Posts Tagged ‘ colonial psychiatry ’

Workshop – Colonial psychiatry

Blida-Joinville fut le premier Hôpital Psychiatrique d’Algérie (1er bâtiment en 1927 et inauguration officielle en 1938).

Blida-Joinville fut le premier Hôpital Psychiatrique d’Algérie (1er bâtiment en 1927 et inauguration officielle en 1938).

 

Journée d’études  – Folie(s) en Méditerranée à l’ère de la colonisation. Regards croisés sur la psychiatrie en Afrique du Nord
12 janvier 2016, 10h-17h

Centre Alexandre Koyré

27 rue Damesme

Paris 13e

 
A partir des années quatre-vingt-dix du siècle dernier de plus en plus d’historiens se sont interrogés sur la mise en place d’une assistance pour les malades mentaux dans les pays colonisés ainsi que sur la construction théorique d’une branche spécifique de la discipline psychiatrique, qui naissait en concomitance avec l’entreprise coloniale. Après avoir été la cible des dénonciations de Frantz Fanon qui voyait dans le microcosme psychiatrique français en Algérie le fonctionnement de tout le système colonial, ainsi que le dispositif à dépasser, en récupérant les savoirs et les pratiques indigènes, pour certains professionnels de la santé mentale travaillant en Afrique, la psychiatrie coloniale est devenue depuis quelques décennies un enjeu historiographique complexe que les chercheurs interrogent sous plusieurs angles. C’est surtout dans les années quatre-vingt-dix et deux mille que ce champ d’études a été fortement investi : différentes colonies ont été analysées (Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Afrique du Sud, Algérie…) ; de nouvelles approches ont vu le jour (comparaison, histoire transnationale, histoire croisée, intersectionalité…) ; des colloques et des ouvrages collectifs ont été consacrés à ce champ en plein essor. La catégorie de race est analysée dans un discours plus large produit par les disciplines psychiatriques et anthropologiques ; la perspective de genre acquiert une place importante dans un contexte où les niveaux de subalternité s’ajoutent et s’articulent : les motifs d’altérité par rapport au colonisateur – couleur de la peau, rôle social – sont compliqués par une variable nouvelle : les troubles mentaux. Si une supposée différence mentale est déjà à la base de la soumission à l’homme blanc, naturalisée précisément en raison du déficit proclamé d’intelligence, de développement, de capacité de progrès et d’autonomie, quel rôle cette « différence » supplémentaire, dérivante de la maladie mentale, joue-t-elle ? Comment s’articulent les discours scientifiques, médicaux, politiques, autour de cette double différence ?
Cette journée d’études vise à faire le point sur l’historiographie relative à la psychiatrie – ses théories, ses pratiques, ses protagonistes et institutions – telle qu’elle s’est développée dans les pays de l’Afrique du Nord à l’époque du colonialisme européen. Partant du précieux travail de Richard Keller pour arriver aux plus récentes études de Nina Studer et Paul Marquis, on s’attachera aussi aux méthodes et aux enjeux qui caractérisent l’approche historienne dans le champ dont il est question.

 
Communications
Marianna Scarfone, Centre Alexandre Koyré: La psychiatrie coloniale à la recherche de l’‘ethnopersonnalité’ et de l’‘ethnopathologie psychiatrique’ (Libye 1912-1952)

 
Nina Saloua Studer, Université de Zürich: The Absence of Female Patients : Psychiatry and Gender in the Colonial Maghreb

 
Paul Marquis, Centre d’histoire Sciences Po: Les djinns, la guerre et l’adultère : délires, hallucinations et psychiatrie coloniale en Algérie (1933-1963)

 
Laura Faranda, Università La Sapienza, Roma: Suzanne Taïeb, élève d’Antoine Porot : du ‘primitivisme’ à la vocation ethnographique (Hôpital de Blida 1936-1942)

 
Discutant: Richard Keller, University of Winscosin-Madison

 
Pour toute information supplémentaire contactez : marianna.scarfone@cnrs.fr

New book: “Colonialism and Transnational Psychiatry: The Development of an Indian Mental Hospital in British India, c. 1925–1940” (Waltraud Ernst)

NEW BOOK RELEASE FROM ANTHEM PRESS:

Colonialism and Transnational Psychiatry

The Development of an Indian Mental Hospital in British India, c. 1925–1940

Waltraud Ernst

The first detailed and comprehensive historical assessment of South Asian psychiatry in the twentieth century, breaking new ground on questions of globalisation and medicine in colonial India.

