre 2009 – Philippe Bongrand (CURAPP-CNRS), Laure Pelbois-Sommereux (Université Paris IV-Sorbonne) : Construire une psychologie scientifique dans la France des années 1950 et 1960 : l’école française de caractérologie.
- 20 novembre 2009 – Richard Rechtman (IRIS-EHESS) : Le traumatisme réinventé
- 4 décembre 2009 – Anne Cécile Druet (Université de Franche-Comté) La Psychanalyse dans l’Espagne franquiste.
- 8 janvier 2010 – Benoît Majerus (Fnrs-Ulb) Une ‘révolution chimique vue’ d’en bas. L’introduction de la chlorpromazine dans la pratique psychiatrique à Sainte Anne.
- 22 janvier 2010 – Céline Edenbenz (Université de Genève et de Lausanne) : Magdeleine G. : une muse décadente au carrefour des arts et des sciences.
- 5 Février 2010 – Emmanuel Saint Fuscien (AHMOC-EHESS) : Une tentative d’appropriation : l’usage militaire « des » psychologies 1890-1914.
- 12 mars 2010 – Thibaut Trochu (Paris 1) sous réserve
- 26 mars 2010 – Nathalie Richard (Paris 1) – Le psychologisme : place et fonction de la psychologie dans les projets de science de l’homme au milieu du XIXe siècle.
- 9 avril 2010 – Guido Cimino (Université La Sapienza, Rome) L’influence de la psychologie française sur l’émergence de la ‘nouvelle’ psychologie italienne XIXe-XXe siècles : points de contacts et de confrontation.
- 14 mai 2010 – Valelia Muni Toke, (CNRS-Paris VII-ENS) La place de l’introspection dans les travaux d’Edouard Pichon. Médecine, psychanalyse et grammaire.