In the latest issue of the European Journal of Cultural Studies, readers of h-madness find an interesting article on historical images of madness.
Bedlam in mind: Seeing and reading historical images of madness by Simon Cross (Nottingham Trent University, UK). The abstract reads:
This article explores the mythical Bedlam of popular imaginings. London’s Bethlem Hospital was for centuries a unique institution caring for the insane, and its alter ego ‘Bedlam’ influenced popular stereotypes of insanity. For example, while the type of vagrant beggar known as a ‘Tom of Bedlam’ was said to have disappeared from English society with the Restoration, the figure of Mad Tom retained a visual and vocal presence within popular musical culture from the 17th century up to the present era. Using the ballad ‘Mad Tom o’ Bedlam’ as a case study, the article illustrates how an early modern stereotype of madness has maintained continuity within a popular song tradition while undergoing cultural change.
Found thanks to the UC Davis Disability Studies Blog