 

Anthem Press

Hardback

ISBN 9780857280190

October 2013

294 pages

£60.00  /  $99.00

http://www.anthempress.com/colonialism-and-transnational-psychiatry

This is the first comprehensive case study of an Indian mental hospital. It focuses on the largest psychiatric institution in south Asia prior to Indian independence and assesses the demographics of its patient population, death and illness statistics, diagnostic categories and medical treatments. Earlier work has examined the role of British psychiatry within the context of nineteenth-century colonial expansion. This study breaks new ground by exploring how the changing imperial order during the early twentieth century, with a particular focus on the ‘Indianisation’ of the medical services, affected institutional trends. These local developments are set within the wider purview of transnational networks. Themes covered include gender, culture and race, and changing medical theories, conceptualisations and plural clinical practices within the context of medical standardisation. The limitations of institution-based data and statistical analysis and the pitfalls of post-hoc assessment and comparison of diagnostic categories and classifications are explored. The book is based on a range of original sources, including hospital reports, medical journals and textbooks, and official and private correspondence. It is relevant to historians of colonial and western psychiatry, comparative and transnational history, as well as social historians of south Asia more generally.

———

Endorsements: 

 ‘Ernst paints a fascinating picture of a mental hospital in India where doctors and patients struggle with the problems and paradoxes of modernity during an era of dramatic political change and medical innovation on a global scale.’ 

—Joseph Alter, Pittsburgh University

‘A very important and original contribution to the growing literature on psychiatry and colonialism, notable for its tight focus on a single mental hospital for Indians rather than the imperial ruling class.’ —Andrew Scull, University of California, San Diego

‘An in-depth account wherein individual and institutional histories coalesce, a work of honest scholarship which will be useful for medical historians, sociologists and lay readers alike.’ 

—Deepak Kumar, Jawaharlal Nehru University

———

Contents: 

Chapter 1 | Indianisation and its Discontents

–  Towards Indianisation

–  Structural Inequities

–  Medical Politics and European Racial Prejudice

–  The Medical Market and Indian Competition

–  Professional Discrimination and Historiographic Marginalisation

–  Professional Closure and the Pathologisation of a Successful  Community

–  The Decline of the ‘Good Parsi’

–  Collaborators, Competitors and Ambivalence

–  Indianisation and Histories of Medicine

–  Subalterns

Chapter 2 | The Patients: The Demographics of Gender and Age, Locality, Occupation, Caste and Religion

–  Gender Confined

–  ‘Criminal Lunatics’

–  Intellectual Disability and Patients’ Ages

–  Occupational Background and Caste

–  Religion

Chapter 3 | Institutional Trends and Standardisation: Deaths, Diseases and Cures

–  Mortality

–  Death and Illness by Gender

–  Causes of Death

–  Towards Standardisation

–  Mortality and Morbidity

–  Disease Prevalence

–  Suicide, Escapes and Patients’ Freedom of Movement

–  Cures

Chapter 4 | Classifications, Types of Disorder and Aetiology

–  Standardisation and Variation of Classifications

–  Ruptures and Continuities

–  Male and Female Maladies?

–  Aetiology – ‘the outstanding problem of psychiatry’

Chapter 5 | Treatments

–  Indigenous Herbs

–  ‘Modern’ Drugs

–  Wonder Cures and ‘Disappointing’ and ‘Indifferent’ Results

–  The Shock Therapies

–  Justifying the Need to Shock and Sedate

– Psychoanalysis

– Western and Indian Tubs: Hydrotherapy

– Dutt’s Bratachari

– Feasts and Religious Therapy

–  Work and Occupational Therapy

–  Diet

–  Sports and Entertainments

———

About the Author

Waltraud Ernst is Professor in the History of Medicine in the Department of History, Philosophy and Religion at Oxford Brookes University, UK.

New blog on the history of colonial psychiatry

A new blog has been recently launched on the history of colonial psychiatry, Colonial Psychiatry Hub. It is written by a  DPhil student from the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine, University of Oxford. His research concerns the practice of psychiatry in Church Missionary Society hospitals in Uganda, 1897-1944.

The goal of the blog is described as follow:

1. To bring together resources for the study of colonial psychiatry.

2. To provide a platform to disseminate the results of my PhD research.

Initial posts have included Missionaries in colonial psychiatry literature, The archives of Mengo Hospital or Sleeping sickness and lunacy.

New Issue of the International Review of Psychiatry

The latest issue of International Review of Psychiatry is dedicated to psychiatry in a colonial context.

