Podcast – talk between Wendy Turner and Chris Mounsey on medieval mental health and eighteenth-century sight impairment

#126 History Hack: Disabilities in History

Wendy Turner and Chris Mounsey join forces to talk about the challenges of researching disabilities in history. Using their specialisations in medieval mental health and eighteenth century sight impairment, they tell a wider tale of difficulties in terminology, understanding human experience, for which solutions are evolving constantly. 

 

Link to the podcast

Call for contribution for an Essay Collection to be submitted with Brill, for the Book Series Narratives and Mental Health

CfP for an Essay Collection to be submitted with Brill, for the Book Series Narratives and Mental Health

The Cultural Heritage of Psychiatry and its Literary Transformations: Middle Ages to the Present

Ed. Katrin Röder & Cornelia Wächter

This volume explores the history of English, American and Anglophone literary representations of mental distress and its medical investigation and treatment as significant parts of the cultural heritage of psychiatry since the Middle Ages. In line with Aleida Assmann’s approach, the volume perceives cultural heritage as ‘that part of the material and immaterial cultural memory that has been selected and destined for active transfer and circulation’ (2020, 9, transl. K.R.). The Cultural Heritage of Psychiatry and its Literary Transformations: Middle Ages to the Present (working title)approaches the cultural heritage of psychiatry as a complicated gift that connects the past to the present and the future. Like all forms of cultural heritage and functional memory, the cultural heritage of psychiatry calls for a responsible use of its components, for their preservation and protection against damage and suppression as well as for perpetual transformation, renewal and change (Assmann: 2013, 330; Assmann 2020, 9).

The cultural heritage of psychiatry is often regarded as problematic, difficult and burdensome, not least because of the long history of medicalization, institutionalized confinement, constraint and abuse of ‘patients’/users (Foucault 1988; Showalter 1985; Reaume 2010; Lewis 2010; Punzi 2019, 243-244, 248-249; Punzi/Röder 2019, 197-201). While all cultural heritage is selective and incomplete (Assmann 2008, 106), the fragmentariness of the heritage of psychiatry is to a considerable degree the result of processes of social, political and rhetorical exclusion, that is, of the silencing, suppression, stigmatization, moral condemnation and invalidation of ‘patients »/’users’ voices/self-presentations in different periods of cultural and intellectual history (Foucault 1988, passim; Showalter 1985, passim; Punzi 2019; Guest Pryal 2010, 479-480).

In this context, literature is assigned a preeminent role as ‘the mnemonic art par excellence’ (Lachmann 2008, 301). As a reintegrative interdiscourse, it simultaneously creates and observes memory, representing a ‘body of commemorative actions that include the knowledge stored by a culture, and virtually all texts a culture has produced and by which a culture is constituted’ (ibid.; Erll 2008, 391). Hence, practices of writing, reading and creative appropriation revolving around the topics of mental distress/madness and forms of treatment performatively construct the cultural memory and cultural heritage of psychiatry. They interact with extant cultural texts in diverse ways, e.g. through convergence, divergence, interrogation, assimilation or repulsion (Lachmann 2008, 301; Neumann 2008, 334, 337-338; Paris 2017). In these interactions, intertextuality plays a central role because it ‘demonstrates the process by which a culture […] continually rewrites and retranscribes itself […]’ (Lachmann 2008, 301).

The planned volume will explore how literary texts shape the cultural memory and heritage of psychiatry, how they interact with dominant and alternative forms and traditions of treatment and care and how they bear witness to and fragmentarily retrieve/imagine suppressed, medicalized voices, thereby producing counter-cultural memories (Saunders 2008, 327). By investigating the interdependence and complex interaction between literary and non-literary texts in their historical and cultural contexts, the anthology will emphasize the close connection between history and cultural heritage that was often either neglected or questioned in the past (Assmann 2020, 10).

By integrating the perspective of critical heritage studies, this volume will interrogate collective forms of cultural identity and literary canon formation with regard to what is forgotten, rejected and excluded (Assmann 2020, 10). It perceives the cultural heritage of psychiatry as a dynamic, globalized, dissonant processthat is relative to as well as formative of changing and fragmentary systems of value and significance (Wells 2017).

Although there is a comprehensive body of recent and prevailing book-length studies about the relationship between English, American and Anglophone literature, psychiatric discourse and conceptions of madness/mental distress in specific periods, genres and historical and cultural contexts (e. g. Rogers 2019; Crawford 2019; Gaedtke 2017; Whitehead 2017; Stanback 2016; Iseli 2015; Dickson/Ingram 2012; Ingram/Sim/Lawlor et al. 2011; Sedlmayr 2011; Veit-Wild 2006; Neely 2004; Lange 1997; Ziolkowski 1990), investigations of the practices of remembering the cultural heritage of psychiatry in relation to historical changes in the representation of mental distress and its treatment remain a desideratum. This volume seeks to provide central insights into these topics.

