Posts Tagged ‘ 20th century ’

New book – Voices of Mental Health: Medicine, Politics, and American Culture, 1970-2000

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The book Voices of Mental Health: Medicine, Politics, and American Culture, 1970-2000 could be of interest to H-Madness readers. The book is written by Martin Halliwell and published by Rutgers University Press. The abstract reads:

This dynamic and richly layered account of mental health in the late twentieth century interweaves three important stories: the rising political prominence of mental health in the United States since 1970; the shifting medical diagnostics of mental health at a time when health activists, advocacy groups, and public figures were all speaking out about the needs and rights of patients; and the concept of voice in literature, film, memoir, journalism, and medical case study that connects the health experiences of individuals to shared stories.

Together, these three dimensions bring into conversation a diverse cast of late-century writers, filmmakers, actors, physicians, politicians, policy-makers, and social critics. In doing so, Martin Halliwell’s Voices of Mental Health breaks new ground in deepening our understanding of the place, politics, and trajectory of mental health from the moon landing to the millennium.

-— information retrieved from the blog Historiens de la santé 

New article – “Volksseuche” oder Randerscheinung? Die “Kokainwelle” in der Weimarer Republik aus medizinhistorischer Sicht

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The new issue of Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Wissenschaften, Technik und Medizin includes one article that could be of interest to H-Madness readers: Volksseuche” oder Randerscheinung? Die “Kokainwelle” in der Weimarer Republik aus medizinhistorischer Sicht by Hannes Walter. The abstract reads:

An empirical investigation refutes the popular conception that excessive drug usage was a widespread social phenomenon in the Weimar Republic. Although physicians warned the public and politicians of a “cocaine wave” that threatened the public health, there is no evidence that indicates a significant increase of cocaine use during the twenties. The decisive cause for this moral panic was caused instead by the disease pattern of “Cocainism”. The addiction carried the imprint of an infectious disease and would destroy the body, the will, and the civic life of its victims. According to medical doctrine, chronic cocaine consumption also produced the tendency towards deviant sexual activities and criminal activity. For this reason, the use of this substance was in particular linked to deviant social milieus like the so-called Bohemian or demimonde. However, historical sources in fact show that it was primarily a problem of the medical professions. Against the background of the desperate political, social and economic situation in Germany after the First World War, physicians regarded cocaine and morphine addictions as a threat to the hoped for political and biological renewal of the nation.

 

New book – Managing Madness Weyburn Mental Hospital and the Transformation of Psychiatric Care in Canada

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The book Managing Madness.Weyburn Mental Hospital and the Transformation of Psychiatric Care in Canada by Erika Dyck and Alex Deighton that could be of interest to H-Madness readers. The abstract reads:

The Saskatchewan Mental Hospital at Weyburn has played a significant role in the history of psychiatric services, mental health research, and community care in Canada. Its history provides a window to the changing nature of mental health services over the twentieth century.

Built in 1921, the Saskatchewan Mental Hospital was billed as the last asylum in North America and the largest facility of its kind in the British Commonwealth. A decade later, the Canadian Committee for Mental Hygiene cited it as one of the worst institutions in the country, largely due to extreme overcrowding. In the 1950s, the Saskatchewan Mental Hospital again attracted international attention for engaging in controversial therapeutic interventions, including treatments using LSD.

In the 1960s, sweeping health care reforms took hold in the province and mental health institutions underwent dramatic changes as they began moving patients into communities. As the patient and staff population shrank, the once palatial building fell into disrepair, the asylum’s expansive farmland fell out of cultivation, and mental health services folded into a complicated web of social and correctional services.

Managing Madness examines the Weyburn mental hospital, the people it housed, struggled to understand, help, or even tried to change, and the ever-shifting understanding of mental health.

 

New issue – Medical History

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Medical History published its new issue which includes some articles that could be of interest to H-Madness readers.

Jonathan Toms, Citizenship and Learning Disabled People: The Mental Health Charity MIND’s 1970s Campaign in Historical Context

Current policy and practice directed towards people with learning disabilities originates in the deinstitutionalisation processes, civil rights concerns and integrationist philosophies of the 1970s and 1980s. However, historians know little about the specific contexts within which these were mobilised. Although it is rarely acknowledged in the secondary literature, MIND was prominent in campaigning for rights-based services for learning disabled people during this time. This article sets MIND’s campaign within the wider historical context of the organisation’s origins as a main institution of the inter-war mental hygiene movement. The article begins by outlining the mental hygiene movement’s original conceptualisation of ‘mental deficiency’ as the antithesis of the self-sustaining and responsible individuals that it considered the basis of citizenship and mental health. It then traces how this equation became unravelled, in part by the altered conditions under the post-war Welfare State, in part by the mental hygiene movement’s own theorising. The final section describes the reconceptualisation of citizenship that eventually emerged with the collapse of the mental hygiene movement and the emergence of MIND. It shows that representations of MIND’s rights-based campaigning (which have, in any case, focused on mental illness) as individualist, and fundamentally opposed to medicine and psychiatry, are inaccurate. In fact, MIND sought a comprehensive community-based service, integrated with the general health and welfare services and oriented around a reconstruction of learning disabled people’s citizenship rights.

