Posts Tagged ‘ theatre ’

New issue: L’Évolution Psychiatrique


The new issue of L’Évolution Psychiatrique includes multiple articles related to the history of psychiatry that could be of interest to H-Madness readers:

Jean Garrabé, La place de l’histoire dans l’enseignement de la clinique mentale

Jacques Hochmann, Réflexions sur les rapports entre l’histoire et la psychiatri

Thierry Haustgen, Les psychiatres historiens

Clément Fromentin, Pourquoi faire l’histoire de la psychiatrie ? Le cas de l’Évolution psychiatrique (1925–1985)

Hervé Guillemain, Le retour aux sources. Points de vue sur l’histoire sociale de la psychiatrie et de la maladie mentale

Thomas Lepoutre, La psychiatrie néo-kraepelinienne à l’épreuve de l’histoire. Nouvelles considérations sur la nosologie kraepelinienne

Loig Le Sonn, Le test d’intelligence Binet-Simon dans les asiles (1898–1908). L’invention d’une nouvelle pratique d’interrogatoire

Laurence Guignard, Crime et Psychiatrie. Antoine Léger, le lycanthrope : une étape dans la généalogie des perversions sexuelles (1824–1903)

Emmanuel Delille, Crise d’originalité juvénile ou psychose débutante ? Les représentations de l’adolescence « à risque » après-guerre en France et en Allemagne

Benoît Majerus, Fragilités guerrières – Les fous parisiens dans la Grande Guerre

Pierre Chenivesse and Manuella De Luca, Le théâtre du Grand Guignol et l’aliénisme




A Malady of Migration: A theatrical examination of diaspora, displacement and mental disorders in the 19th century

A Malady of Migration

A theatrical examination of diaspora, displacement and mental disorders in the 19th century

At a time when the issues of migration and mental health are seldom out of the news, CHM has worked with Talking Birds and the Centre for the History of Medicine in Ireland to develop a new theatre production which explores why the mid-19th century saw a prevalence of mental disorders among Irish migrants.

This follows the successful collaboration with Talking Birds on ‘Trade in Lunacy’ in 2013, and will again use original music, song, humour and sharp characterisations to tell a series of intertwining stories.

The new piece is called ‘A Malady of Migration’ and is based on research being carried out by Professor Hilary Marland of Warwick and Dr Catherine Cox of University College Dublin, in a project called Madness, Migration and the Irish in Lancashire, c.1850-1921, funded by the Wellcome Trust. They are supported by postgraduate students and others, who will conduct supplementary research and take supporting roles in the drama.

Professor Hilary Marland, explains, “This is a chance to showcase our research in a way that is interesting, informative and sensitive, weaving in stories based on patients’ case histories and experiences. The aim is to make the findings of the research available to wider publics and to stimulate thinking and debate about mental illness in the past and present.”

“The performance, based on an insightful and compassionate interpretation of the historical material, reveals both change and continuity in how we view mental illness, its causes and in particular its relationship to displacement, migration, isolation and poverty.”

There will be an expert panel discussion after the Thursday evening performances in each venue and a post performance discussion on Saturday lunchtime, providing opportunities for audience members to discuss the making of the piece with researchers and the theatre company, and to engage in debate on issues raised by the performances. Details of the panellists are on the Expert Panel page – link above and here.

A series of short briefing sheets have been produced to complement the drama and provide background information. These can be accessed from the Background Reading page – link above and here.

Performance dates:

Running time approx. 55 minutes

2 performances a day (lunchtime and evening): Thursday 26th, Friday 27th, Saturday 28th June 2014


2 performances a day (lunchtime and evening): Thursday 3rd, Friday 4th, Saturday 5th July 2014

More about The Centre for the History of Medicine in Ireland, University College Dublin

Talking Birds is an extraordinary, award-winning theatre company, renowned for working in unusual spaces. More about Talking Birds theatre company


2 performances a day (lunchtime and evening): Thursday 26th, Friday 27th, Saturday 28th June 2014


2 performances a day (lunchtime and evening): Thursday 3rd, Friday 4th, Saturday 5th July 2014

More details are available here.


Hampstead Theatre Presents “Hysteria” (By and Directed by Terry Johnson)

1938. Hampstead, London.

Sigmund Freud has fled Nazi-occupied Austria and settled in leafy Swiss Cottage. At eighty two years old, he aims to spend his final days in peace. However, when Salvador Dalí turns up to discover a less than fully dressed woman in the closet, peace becomes somewhat elusive…

An acknowledged Modern Classic, Terry Johnson’s hilarious farce explores the fall-out when two of the twentieth century’s most brilliant and original minds collide.

