Book Launch „Material Cultures of Psychiatry“

25 March 2021

Book Launch „Material Cultures of Psychiatry“
Webinar to discuss the book 'Material Cultures of Psychiatry' edited by Monika Ankele and Benoît Majerus, published with Transcript.

Objects have long been and still are shaping our ideas about psychiatric institutions and their history. In many cases, it is exceptional objects such as caged beds or binding belts that we associate with the history of psychiatry, rather than everyday cultural objects such as flowers or a blanket. These outstanding objects are often used as a synonym for psychiatry and the way psychiatric patients were treated, yet very little is known about the agency of objects and their appropriation by staff and patients.

Catherine Coleborne, Professor at the University of Newcastle, Australia, and Bart Marius, Artistic Director at the Museum Dr. Guislain in Ghent, Belgium, will discuss with the editors of the book and two of its authors, how a material-based approach opens up new perspectives on the agency and imagination of men and women inside psychiatry.

Monika Ankele is a historian at the Medical University Vienna (Collections, Ethics and History of Medicine). Until 2020, she was curator at the Museum of Medical History Hamburg. In her research she focuses on the institutional cultures of psychiatries in the 19th and 20th century, putting a special emphasis on a patient’s perspective.

Benoît Majerus is a historian. He is professor of European History at the Centre for Contemporary and Digital History at the University of Luxembourg. He has widely published on the history of psychiatry in the 19th and 20th century.

Catharine Coleborne is head of the School of Humanities and Social Science at the University of Newcastle, Australia, and is leading the “Futures of Madness Network”. She is an internationally recognised historian of health and medicine. In her research she has been exploring the social and cultural histories of mental illness and the institutions created to confine, treat and assist the mentally ill.

Bart Marius is a psychologist and art historian. He is artistic director at the Museum Dr. Guislain in Gent, Belgium, a museum on psychiatry. He co-curated the permanent display at the museum that opened in 2019, where historical documents are put side by side with contemporary art.

Louise Hide is a social historian of psychiatry and its institutions. She is a Wellcome Trust Fellow in Medical Humanities and based at Birkbeck, University of London. She has published on the histories of pain, delusions, and institutional cultures.

Marianna Scarfone is a historian based at the Departement for the History of Medicine at Straßbourg University. Her research focuses on the social and cultural history of psychiatry and mental health. She is co-responsible for the DFG-ANR project “Retrieving Alternatives: Pluralism in Practice in European Psychiatry, 1950-1980.”


Thursday, 25 March 2021

10.00 - 11.00 (CET)