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New book – The Arabic Freud: Psychoanalysis and Islam in Modern Egypt

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The book The Arabic Freud: Psychoanalysis and Islam in Modern Egypt by Omnia El Shakry might be of interest to H-Madness readers. On the publishers website you can read the introduction of the book. The abstract reads as follows:

The first in-depth look at how postwar thinkers in Egypt mapped the intersections between Islamic discourses and psychoanalytic thought.

In 1945, psychologist Yusuf Murad introduced an Arabic term borrowed from the medieval Sufi philosopher and mystic Ibn ‘Arabi—al-la-shu‘ur—as a translation for Sigmund Freud’s concept of the unconscious. By the late 1950s, Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams had been translated into Arabic for an eager Egyptian public. In The Arabic Freud, Omnia El Shakry challenges the notion of a strict divide between psychoanalysis and Islam by tracing how postwar thinkers in Egypt blended psychoanalytic theories with concepts from classical Islamic thought in a creative encounter of ethical engagement.

Drawing on scholarly writings as well as popular literature on self-healing, El Shakry provides the first in-depth examination of psychoanalysis in Egypt and reveals how a new science of psychology—or “science of the soul,” as it came to be called—was inextricably linked to Islam and mysticism. She explores how Freudian ideas of the unconscious were crucial to the formation of modern discourses of subjectivity in areas as diverse as psychology, Islamic philosophy, and the law. Founding figures of Egyptian psychoanalysis, she shows, debated the temporality of the psyche, mystical states, the sexual drive, and the Oedipus complex, while offering startling insights into the nature of psychic life, ethics, and eros.

This provocative and insightful book invites us to rethink the relationship between psychoanalysis and religion in the modern era. Mapping the points of intersection between Islamic discourses and psychoanalytic thought, it illustrates how the Arabic Freud, like psychoanalysis itself, was elaborated across the space of human difference.

Conference – Nerves and War. Psychological Experiences of Mobilization and Suffering in Germany, 1900-1933 (Berlin, 12-13 October 2017)

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The conference ‘Nerves and War. Psychological Experiences of Mobilization and Suffering in Germany, 1900-1933‘ might be of interest to H-Madness readers. The conference takes place on 12-13 October 2017 and is hosted by the Friedrich-Meinecke-Institut at the Free University of Berlin. You can register for the conference until 5 October 2017 by sending an email to: Deniza Petrova, dpetrova@zedat.fu-berlin.de. Below you find the conference programme:

Donnerstag, 12. Oktober 2017

12.00-12.30 Uhr Anmeldung 

Einführung (12.30-13.45 Uhr)

Gundula Gahlen (Freie Universität Berlin)
Nerven und Krieg. Psychische Mobilisierungs- und Leidenserfahrungen in Deutschland 1900-1933: Einführung

Bernd Ulrich (Berlin)
Keynote: Krieg der Nerven – Krieg des Willens

Kaffeepause

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New issue – History of Psychiatry

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There is a new issue of History of Psychiatry that might be of interest to H-Madness readers. It includes the following articles:

David W Jones, Moral insanity and psychological disorder: the hybrid roots of psychiatry

This paper traces the significance of the diagnosis of ‘moral insanity’ (and the related diagnoses of ‘monomania’ and ‘manie sans délire’) to the development of psychiatry as a profession in the nineteenth century. The pioneers of psychiatric thought were motivated to explore such diagnoses because they promised public recognition in the high status surroundings of the criminal court. Some success was achieved in presenting a form of expertise that centred on the ability of the experts to detect quite subtle, ‘psychological’ forms of dangerous madness within the minds of offenders in France and more extensively in England. Significant backlash in the press against these new ideas pushed the profession away from such psychological exploration and back towards its medical roots that located criminal insanity simply within the organic constitution of its sufferers.

