Dissertations – The Making and Travelling of Knowledge

Maria Böhmer: “The Making and Travelling of Knowledge. A Biography of a Medical Case History in Nineteenth-Century Europe”

The dissertation is a close study of a single medical case history published by an Italian Professor of Surgery in 1806 which tells the story of a spectacular attempt at public self-crucifixion in Venice: Cesare Ruggieri’s Storia della crocifissione di Mattio Lovat da se stesso eseguita. Mattio Lovat came to Venice at the beginning of the 19th century from the north-Italian mountains to work there as a shoemaker. Obsessed with the idea of crucifying himself, he tried twice to realize this idea in public, the second attempt leading to his being placed under the care of the physician Cesare Ruggieri in the Venetian Clinical School. After his physical recovery, Lovat was declared insane and was hospitalized at the Venetian mental asylum on the island of San Servolo, where he died several months later.

Foto_Narrative

The frontpage of the English translation of Ruggieri’s Storia della Crocifissione which appeared in 1814 in the Pamphleteer. Respectfully dedicated to both houses of Parliament, Vol. 3, no. IV (London: A.J. Valpy: Chancery Lane, March 1814), pp. 361-375.

Shortly afterwards, Ruggieri published the Storia della crocifissione in which he related the biography of his patient, suggesting that Lovat’s mental condition was related to the fact that he suffered from pellagra, at that time a wide-spread but little-understood disease in northern Italy: a consequence of the severe malnutrition produced by a staple diet of maize, pellagra caused general physical weakness, skin eruption and could also induce mental illness. Ruggieri himself ensured that the Storia della crocifissione appeared in different editions and translations during the following decades. As a result, the case became widely known across Europe, and was discussed in professional and lay discourses in Germany, France, England and Italy throughout the 19th century. It has thus become well known to this day as an early case of 19th-century psychiatry.

By way of situating Ruggieri’s case history in its multiple social, scientific and cultural contexts, the dissertation examines the great appeal the case had for a medical but also a broader lay public in 19th-century Europe: it reconstructs the “making” of the case in the local context of Venice and follows in detail the ways in which the case narrative circulated in between and within new contexts. By analysing the multiple transformations Ruggieri’s case history underwent when transcending geographical, linguistic and, above all, cultural and disciplinary boundaries, the dissertation sheds light on such developments as the formation of specialist disciplines, the emergence of a new media scene and a growing readership, the popularisation of science as well as new approaches to religious questions in 19th-century Europe. In reading the medical case history as an “epistemic genre” (Gianna Pomata), the study is informed by recent approaches in the history of science, medicine and psychiatry. In particular, it draws on recent scholarship on the history of the medical case history and offers a new approach to this field: it presents for the first time a “biography” of a singular medical case history in order to investigate the transnational circulation of medical case literature in 19th-century European culture.

Maria Böhmer (Ph.D.) is a post-doc at the Center for Medical Humanities, History of Medicine, University of Zurich. The dissertation was defended at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy in June 2013. She is currently preparing a book manuscript on the same topic.

UCL/British Psychological Society History of the Psychological Disciplines Series: Beverley Butler – ‘From Heritage Syndromes to Refugee Syndromes’ (2 March 2015)

UCL/British Psychological Society History of the Psychological Disciplines Seminar Series

Monday 2 March 2015

Dr. Beverley Butler (UCL)

‘From Heritage Syndromes to Refugee Syndromes’

Can certain heritage forms – whether imagined as historical or sacred
and/or as otherwise salient sites — exert efficacies capable of
transformative encounter? Can such loci affect cure and healing and/or
turn otherwise ‘normal’ people ‘mad’? Phrased differently again – can
heritage be rendered redemptive and/or pathological – therapeutic or
traumatising?