We invite chapters (each with a length of ca. 7000 words) exploring the following questions:

  • How do literary texts from different periods of literary history interact with the history and cultural heritage of psychiatry and with the cultural representations of mental distress in their specific historical moments (e.g. through intertextuality, imaginative appropriation …)?
  • How do they bear witness to, negotiate, criticize, challenge, imaginatively re-configurate, transform and re-invent this heritage?
  • How do literary texts problematize the relationship between memory, heritage, forgetting, fragmentation and suppression?
  • How do they represent the heritage of psychiatry and the cultural imaginary of mental distress in ways that make this heritage relevant for their historical present and their envisaged future?

Each chapter should start with a concise overview of concepts and discourses of mental distress/madness and the heritage of psychiatry in the respective periods of literary/cultural history. Thereafter, they should provide an analysis of selected literary texts (one or more, any genre) with regard to their techniques of representing and remembering conceptions of mental distress/madness and psychiatric treatment in their respective historical present and in reciprocal intertextual connections with their respective historical past (and perhaps their respective envisaged future). Whenever possible, discussions of intersectional relationships between concepts of mental distress/madness, psychiatric treatment and gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, race and migrant identities should be included.

Please send your abstract (500-600 words) until 1 September 2020 to kroeder@uni-potsdam.de or cornelia.waechter@rub.de

 

More infos on H-Net

 

Bibliography (secondary literature)

Assmann, Aleida. ‘Zur Mediengeschichte des kulturellen Gedächtnisses’. Medien des kollektiven Gedächtnisses. Ed. A. Erll. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2004, 45-61.

―: Cultural Memory and Western Civilization: Arts of Memory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013.

―: ‘Vom Wert der Erinnerung. Gedanken von Aleida Assmann zum Kulturellen Erbe’. Wissen – Bildung – Gemeinschaft. Magazin. Was Wir Weitergeben: Unsere Werte in der Welt von Morgen 01.20 (2020): 8-11. 9 Januar 2020. Web. https://issuu.com/wbg-wissenverbindet/docs/wbg-magazin_2020_01.pdf

Baker, Charley: Madness in Post-1945 British and American Fiction. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.

Camus, Marianne: Gender and Madness in the Novels of Charles Dickens. Lewiston, NY: Mellen Press, 2004.

Crawford, Joseph: Inspiration and Insanity in British Poetry 1825 – 1855. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019.

Dickson, Leigh Wetherall, and Allan Ingram: Depression and Melancholy, 1660-1800. 4 vols. London & New York: Routledge, 2012.

Erll, Astrid: ‘Literature, Film, and the Mediality of Cultural Memory’. Cultural Memory Studies: An International and Interdisciplinary Handbook. Ed. Astrid Erll and Ansgar Nünning. Berlin & New York: De Gruyter, 2008, 389-398.

Erll, Astrid: Kollektives Gedächtnis und Erinnerungskulturen: Eine Einführung. Stuttgart: Metzler, 2017.

Feder, Lillian: Madness in Literature. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1980.

Foucault, Michel: Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason. Trans. Richard Howard. New York: Vintage, 1988.

Gaedtke, Andrew: Modernism and the Machinery of Madness: Psychosis, Technology, and Narrative Worlds. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017.

Graham, Peter W.: Psychiatry and Literature. Germantown, NY: Periodicals Service Company, 2005.

Guest Pryal, Katie Rose (2010): “The Genre of the Mood Memoir and the Ethos of Psychiatric Disability”. Rhetoric Society Quarterly 40.5 (2010): 479-501.

Gymnich, Marion: Charlotte Brontë: Jane Eyre; Emily Brontë: Wuthering Heights. Stuttgart: Klett, 2007.

Hauser, Robert: ‘Der Modus der kulturellen Überlieferung in der digitalen Ära – zur Zukunft der Wissensgesellschaft’, Neues Erbe: Aspekte, Perspektiven und Konsequenzen der digitalen Überlieferung. Hrsg. Caroline Y. Robertson-von Trotha, Robert Hauser. Karlsruhe: KIT 2011, 15-38.

Hawes, Clement: Mania and Literary Style: The Rhetoric of Enthusiasm from the Ranters to Christopher Smart. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996.

Ingram, Allan: The Madhouse of Language: Writing and Reading Madness in the 18th Century. London & New York: Routledge, 1991.

