The UC Disability Studies Blog compiles a monthly list of recently published historical articles about the broadly-defined concept of “disability”. This month, the list includes an article by Linda Reeder entitled “Unattached and Unhinged: The Spinster and the Psychiatrist in Liberal Italy, 1860-1922” (Gender & History, April 2012). Its abstract reads:
This article explores the role nineteenth-century Italian psychiatric sciences played in shaping attitudes towards adult women who never married. Initially in post-unification Italy unmarried women were largely invisible, while the bachelor appeared to threaten the newly formed nation’s fragile political and social stability. In the last decades of the nineteenth century fears about the bachelor faded, replaced by growing concerns about the social dangers posed by the `spinster’. Drawing on writings from psychiatrists, anthropologists, sociologists, on patient records from psychiatric asylums as well as popular literature, this article traces the way psychiatric practice and theories transformed the image of the unmarried single woman.
To access the article on the journal’s website, click here.
For the entire list on the UC Disability Studies blog, click here.