My paper fore-fronts the phenomenon of the ‘Jerusalem Syndrome’ – the
term used to describe the ‘episodes’ experienced by some visitors to
Jerusalem who overwhelmed by their encounter with this iconic place
undergo radical transformation. Affecting visitors in varying degrees of
intensity, some (often with little previous religious conviction) come
to see themselves as a specially ordained prophetic, messianic messenger
who, after following ritual preparation often identify with a key
religious figure (typically as featured in the Abrahamic religions) and
feel compelled to deliver a redemptive message by which the world will
undergo transformation and cure through the articulation of a vision of
a ‘just’ future. The Jerusalem Syndrome has been regarded by some as
both a sudden and an extreme form of religious expression and as
synonymous with intense experiences of ‘wellbeing’ however it has
featured in the pages of the /British Psychiatric Journal/ as a serious
psychiatric concern and designated as a ‘pathological illness’
synonymous with harmful experiences of ‘psychotic decompensation’ and
‘depersonalisation’. I use the ‘Jerusalem syndrome’ and its subsequent
critiques as a means to raise questions about the broader articulation
of ‘heritage syndromes’ in which wellbeing/ illbeing, cure/ harm,
suffering and happiness exist in close proximity. I use ethnographic
research including work undertaken with Palestinian refugees in Jordan
to explore how such groups are encountering this complex and often
potentially harmful act of engaging with heritage as a resource by which
to re-construct self and world, to recover repertoires of resilience,
cosmologies of care and coping strategies synonymous with attempts to
define, control and sustain future wellbeing and secure justice.

**

Organiser: Professor Sonu Shamdasani (UCL)

Time: 6pm to 7.30 pm

Location: Arts and Humanities Common Room (G24), Foster Court, Malet
Place, University College London

From the Torrington Place entrance to UCL, enter the campus on Malet
Place. After fifty metres, you will find Foser court on the right hand
side. Turn right under the underpass, and enter via the second door on
the right. The common room is straight ahead.

« Folie et déraison » : regards croisés sur l’évolution juridique des soins psychiatriques en France

4493054-6743853Argumentaire

La loi du 5 juillet 2011, modifiée par la loi du 27 septembre 2013, a réformé en profondeur les modalités de prise en charge des personnes faisant l’objet de soins psychiatriques. Cette loi a remplacé celle du 27 juin 1990 « relative aux droits et à la protection des personnes hospitalisées en raison de leurs troubles mentaux », qui s’était elle-même substituée à la loi « sur les aliénés » du 30 juin 1838. Le but poursuivi par le législateur ? Garantir la défense de la société et l’intérêt public et assurer le respect du droit des personnes malades. Mais l’absence de législation avant 1838 ne signifie pas que l’arbitraire règne ou que les intéressés soient délaissés. Avant et après la Révolution, la situation des aliénés et leur éventuelle privation de liberté relèvent de l’autorité publique selon des règles assez complexes et encore aujourd’hui peu méconnues.

Sous l’Ancien Régime, il n’existe ni législation spécifique sur l’enfermement des « fous », ni d’établissement qui leur soit réservé, ni non plus de personnel spécialisé. La création des hôpitaux généraux soumet, il est vrai, une partie des aliénés d’esprit à un nouveau régime mais qui ne les vise pas spécifiquement à l’origine. Cela ne signifie donc pas absence de règles. Plusieurs autorités ont ainsi le pouvoir de prononcer l’enfermement d’un « insensé » dans le cadre de procédures régies par l’usage et précisées par la jurisprudence. A ce système hybride, administratif et judiciaire, succède une période de « judiciarisation » de l’internement. Cette période, qui voit naître, croître et décliner l’asile et l’aliénisme, s’étend de la toute fin du XVIIIe siècle à la fin de l’entre-deux-guerres. Enfin, dès la fin du XIXe siècle, la psychiatrie prend une autre dimension et nombre de théories sont formulées pour décrire la maladie mentale (paranoïa, démence, dégénérescence, névrose, hystérie…). La « psychiatrie » devient une spécialité médicale et des moyens lui sont donnés, permettant d’envisager les pathologies sous l’angle de la thérapie.

Au regard de cette évolution, de nombreuses questions se posent. A quelle autorité doit être confié le soin d’ordonner, d’autoriser, de contrôler ce que l’on a successivement dénommé le renfermement, la réclusion, l’isolement, le placement, l’internement, les soins sous contrainte ou sans consentement : le pouvoir administratif, le pouvoir judiciaire ? Quel doit être le rôle du médecin, avant et pendant le séjour ? L’insertion de médiateurs de santé/pairs dans les services de psychiatrie et de santé mentale peut-elle améliorer le recours aux soins, la qualité de la prise en charge des usagers et s’imposer comme l’une des multiples réponses possibles à la diversification de l’offre de soins en France ? Ce ne sont là que quelques pistes qui permettent d’envisager toute une série d’interrogations pluridisciplinaires et transversales. Dans cette perspective, nous nous proposons de réunir historiens, praticiens du droit et psychiatres pour qu’ils échangent leurs points de vue et mettent en lumière les permanences et les ruptures dans l’approche du régime juridique des soins.

