HIST 3515 O - Madness in Modern Times

Web course
The evaluation for this course does not include formal seated exams, so no distance proctoring arrangements are required.

History of insanity from the eighteenth to the twentieth century.Themes include changing public and medical understandings of madness, patients' experiences and artistic portrayals of mental hospital life, cultural representations of madness in various media, and the history of the asylum. (Field e) Prerequisite(s): a 2000-level history course, or third-year standing and 1.0 credit in history, or permission of the instructor.

The course examines the history of Madness from the 18th century to the present, in both western Europe and North America. The course will trace changing ideas and definitions of Madness over this time period, including changes in how the causes of madness have been explained, how it has been treated, and how it has been understood, both as a personal experience and as a social question. Subjects to be studied will include:
• The social significance of madness in the 18th-century
• Changing attitudes to treatment in the Enlightenment era
• The rise and fall of the asylum movement
• The medical treatment of madness: from trepanning to talk therapy, lobotomies to lithium.
• The creation of psychiatry as a branch of medicine
• Representations of madness in culture (film, fiction, art)
• The relationship (if there is one) of Madness to Genius
• Individuals’ experience of being mad, or of being considered mad, and how they represented those experiences through such means as art and personal memoirs

CRN for section O: 12805

Instructor: James Miller

James Miller

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