Titles, authors and abstracts are listed below.

History of psychiatry in West Africa by F. Oyebode (Department of Psychiatry, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK). The abstract reads:

This paper explores the social context of the development of mental asylums in colonial Nigeria. The characteristics of the medical leadership is described, as is the environmental condition of the asylums. The colonial period produced conceptualizations of the African mind and of the pattern and distribution of mental illness in Africans. These conceptualizations are critically examined.

Psychiatry in the East African colonies: A background to confinement by Sloan Mahone (University of Oxford, Oxford, UK). The abstract reads:

This article is concerned with the discipline of psychiatry in colonial East Africa as it emerged out of the crime and disorder problem to become an intellectually significant ‘East African School’ of psychiatry. The process of lunacy certification, in particular, provides a snapshot of the medical and political tensions that existed among the medical establishment, the prison system and the colonial courts, all of whom sought to define collective African behaviour. This historical article utilises archaic terminology, such as ‘lunatic’ or ‘lunacy’, as these categories were in use at the time.

Modern psychiatry in India: The British role in establishing an Asian system, 1858-1947 by J. Mills (Centre for the Social History of Health and Healthcare Glasgow, Department of History, University of Strathclyde, Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK). The abstract reads:

Four broad phases can be traced in the development of modern psychiatry in India. After briefly considering the outline of each of these phases this article will focus its attention on the second and third. It will be argued through tracing the trends in patient admission, treatment regimes and the organisation of the asylum system in these years that the foundations of modern psychiatry were laid in India in the period 1858 to 1947 and that the modern psychiatric system in India as it is today, although it has evolved since Independence in 1947, continues in significant ways to be shaped by the colonial period.

Madmen and specialists: The clientele and the staff of the Lunatic Asylum, Bangalore by Sanjeer Jain and P. Murthy (Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India). The abstract reads:

The history of the asylum has proven to be an invaluable resource for exploring the interface between science, medicine, religion and social and political processes. The definitions of insanity have troubled humans for centuries, as have the methods for treatment. Diverse, and often conflicting, ideological positions are quite common. Documenting the specific histories of the staff and patients of an asylum can thus help us understand the evolution of the physical and the intellectual growth of psychiatry in India. In this endeavour, we have used the records of the Lunatic Asylum, Bangalore (later the All India Institute of Mental Health and subsequently the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences [NIMHANS]) to explore the history of psychiatry in India. The only asylum maintained by a ‘Native Kingdom’, it exemplifies the dynamics of the growth of mental health services in the country. We trace the changes in administrative control of the Asylum, the changes in medical practice and some aspects of the social history of the region. This article traces the history of psychiatry at one institution, which, at the micro level, is a mirror to the understanding of the historical trends of psychiatric services in India.

A brief history of psychiatry in Singapore by B. -Y. Ng (Department of Psychiatry, Singapore General Hospital) and K. -T. Chee (Woodbridge Hospital and Institute of Mental Health, Singapore). The abstract reads:

The development of psychiatric services in Singapore during the last 150 years can be divided into four distinct, albeit overlapping, phases: (1) the origins of the Lunatic Asylum; (2) the interruption caused by the Japanese Occupation, and the post-war years; (3) the training of local psychiatrists and mental health professionals; and (4) the development of general hospital psychiatry and community mental health services. Early psychiatry in Singapore was essentially British psychiatry as an outpost but modified by local conditions. Modern psychiatry in Singapore has its roots in Singapore’s colonial past and is strongly influenced by Western psychiatry. It has come a long way since its humble beginnings when the first mental hospital was established in 1841.

The development of psychiatry in Indonesia: From colonial to modern times by H. Pols (Unit for History and Philosophy of Science, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia). The abstract reads:

During the colonial period, mental health care policy in the Dutch East Indies was centred on the mental hospital, which provided custodial care. In 1949, independent Indonesia inherited four very large mental hospitals, about 10 acute-care clinics in the major cities, and an agricultural colony. During the 1950s, mental hospital care remained largely custodial. In 1966, the Directorate of Mental Health adopted the three-fold principles of prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation as the foundation of a comprehensive mental health care system. During the 1970s and 1980s, the number of mental hospitals in Indonesia doubled and a variety of treatment methods were introduced. Special attention was given to the care provided by dukuns, or indigenous healers.

Psychiatry and its institutions in Australia and New Zealand: An overview by Catharine Coleborne (Department of History, The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand) and Dolly MacKinnon (Department of History, University of Melbourne, Australia).

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