Programme
9h00 Discours d’ouverture
Léonard Bernard de la Gatinais, premier avocat général à la Cour de cassation.
Du fou social au fou médical : entre enfermement et soins
Sous la présidence de Vincent Mahé, psychiatre, expert judiciaire près la Cour d’appel de Paris

9h15 La folie meurtrière d’Aelius Priscus, Marc-Aurèle et le gouverneur de la province (Dig. 1, 18, 14).
Philippe Cocatre, professeur à l’université Paris II
9h45 L’organisation de l’hôpital des pauvres insensés de Marseille (1686-1759).
Christine Peny, maître de conférences à l’université d’Aix Marseille
10h15 L’hospitalisation sans consentement sous la Révolution.
Sophie Molinier, maître de conférences à l’université Paris VIII
10h45 Débats

11h00 Pause

11h15 La loi de 1838 : Médecine ou préservation de l’ordre ?
Alexandre Lunel, maître de conférences à l’université Paris VIII
11h45 Le droit français de la psychiatrie est-il soluble Outre-Mer ? Réflexions sur la non-application des lois Esquirol et Evin en Océanie française.
Antoine, Leca, professeur à l’université d’Aix Marseille
Le juge et le fou : le soin entre liberté et sécurité
Sous la présidence de Marie-Hélène Poinseaux, premier vice-président au TGI de Paris.

14h30 Les droits des patients hospitalisés sous contrainte.
Patricia Hennion, maître de conférences HDR à l’université Paris VIII
15h00 Quelle place pour le consentement dans l’hospitalisation psychiatrique ?
François Vialla, professeur à l’université de Pau
15h30 La médiation en santé : une interface novatrice pour l’accès aux droits, à la prévention et aux soins ?
Massimo Marsilli, psychiatre au CCOMS de Lille
16h00 Débats

16h15 Pause

16h30 De la jurisprudence des cours d’appel et de la Cour de cassation : la loi de 2011 en application.
Stéphanie Gargoullaud, conseiller référendaire à la Cour de cassation
Delphine Legoherel, auditeur à la Cour de cassation
17h10 Légitimité et office du juge depuis 2011.
Marion Primevert, vice-président au TGI de Paris
17h40 Débats

18h00 Clôture du colloque
Danielle Tartakowsky, présidente de l’université Paris VIII
Catégories

Droit (Catégorie principale)
Sociétés > Histoire
Lieux

Cour de cassation (Grand chambre) – 5 quai de l’horloge
Paris, France (75001)
Dates

vendredi 13 mars 2015

Pour plus d’information, ici.

New issue – History of Psychiatry

A new issue of History of Psychiatry is now available online. The articles in this issue deal with a French psychiatrist’s view on psychoanalysis during the 1930s; photography and radical psychiatry in 1960s Italy; the relationship between madness and the legal system; shell-shock in post-WWI Dublin; GPI in a late nineteenth-century New Zealand Mental Hospital; the history of leucotomies in Greece; medical responses to psychological symptoms in nineteenth-century India; and the extermination of Jewish psychiatric patients during the Polish occupation.

Full titles and abstracts are below:

Articles
Felicia Gordon

In 1935 Constance Pascal (1877–1937), France’s first woman psychiatrist, publishedChagrins d’amour et psychoses (The Sorrows of Love and Psychosis). My analysis of her monograph will consider: her major article leading up to Chagrins; Pascal’s debts to her predecessors, particularly Morel and Kretschmer; her relationship to the French psychoanalytic movement; her co-option of psychoanalysis as a tool in her own therapeutic work with patients in the state psychiatric system; and her social/cultural interpretations of her woman patients. The literary and philosophic aspects of her work are emphasized as well as her contribution to French psychiatry.