Ingram, Allan (ed.): Voices of Madness: Four Pamphlets, 1683-1796. Phoenix Mill et al.: Sutton,1997.

Ingram, Allan: Patterns of Madness in the Eighteenth Century: A Reader. Liverpool, Liverpool University Press, 1998.

Ingram, Allan, and Michelle Faubert: Cultural Constructions of Madness in Eighteenth Century Writing: Representing the Insane. Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.

Ingram, Allen, Stuart Sim, Clark Lawlor et al.: Melancholy Experience in Literature of the Long Eighteenth Century: Before Depression, 1660 – 1800. Basingstoke, Hampshire et al.: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.

Iseli, Markus: Thomas DeQuincey and the Cognitive Unconscious. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.

Kaplan, Bert (ed.): The Inner World of Mental Illness. New York: Harper and Row 1964.

Kilian, Eveline: ‘Diskursanalyse’. Literaturwissenschaft in Theorie und Praxis. Tübingen: Narr, 2004, 61-81.

Kwast-Greff, Chantal: Distorted Bodies and Suffering Souls: Women in Australian Fiction, 1984-1994 (Editions Rodopi B.V.; 2013).

Lachmann, Renate: ‘Mnemonic and Intertextual Aspects of Literature’. Cultural Memory Studies: An International and Interdisciplinary Handbook. Ed. Astrid Erll and Ansgar Nünning. Berlin & New York: De Gruyter, 2008, 301-310.

Lange, Robert J. G.: Gender Identity and Madness in the Nineteenth-Century Novel. Lewiston, NY [u.a.]: Edwin Mellen Press, 1998.

LeFrançois, Brenda E., Robert Menzies, and Geoffrey Reaume(eds.): Mad Matters: A Critical Reader in Canadian Mad Studies. Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press, 2013.

Lewis, Bradley: ‘A Mad Fight: Psychiatry and Disability Activism,’ The Disability Studies Reader. Ed. Lennard J. Davis. London & New York: Routledge, 2010, 160-178.

Link, Jürgen: Elementare Literatur und Generative Diskursanalyse. München: Fink, 1983.

Logan, Peter Melville: Nerves and Narratives: A Cultural History of Hysteria in Nineteenth-Century British Prose. Berkeley et al.: University of California Press, 1997.

Macnaughton, Jane, and Corinne Saunders (eds.): Madness and Creativity in Literature and Culture. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.

McCann, Daniel: Fear in the Medical and Literary Imagination: Medieval to Modern. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.

Mills, China, and Suman Fernando (eds.): ‘Globalising Mental Health or Pathologising the Global South? Mapping the Ethics, Theory and Practice of Global Mental Health’. Special Issue. Disability and the Global South 1.2 (2014).

Neely, Carol Thomas: Distracted Subjects: Madness and Gender in Shakespeare and Early Modern Culture. Ithaca, NY, et al.: Cornell University Press, 2004.

Neumann, Birgit: ‘The Literary Representation of Memory’. Cultural Memory Studies: An International and Interdisciplinary Handbook. Ed. Astrid Erll and Ansgar Nünning. Berlin & New York: De Gruyter, 2008, 333-343.

Paris, Andreea: ‘Literature as Memory and Literary Memories: From Cultural Memory to Reader-Response Criticism’. Literature and Cultural Memory. Ed. Mihaela Irimia, Andreea Paris und Dragoş Manea. Leiden & Boston: Brill, 2017, 95-106.

Pedlar, Valerie: The Most Dreadful Visitation: Male Madness in Victorian Fiction. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2006.  

Punzi, Elisabeth: ‘Ghost Walks or Thoughtful Remembrance: How Should the Heritage of Psychiatry be Approached?’ The Journal of Critical Psychology, Counselling and Psychotherapy 19.4 (2019): 242-251.

Punzi, Elisabeth, and Katrin Röder: ‘Challenging Complicity with Mentalism: Mental Distress Memoirs and Performance Art’. Complicity and the Politics of Representation. Ed. Cornelia Wächter and Robert Wirth. London & New York: Rowman & Littlefield International, 2019, 195-216.

Reaume, Geoffrey: ‘Psychiatric Patients-Built Wall Tours at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Toronto, 2000–2010’. Left History 15: 129–148

―: Remembrance of Patients Past: Patient Life at the Toronto Hospital for the Insane, 1870 – 1940. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Rogers, Kathleen Beres: Creating Romantic Obsession. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019.