Double Olivier award-winner Antony Sher makes a highly anticipated return to Hampstead Theatre in a play that also raises intriguing questions about Freud’s radical revision of his theories of hysteria. His recent theatre credits include The Captain of Kopenick andTravelling Light at the National Theatre.

Terry Johnson returns to Hampstead Theatre following the sell-out hits Old Money starring Maureen Lipman and David Mamet’s Race. His many award-winning productions includeEntertaining Mr SloaneThe Graduate and La Cage aux Folles in the West End.

Running time is approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes including a 20 minute interval.

Please note that this play contains scenes of an adult nature.

In association with Theatre Royal Bath Productions.

Image courtesy of The Freud Museum

For more information, click here.

CFP: Performing Science and Scientific Performance

Performing Science and Scientific Performance (2 Hour Session)

American Society for Theatre Research Conference 2013

November 7-10, Dallas, Texas

Conveners: Kati Sweaney, Northwestern University ( and Aileen Robinson, Northwestern University (

Scientists have a long history of adopting performance practices as a means of manufacturing professional authority. The public dissection theatres of early modern Europe, the 18th-century parlor-room demonstrations of everything from air-pumps to phrenology, the spectacular electricity shows of Tesla and Edison, the performing hysterics in the Tuesday lectures of Freud’s teacher Charcot, and the contemporary phenomenon of the TED conference—all these are not simply entertainments with a scientific theme. Each event adjudicates between critical performance practices, scientific ideas, and cultural authorities, enacting embodied relationships between scientists and objects. Because the interdisciplinary field of science studies seeks a broad cultural understanding of how scientific knowledge is made, it has vigorously taken up performance as a new critical lens (as the 2010 special issue of the science history journal Isis demonstrates). However, we have observed that little of this valuable contemporary work on scientific performance has been written by scholars of performance, and that most of such scholarship tends to use performance as a metaphor, rather than as a methodology. In this working session, we will open up a space for performance scholars to critically assess and contribute to scholarship in this field. We invite papers that interrogate the relationship between the truth-making claims of science and performance, broadly understood. Possible topics for inquiry include:

  • Historical scientific demonstrations
  • Contemporary bioart
  • Medical performance art and body art
  • Plays that concern science and scientists
  • “Performance” as a scientific virtue, a la Jon McKenzie
  • Methodological inquiries into the forms of science as performance
  • Science performance within specific spaces—museums, archives, universities
  •  Pedagogical performance of science within schools and universities

We invite 500-word proposals that include an abstract for your ASTR paper submission as well as a brief description of your current work. Please include full contact information and organizational affiliation (if any) on both your proposal and your email and send your proposal to both conveners by June 3, 2013.

Participants will submit a 10-12 (2,500-3,000 words) page draft of their paper by October 1 to the conveners. A bibliography will be circulated in the summer for the benefit of the participants; two small readings will be highly encouraged to establish common discussion points. Between October 1 and the ASTR conference, participants will be divided into small groups in which they will read each other papers and a forum will be set up for discussing major and minor themes within the works. Major edits and commentary will be discussed during the conference itself.

This working session seeks to address questions of science and performance through methodological lenses; therefore, the working group will be arranged around a two-hour format discussion format, dedicated to addressing issues and questions that arose within individual submissions. The first hour will incorporate introductions followed by a breakout session. In this session, previously arranged groups will discuss the larger issues raised at this meeting in relationship to their specific work and papers. The goal of the breakout session will be twofold: 1) to workshop/further troubleshoot individual papers; 2) to address questions and ideas pertinent to the larger interests of the group in a smaller setting. The final stage of the group will be a large group discussion forum, where questions of methodology, practice, and research can be productively followed.

Kati Sweaney

Northwestern University
Ph.D. Candidate, Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Theatre & Drama

Assistant Master, Shepard Residential College

Graduate Teaching Fellow, Searle Center for Advancing Learning & Teaching

Call for Papers: “Theatre, Performance, Madness, and Psychiatry”

Below you will find a call for papers for an international conference on the subject of Theatre, Performance, Madness, and Psychiatry. This interdisciplinary conference is part of an AHRC funded project to investigate the history of performance in, and about, psychiatric asylums and hospitals since the 19th century. The conference will take place on 17th an 18th of September 2012 at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge and we welcome abstracts from across all disciplines. It is anticipated that selected papers from the conference will be included in the publication that is being produced as part of the grant. Please follow this link for further details on the project.

If you require any further info, please do not hesitate to get in touch. All details are included in the e-flyer.

Best Wishes,
Dr Anna Harpin

Lecturer in Drama
Co Artistic Director of Idiot Child
Trustee of Stepping Out Theatre Company

University of Exeter
Department of Drama
College of Humanities
New North Road

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