John Foot

In the 1960s Franco Basaglia, the Director of a Psychiatric Hospital in a small city on the edge of Italy (Gorizia), began to transform that institution from the inside. He introduced patient meetings and set up a kind of Therapeutic Community. In 1968 he asked two photographers – Carla Cerati and Gianni Berengo Gardin – to take photos inside Gorizia and other asylums. These images were then used in a photobook called Morire di Classe (To Die Because of your Class) (1969). This article re-examines in detail the content of this celebrated book and its history, and its impact on the struggle to reform and abolish large-scale psychiatric institutions. It also places the book in its social and political context and as a key text of the anti-psychiatry movement of the 1960s.

Benjamin Lévy

The second part of this paper examines the history of querulous paranoia and vexatious litigation in the English-speaking countries from the nineteenth century to today. This study suggests that the lack of thorough research on querulous paranoia in these countries is due to a broad cultural, legal and medical context which has caused unreasonable complainants to be considered a purely legal, rather than a medical issue. To support this hypothesis, I analyse how legal steps have been taken throughout the English-speaking world since 1896 to keep the unreasonable complainants at bay, and I present reasons why medical measures have scarcely been adopted. However, I also submit evidence that this division of responsibilities between the judges and the psychiatrists has taken a new turn since the dawn of the twenty-first century.

Brendan D Kelly

The history of mental disorders occasioned by World War I is a complex and important history, indelibly linked with social, political and cultural circumstances, and the history of the war itself. The Richmond War Hospital was a 32-bed establishment on the grounds of the large Richmond District Asylum in Dublin which, from 16 June 1916 until 23 December 1919, treated 362 soldiers with shell shock and other mental disorders, of whom more than half were considered to have recovered. Despite the limitations of the Richmond War Hospital, it was a generally forward-looking institution that pointed the way for future reform of Ireland’s asylum system and, along with the other war hospitals, brought significant changes to the practice of psychiatry.

Maree O’Connor

This article examines the diagnosis of general paralysis of the insane (GPI) at the Auckland Mental Hospital, New Zealand, between 1868 and 1899, and changes in the identified causes of this condition. It argues that despite long-standing evidence citing the role of syphilis, asylum doctors working in New Zealand were as reluctant as their English and Scottish colleagues to blame syphilis alone for GPI. It also argues that although syphilis became a more popular cause in the aetiology of GPI by the end of the nineteenth century, medical and non-medical sources continued to cite other causes for GPI.

D Ploumpidis, C Tsiamis, and E Poulakou-Rebelakou

In order to present the social, scientific and institutional context which permitted the use of leucotomies in Greece, we have reviewed the Archives of the Medical Associations, the medical literature of the years 1946–56, a reader’s dissertation and the memoirs of two psychiatrists. More than 250 leucotomies were done in the two public psychiatric hospitals in Athens from 1947 to 1954, as well as 40 leucotomies in the public psychiatric hospital in Thessaloniki. Although aware of the side effects, psychiatrists justified the use of the procedure. The performance of leucotomies in Greece declined because of reports of the dangers of the operation and its unpredictable outcome for the patients, but mainly because of the encouraging results with psychotropic drugs in the early 1950s.

P Radhika, Pratima Murthy, Alok Sarin, and Sanjeev Jain

The article documents medical approaches to mental illness in mid- to late-nineteenth-century India through examining the Indian Medical Gazette and other medical accounts. By the late nineteenth century, psychiatry in Europe moved from discussions around asylum-based care to a nuanced and informed debate about the nature of mental symptoms. This included ideas on phrenology and craniometry, biological and psycho-social causes, physical and drug treatments, many of which travelled to India. Simultaneously, indigenous socio-medical ideas were being debated. From the early to the mid-nineteenth century, not much distinction was made between the Western and the native ‘mind’, and consequently the diagnosis and investigation of mental symptoms did not differ. However, by the late nineteenth century Western medicine considered the ‘Western mind’ as more civilized and sophisticated than the ‘native mind.

Mary V Seeman

The T4 euthanasia programme within Nazi Germany has been well researched, but much less is known about the extermination of psychiatric patients in Nazi-occupied territories during the same period. In Poland 20,000 mentally ill patients were deliberately killed during the German occupation. This paper traces the history of one psychiatric hospital, Zofiówka, in Otwock, south-east of Warsaw. The hospital once served the Jewish population of Poland and was the largest, most prestigious neuropsychiatric centre in the country. It is now in ruins and said to be haunted by ghosts.

