The recently published November 2022 issue of the Social History of Medicine journal includes two articles that may interest to h-madness readers. The titles, authors and abstracts are as follows:
Sounding the Archival Silence: Searching for Music in the Nineteenth-Century English Asylum, by Rosemary Golding
“The music of the nineteenth-century English asylum provides a rare insight into the place of music within the structure of a medical institution during this period. Yet with archives literally ‘silent’, how far can the sound and experience of music be retrieved and reconstructed? Drawing on critical archive theory and the idea of the soundscape as well as musicological and historical practice, this article questions how we can investigate asylum soundscapes through the silences of the archive, and how we can use the resulting processes to deepen our relationship with the archive and enrichen other aspects of historical and archive studies. I argue that in drawing attention to new forms of evidence in order to address the literal ‘silence’ of the nineteenth-century asylum, new approaches to metaphorical ‘silences’ can be found”.
‘Malaria Has Spoilt It’: Malaria, Neuropsychiatric Complications, and Insanity in ex-Servicemen in Post-First World War Britain, by Justin Fantauzzo
“This article focuses on the cases of two British ex-servicemen who contracted malaria during or immediately after the First World War, were charged with murder in the 1920s, and pled insanity due to their malaria and long-term neuropsychiatric complications. One was found ‘guilty but insane’ and committed to Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum in June 1923, while the other was convicted and hanged in July 1927. It argues that, at a time when the medical community sought out the causes of mental disease in the physical body, medico-legal arguments about malaria and insanity were received inconsistently by inter-war British courts. Class, education, social status, institutional support and the nature of the crime all mattered, as they had in the diagnoses, treatment and trials of other ex-servicemen with psychiatric illnesses”.