Saunders, Max: ‘Life-Writing, Cultural Memory, and Literary Studies’. Cultural Memory Studies: An International and Interdisciplinary Handbook. Ed. Astrid Erll and Ansgar Nünning. Berlin & New York: De Gruyter, 2008, 321-331.

Sedlmayr, Gerold: The Discourse of Madness in Britain, 1790-1815: Medicine, Politics, Literature. Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, 2011.

Senaha, Eijun: Sex, Drugs, and Madness in Poetry from William Blake to Christina Rossetti: Women’s Pain, Women’s Pleasure. Lewiston et al.: Mellen, 1996.

Showalter, Elaine: The Female Malady: Women, Madness, and English Culture, 1830 – 1980. New York: Pantheon Books, 1985.

Stanback, Emily B.: The Wordsworth-Coleridge Circle and the Aesthetics of Disability. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.

Tambling, Jeremy: Blake’s Night Thoughts. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.

Tauchert, Ashley: Mary Wollstonecraft and the Accent of the Feminine. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002.

Veit-Wild, Flora: Writing Madness: Borderlines of the Body in African Literature. Oxford: Currey, 2006.

Wells, Jeremy: ‘What is Critical Heritage Studies and how does it incorporate the discipline of history?’ 28 June 2917. Web. https://heritagestudies.org/index.php/2017/06/28/what-is-critical-heritage-studies-and-how-does-it-incorporate-the-discipline-of-history/

Whitehead, James: Madness and the Romantic Poet: A Critical History. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017.

Winkler, Amanda Eubanks: O Let Us Howle Some Heavy Note: Music for Witches, the Melancholic and the Mad on the Seventeenth-Century English Stage. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006.

Wood, Mary Elene: Life Writing and Schizophrenia: Encounters at the Edge of Meaning. Amsterdam: Editions Rodopi B.V.; 2013.

Ziolkowski, Theodore: German Romanticism and Its Institutions. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990.

 

Surveys

The Routledge History of Madness and Mental Health, edited by. Greg Eghigian (London & New York: Routledge,2017).

Routledge Handbook of Disability Studies. Ed. Nick Watson, Simo Vehmas. 2nd ed. (London & New York: Routledge, 2019).

Routledge International Handbook of Critical Mental Health, edited by Bruce M.Z. Cohen (London & New York: Routledge, 2019).

A Cultural History of Disability in the Renaissance, edited by Susan Anderson and Liam Haydon (London, Oxford: Bloomsbury, 2020).

A Cultural History of Disability in the Long Eighteenth Century, edited by D. Christopher Gabbard and Susannah B. Mintz (London, Oxford: Bloomsbury, 2020).

A Cultural History of Disability in the Long Nineteenth Century, edited by Joyce Huff and Martha Stoddard Holmes (London, Oxford: Bloomsbury, 2020).

A Cultural History of Disability in the Modern Age, edited by David T. Mitchell and Sharon L. Snyder (London & Oxford: Bloomsbury, 2020).

A Mad People’s History of Madness, edited by Dale Peterson (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1982).

Madness: A Brief History, edited by Roy Porter (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002).

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

CFP – Leeds IMC 2020 – ‘Minority and Marginalised Experiences’, organised by An Australasian Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies

 

Recent scholarship has begun to acknowledge that the focus of Medieval and Early Modern Studies has long been on the elite, male, western European experience. New movements in academia are addressing this imbalance, acknowledging that women, ethnic minorities, and other marginalised groups contributed richly to the fabric of medieval and early modern life. Ceræ aims to join this shift in focus to the experiences of minority groups, marginalised peoples, and life in non-western territories with a conference session at IMC Leeds 2020.

Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Experiences of minority or marginalised groups
  • Writings by minority or marginalised groups
  • Literary depictions of minority or marginalised groups
  • The effacement of minority or marginalised groups
  • Marginalia
  • Experiences on the transition of a border or landscape
  • The law of minority and marginalised groups
  • Minority and marginalised cultures, beliefs, and celebrations
  • Experiences of disability and physical and mental illness

Ceræ invites submissions encompassing all aspects of the late classical, medieval, and early modern world. There are no geographical restrictions. As an interdisciplinary journal, Ceræ encourages submissions across the fields of archaeology, art history, historical ecology, literature, linguistics,  intellectual history, musicology, politics, social studies, and beyond.

Abstracts of 250 words should be sent to editorcerae@gmail.com by 1st September 2019.

Attendees are responsible for all fees and costs associated with attending the IMC, and for registering for the congress.

For further enquiries contact our Editor: editorcerae@gmail.com; or get in touch via Facebook (facebook.com/CeraeJournal) or Twitter (@CeraeJournal).