Classic Text No. 101
GE Berrios
Book Reviews
Claire Trenery
Leigh Wetherall-Dickson
Elena Trivelli
Alysa Levene
Vicky Long
Anna Greenwood
Ian Dowbiggin

To access the issue, click here.

New Issue of Memoria e Ricerca

MERThe Italian journal “Memoria e ricerca” has published a special issue dedicated to Spazi manicomiali del Novecento (Mental hospital spaces in the Twentieth Century). It contains the following articles.

Maddalena Carli e Vinzia Fiorino, Introduzione

Vinzia Fiorino, Spazi del sé. Riflessioni sul “soggetto” attraverso i modelli e le pratiche psichiatriche in Italia tra Otto e Novecento

Marica Setaro, La costituzione del folle-reo. La storia di Natale B., un uomo “corretto”, tra saperi, concetti e tecniche di governo della pazzia nel manicomio criminale di Aversa (1885-1905)

Aída Alejandra Golcman, Una storia di silenzi. Pazienti croniche di un ospedale psichiatrico nella provincia di Buenos Aires (1908-1949)

John Foot, Gli esperimenti di Kingsley Hall e Villa 21 a Londra negli anni Sessanta. Mito, memoria e storia

Jean-Christophe Coffin, Alla ricerca della personalità omosessuale. Scienze della psiche e costruzione di sé, 1950-1980

Maddalena Carli, Testimonianze oculari. L’immagine fotografica e l’abolizione dell’istituzione manicomiale in Italia

Call for Graduate Student Papers: “Sorting Brains Out: Tasks, Tests, and Trials in the Neuro- and Mind Sciences” (U. Penn, September 2015)

Invitation and Call for Graduate Student Papers

Sorting Brains Out: Tasks, Tests, and Trials in the Neuro- and Mind Sciences, 1890–2015

University of Pennsylvania, Sept. 18/19, 2015

Since the late nineteenth century, scientists have devised an ever-increasing number of tasks, tests, and trials to understand the body, the senses, the self, the mind, and the connections between them. Psychologists, physiologists, neuroscientists, and others have made the relation between functions of the brain and individual personalities and social behaviors a core aspect of their research. For scientists of the turn of the century as for practitioners today, standardized assessments, physiological experiments, and imaging technologies of many kinds have formed the basis for knowledge claims about minds, brains, and people.

How do the ways in which tools of the neurosciences—tasks, tests, and trials—sort people into groups connect to the ways in which they aim to “sort out” psychopathologies? How do the technologies and procedures used to explore minds and brains reflect, inform, and break from the societies and cultures in which they are made and used? How does the object of investigation itself change as these techniques change? In other words, when, why, where, and crucially how did brains and minds become neuronal, neurochemical, distributed, dimorphic, average, imageable, computational, enactive, mirroring, plastic, enhanceable, or combinations of these definitions? And, finally, how have the tasks, tests, and trials that make up a large part of knowledge production in the mind sciences led to a doubled view in which the mind/brain is seen as limited, determined, and inaccessible, and at the same time as expansive, malleable, and understandable?

This conference is a forum to compare, contrast, and continue the histories of tasks, tests, and trials in the mind and brain sciences over the past 125 years. We invite participants to think broadly and deeply about the social, philosophical, political, and ethical commitments that have been reflected, reinforced, denounced, or discarded by these fields. We ask participants to look forward and back in time, to explore how contemporary conceptions of mind and brain prolong and elaborate much older ideas, and how the histories of these sciences can help us understand both continuities and ruptures in theories, practices, and values.

Format

The conference will be hosted on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania on Sept. 18/19, 2015. The afternoon and evening of Friday, Sept. 18, will be devoted to graduate student presentations. We invite abstracts for papers that respond to and go beyond the questions stated above. Senior faculty will chair the graduate student panels;all who are interested are invited to attend and contribute to a stimulating discussion.

