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Topics in the History of Medicine: History of Madness

History 3067 - Fall 2020

Mental health -- its diagnosis, social implications, and experience -- is a central and increasingly visible part of the practice of medicine. This course explores the history of "madness." What is madness? How have different societies explained and responded to states of mind, behavior, and emotion judged to be unreasonable? What role has medicine played in framing understandings about mental disorders and their management? This course engages these questions, charting the shifting experience of mental illness roughly from the Middle Ages to the present. Themes covered include: religious models of madness; humoral medicine and disorders such as melancholy; the pre-modern madhouse; the emergence of the modern asylum; the history of psychiatry; the insanity defense in the courtroom; patient autobiography; gender, race, and mental health.
Course Attributes: EN HBU EthAS HUM

Section 01

Topics in the History of Medicine: History of Madness
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