Madness, Medicine and Miracle in Twelfth-Century England – Claire Trenery – Routledge

This book explores how madness was defined and diagnosed as a condition of the mind in the Middle Ages and what effects it was thought to have on the bodies, minds and souls of sufferers.

Madness is examined through narratives of miraculous punishment and healing that were recorded at the shrines of saints. This study focuses on the twelfth century, which has been identified as a ‘Medieval Renaissance’: a time of cultural and intellectual change that saw, among other things, the circulation of new medical treatises that brought with them a wealth of new ideas about illness and health. With the expanding authority of the Roman Church and the tightening of papal control over canonisation procedures in this period, historians have claimed that there was a ‘rationalisation’ of the miraculous. In miracle records, illnesses were explained using newly-accessible humoral theories rather than attributed to divine and demonic forces, as they had been previously.

The first book-length study of madness in medieval religion and medicine to be published since 1992, this book challenges these claims and reveals something of the limitations of the so-called ‘medicalisation’ of the miraculous. Throughout the twelfth century, demons continue to lurk in miracle records relating to one condition in particular: madness. Five case studies of miracle collections compiled between 1070 and 1220 reveal that hagiographical representations of madness were heavily influenced by the individual circumstances of their recording and yet were shaped as much by hagiographical patterns that had been developing throughout the twelfth century as they were by new medical and theological standards.

List of tables

Introduction

  1. Protection and punishment in the miracles of Saint Edmund the Martyr at Bury
  2. Managing the mad: violence, cruelty and restraint in the miracles of William of Norwich
  3. Medical madness? Diagnosing the mad in the miracles of Saint Thomas Becket
  4. Demonic disturbances in the miracles of Saint Bartholomew in London
  5. Balance and health: restoring sanity in the miracles of Saint Hugh of Lincoln

Conclusion

Claire Trenery completed her PhD at Royal Holloway, University of London in 2017. She specialises in the history of madness and medicine, focusing on the twelfth century and the cultural and intellectual climate that accompanied the development of Scholastic learning in Western Europe. She has published articles on medieval madness, with particular attention to the impact of madness on the bodies, minds and souls of sufferers.

Infos from the editor website

CFP – Afflicted Bodies, Affected Societies: Disease and Wellness in Historical Perspective – 5th Annual Symposium, Department of History, Seton Hall University

The year 2018 marks the centennial of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic, one of the deadliest outbreaks of disease in recorded history. To acknowledge the social impact of illness on humanity, the History Department at Seton Hall University will host a two-day symposium on disease and wellness in historical perspective. Some of the questions we seek to investigate over the course of this symposium are as follows: How have notions of illness and wellness changed over time? In what ways have medical progress and discovery been shaped by wars and natural disasters? How did regimes of hygiene fashion social hierarchies or imperial policy? What have been the social, political, and economic consequences of the diseased body and/or mind in various societies? How do civilizations conceptualize disease and miracles within faith practices? How do public health and issues of social justice intersect?

Some additional topics for research papers include the following:

  • Medicine, war, and natural disasters
  • Medical progress, discovery, and vaccines
  • Colonial diseases and medicines
  • Traditional practices and practitioners
  • Professionalization of medicine
  • Cultural representations of health care
  • Saints, shamans, and spiritual dimensions of health
  • Gender dynamics of health
  • Disease and persecution
  • Drugs and addiction
  • Trauma and mental health

The symposium will be held on Thursday and Friday, 7-8 February. A keynote address by Alan Kraut, Professor of History at the American University, will open the symposium on Thursday, 7 February. The second day of the symposium will consist of panels and a roundtable discussion. The symposium will be held at the South Orange, New Jersey campus of Seton Hall University, about a half hour outside of New York City.

We welcome proposals from scholars from all fields interested in the historical implications of disease and wellness including history, literary studies, anthropology, and religion, from the ancient to modern period. Advanced graduate students, early career scholars, and senior researchers are encouraged to apply. Please send a single document containing 1) a title and an abstract of up to 250 words and 2) a short (one-paragraph) biography, to setonhallhistorysymposium@gmail.com by Monday, 19 November, 2018.

Seton Hall will provide two-nights of accommodations for all invited participants coming from outside the New York City/Northern New Jersey area, as well as meals for all invited panelists. Travel funding may also be available on a case-by-case basis.

Contact Info:
Please feel free to contact Anne Giblin Gedacht at anne.gedacht@shu.edu, or Golbarg Rekabtalaei at golbarg.rekabtalaei@shu.edu, with any questions. For more information about History at Seton Hall, please visit our website, https://www.shu.edu/history/.