Invited senior faculty will present and discuss their current research projects on Saturday, Sept. 19. The list of confirmed speakers includes Dr. Cathy Gere (UCSD), Dr. Katja Guenther (Princeton), Dr. Nicolas Langlitz (The New School), Dr. Emily Martin (NYU), Dr. Tobias Rees (McGill), and Dr. Matthew Wolf-Meyer (UCSC). All Friday presenters and other interested individuals are invited to join the audience and participate in discussion.

Contact and Submission

Graduate students or postdoctoral scholars wishing to participate in the Friday sessions should submit an abstract of no more than 400 words to pennbrains2015@gmail.com by May 31, 2015. Please use the same email address for any questions you may have. Thisconference is organized by Ekaterina Babintseva, Tabea Cornel, Matthew Hoffarth, and Prashant Kumar, graduate students in the Department of History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania, with the supervision of Dr. John Tresch.

Irre Blicke. Das Bild des Kranken (Berlin, 6-7. März 2015)

Screenshot from 2015-02-10 06:30:02

Irre Blicke. Das Bild des Kranken (Berlin, 6-7 Mar 15)
Sammlung Scharf-Gerstenberg, Schloßstraße 70, 14059 Berlin, 06. – 07.03.2015

Irre Blicke. Das Bild des Kranken zwischen Romantik und Moderne

Das Verhältnis von Kunst und Wahnsinn hat im ausgehenden 19. und frühen 20. Jahrhundert ganze Generationen von Nervenärzten beschäftigt. Seit Hans Prinzhorns “Bildnerei der Geisteskranken” (1922) denkt man dabei zuerst an Werke von Psychiatrie-Insassen selbst, von denen eine Auswahl derzeit auch in der Ausstellung “Das Wunder in der Schuheinlegesohle” zu sehen ist. Die Tagung “Irre Blicke” fragt hingegen nach der Darstellung des Wahnsinns in der bildenden Kunst zwischen Romantik und Moderne. Wie wird die gesellschaftliche Wahrnehmung des Wahnsinnigen durch den Blick des Künstlers gefiltert? Welche Bedeutung haben psychiatrische Diagnosen? Und welche Rolle spielen moderne Kreativitätsvorstellungen, die dem psychischen Schwellenraum zwischen Krankheit und Gesundheit eine besondere ästhetische Potenz zuschreiben?

Freitag, 6. März 2015

14:15–14:30 PD Dr. Sabine Fastert / Dr. Thomas Röske
Begrüßung und Einführung

14:30–15:30 Prof. Dr. Gregor Wedekind (Mainz)
Zwischen Kunst und Wissenschaft. Die Visualisierung des Wahnsinns in der französischen Bildproduktion des 19. Jahrhunderts

15:30–16:30 Dr. Bettina Brand-Claussen (Zürich)
Verrückte zwischen Beobachtungs-Kunst und Pathologisierung im Deutschland des 19. Jahrhunderts

17:00–18:00 Dr. Thomas Röske / Dr. Kyllikki Zacharias
Führung durch die Ausstellung „Das Wunder in der Schuheinlegesohle“

18:30–19:15 Dr. Thomas Röske (Heidelberg)
Das Bild des „Irren“ in der Kunst – eine Herausforderung für die Kunstgeschichte

Samstag, 7. März 2015

09:45–10:00 Begrüßung

10:00–11:00 Dr. Ingrid von Beyme (Heidelberg)
Wahre Porträts? – Selbstdarstellungen von Anstaltsinsassen zwischen Realität und Vorstellung um 1900

11:00–12:00 PD Dr. Sabine Fastert (München / Berlin)
Ludwig Meidners Irrendarstellung. Männliche Hysterie und Kreativität um 1900

13:30–14:30 Dr. Bernhard Stumpfhaus (Heilbronn)
Bürgerliche Repräsentationsstrategien in der psychiatrischen Fotografie zu Beginn des 20. Jahrhundert. Paul Kemmlers schönes Bild vom Wahn.

14:30–15:30 Dr. Christiane Schmidt (Köln)
Die Expressionisten: Im Garten der Irrsinnigen

16:00–17:00 Prof. Dr. Olaf Peters (Halle)
Das Bild des Wahnsinns zwischen Krankheit und Identifikation in der Neuen Sachlichkeit

17:00–17:30 PD Dr. Sabine Fastert / Dr. Thomas Röske
Resümee und Ende der Tagung

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