Seminar: Michael Rembis, ‘A Secret Worth Knowing: Living Mad Lives in the Shadow of the Asylum’, Liverpool Hope

‘A Secret Worth Knowing: Living Mad Lives in the Shadow of the Asylum’

Dr Michael Rembis, University at Buffalo

Date: 2-3.30pm, Wednesday 10th May 2017

Location: EDEN 109, Liverpool Hope University

Dr Rembis explores the emotional lives of women and men living in the 19th century United States who considered themselves “mad” or “insane,” or who were defined as such by family, friends, associates, medical professionals, and the like. For decades, social historians of medicine have engaged in fine institutional histories, and more recently they have interrogated the role of family, work, and “patient perspectives,” in the experiences of asylum inmates. Little attention, however, has been paid to those “mad” or “insane” folks living outside the asylum, especially their emotional lives. Yet emotion is absolutely central in both the lived experiences of “mad” or “insane” subjects and the people who sought to “care” for them. Drawing on new research, Dr Rembis highlights the importance of a critical evaluation of emotions in this past, as well as the valuable contributions that disability history and disability studies can make in studying this past.

Michael Rembis is Director of the Center for Disability Studies and Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University at Buffalo (SUNY). He has authored or edited many works, including Defining Deviance: Sex, Science, and Delinquent Girls, 1890-1960 (2011) and Disability Histories, co-edited with Susan Burch (2014).

This seminar is part of the CCDS series, Disability and the Emotions. Other forthcoming CCDS events include:

  • 18 May 2017, Disability Gains for the Academy: Exploring Pedagogies in Disability Studies Symposium.
  • 5-6 July 2017, Disability and Disciplines: the International Conference on Educational, Cultural, and Disability Studies.

For further information about the CCDS please contact: Dr David Bolt

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