Lynsey T Cullen, Post-mortem in the Victorian asylum: practice, purpose and findings at the Littlemore County Lunatic Asylum, 1886–7

This article examines the purpose of the post-mortem in the late Victorian asylum and discusses what the findings reveal about contemporary understanding of mental health. By examining the practice at the Littlemore Asylum of Oxford, the definition of the asylum post-mortem will be questioned and issues of consent and ownership of the dead body explored. It will be argued that the purpose of the examination was partly to appease the demands of the Commissioners in Lunacy, to protect the asylum against accusations of malpractice, and to appease the resident assistant medical officer’s own morbid curiosity. The examinations would therefore be better defined as dissections. This article will challenge understanding of institutional death, the legal processes required for dissection, and mental healthcare.

The sphygmograph, an instrument to measure and visually chart the pulse, was used by a number of asylum researchers in the late nineteenth century in an attempt to better understand mental disease. In charting the use of such a medical technology in the asylum, this article explores the utility of a practice-oriented approach in the history of psychiatry – as a window onto the alienist profession and as a means of investigating how new medical technologies were assimilated into everyday practice.

Tatjana Buklijas, The laboratory and the asylum: Francis Walker Mott and the pathological laboratory at London County Council Lunatic Asylum, Claybury, Essex (1895–1916)

London County Council’s pathological laboratory in the LCC asylum at Claybury, Essex, was established in 1895 to study the pathology of mental illness. Historians of psychiatry have understood the Claybury laboratory as a predecessor of the Maudsley Hospital in London: not only was this laboratory closed when the Maudsley was opened in 1916, but its director, Frederick Walker Mott, a champion of the ‘German’ model in psychiatry, was instrumental in the establishment of this institution. Yet, as I argue in this essay, for all the continuities with the Maudsley, the Claybury laboratory should not be seen solely as its predecessor – or as a British answer to continental laboratories such as Theodor Meynert’s in Vienna. Rather, as I show using the examples of general paralysis of the insane and ‘asylum colitis’, the Claybury laboratory is best understood as an attempt to prevent mental illness using a microbiological model.

Tiago Pires Marques, Global mental health, autonomy and medical paternalism: reconstructing the ‘French ethical tradition’ in psychiatry

In the last few decades, the definition of deontological ethics, a well-identified ethical territory in psychiatry, has been the object of increasing concerns. This has been the case in France, where claims of a specific ethical tradition in psychiatry have accompanied the institutionalization of psychiatric ethics and the perceived globalization of an Anglo-American model of mental health care. This study traces the history of the ‘French ethical tradition in psychiatry’ and its relationship with establishing institutional spaces for ethical decision-making. The ‘ethical tradition’ thus conceived proves to be functional in terms of preserving the threatened identity of French psychiatry. Nevertheless, this movement also pinpoints impasses that transcend the French context and may provide valuable resources for ethical reflections on mental health on a global scale.

Olivier Walusinski, Antoine-Marie Chambeyron (1797–1851): a forgotten disciple of Jean-Etienne Esquirol (1772–1840)

Antoine-Marie Chambeyron (1797–1851) was a disciple of Jean-Etienne Esquirol (1772–1840) that history forgot, undoubtedly because he made no original contribution to psychiatric nosography. In 1827, his interest in the medical-legal status of the insane led him to translate into French and annotate the first medical-legal psychiatric treatise ever published, which was the work of the German philosopher Johann Christoph Hoffbauer (1766–1827). His translation played a role in shaping the French Law of 1838, the first piece of modern legislation aimed at protecting the rights of mental patients and limiting the State’s power to confine them arbitrarily. Chambeyron is among the least-cited contributors to the prestigious work of nineteenth-century French alienists.

Gabriele Cipriani, Luca Cipriani and Mario Di Fiorino, Personality and destiny. Francesco Borromini: portrait of a tormented soul

Francesco Borromini, one of the great geniuses of Baroque architecture, was tormented and solitary, and was increasingly frustrated by the fame and success of his rival, Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Borromini was an unhappy man, constantly dogged by disaster, quarrelling even with his best patrons and closest friends. In the culmination of one of the fits of depression that overcame the architect more and more frequently as his life progressed, Borromini literally fell on his own sword; he lingered in excruciating pain for 24 hours before dying. Largely forgotten, his architecture has again been recognized since the twentieth century as the creation of genius. We try to describe the personality and suicide of this pessimist giant of architecture.

Michael Fitzgerald, Why did Sigmund Freud refuse to see Pierre Janet? Origins of psychoanalysis: Janet, Freud or both?

Pierre Janet and Joseph Breuer were the true originators of psychoanalysis. Freud greatly elaborated on their findings. Freud initially admitted these facts but denied them in later life. Janet discovered the concept transference before Freud.

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