Mad People's History

CDST 503, Room L194, 350 Victoria Street
Ryerson Polytechnic University
Tuesday and Thursday, 6:30 PM
May 7 - June 25, 2002

Course Description

This course will provide an overview of the history of madness from the point of view of people who were, and are, deemed mad from ancient times to the present. The term "mad-people" refers to any person who was considered insane, or seriously mentally disturbed, by their contemporaries. This includes people who were confined in institutions and people who remained in the community. Different terms throughout history, like "mad people," will be discussed for what it says about the individuals who used this language, and about the people these terms are meant to describe. Accounts by mad-people will be examined from a variety of sources, primarily in the form of written narratives. There will also be references to first-person perspectives of madness in paintings, theatre, films and poetry. Gender, race, class and ability will be discussed throughout the course, with one week devoted to an overview of how these factors have influenced first-person accounts. The purpose of this course is to place the diverse perspectives of people who have been diagnosed as mad, insane or mentally ill as being of central importance in the history of psychiatry and to address the question: how has madness been viewed by mad-people over the centuries?

1) May 7: Introduction: Why History from the Perspectives of Mad People?
2) May 9: Folly and Fools: Madness in the Ancient and Medieval Worlds
3) May 14: Mad People and Mad Houses: Early First-Person Accounts, 17th and 18th Centuries
4) May 16: The Rise of Public Insane Asylums and First-Person Accounts During the 19th Century
5) May 21: Gender and Disability in First-Person Accounts of Madness
6) May 23: Race, Colonialism and Class in Mad People's History - Guest Speaker: Caroline Fei-Yeng Kwok, author of "The Tormented Mind: A True Story of Manic Depression" (2000) will speak on cultural barriers and her personal experience with mental health services.
7) May 28: Eugenics and the Persecution of People Labeled 'Mentally Defective' in Europe and North America, 1880-1972 - Film: "The Sterilization of Leilani Muir" (NFB, 1996) or "Selling Murder: The Killing Films of the Third Reich" (Britain, 1992).
8) May 30: Psychiatric Patients' Labour During the 19th and 20th Centuries - Film: "Working Like Crazy" (Skyworks, 1999)
9) June 4: Psychiatric Patients' Activism, 1845-2000 - Guest Speaker: Don Weitz, co-editor of "Shrink Resistant: The Struggle Against Psychiatry in Canada" (1988) will speak on the early history of ex-patients' activism in Ontario during the late 1970s, early 1980s
10) June 6: Butterfly Wards and Soul Survivors: First Person Accounts of Madness in Canada since the 1970s
11) June 11: Artistic Expression and the Troubled Mind - Guest Theatre Performance: Friendly Spike Theatre Band will present an excerpt from their new play, "The Girls of Grandview" 12) June 13: Making the Links: Media Madness, Popular Culture and Cross Disability Stigmatization - Students are encouraged to look for examples of stories or images in the popular media about mental illness, madness and/or disability during this course to bring to this class to discuss.
13) June 18: Drugs, Deinstitutionalization, and Mad People's History into the 21st Century
14) June 25: Final Exam. (Location to be announced).

Course format: The course will be a combination of:

1) Lecture.
2) Seminars to discuss the readings.
3) In-class presentations, guest speakers, theatre performance, films.

Course Assignments (see next page for more details):

1) Document Analysis - Due in class, May 30 - 30%
2) Book Analysis OR Local History Essay - Due in class, June 18 - 30%
3) Final Exam - June 25, 2002 - 3 hours - 1 multiple choice; 2 essay questions - 30%
4) Class Presentation, Overall Participation and Attendance - 10%

Late assignments will lose 1% per school day, not including weekends. Students are expected to use accepted forms of academic citation in the two typed assignments (numbers 1 and 2 above).

Required Readings and contact information:

Course Reader: 320 pages from books and artilces (at Ryerson Bookstore)
Occasional items handed out in class
Course Instructor: Geoffrey Reaume, Ph.D.
Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday, 4:30-6:30 PM, School of Disability Studies, Room L163D
Contact information: Email - geoffrey.reaume@utoronto.ca
Phone: 416-324-8808

Course assignments:

1) Document analysis (4-5 pages) 30% Based on documentary material to be handed out in class.
Due in-class Thursday, May 30, 2002. (To be returned to students at the June 4 class.)

Choose EITHER 2A or 2B.(To be returned to students at the end of the June 25 final exam.)

2 A) Book Analysis (4-5 typed double-spaced pages) 30% - Due in class, Tuesday, June 18, 2002

In consultation with the course instructor, choose a book, or anthology, authored by someone considered mad or mentally ill. This can include a narrative work, poetry, drama or memoir. Your book analysis should be more than a review of the book's contents. Place the author's work in the historical context of the time that it was created. Why was this work written the way it was, when it was? What was happening in the history of madness at the time that may have influenced the author? What does the work say about the history of madness based on the author's background (such as a person's gender, race, class, sexual orientation and/or disability)?

OR

2 B) Local History Essay (4-5 typed doubled-spaced pages) 30% - Due in class, Tuesday, June 18, 2002

Choose a place in or around Toronto and discuss the importance of this place to the history of madness in our community. This can be an institution, a work place, drop-in centre, shelter, social service agency, religious charity, designated heritage site. State its historical importance in the history of madness, note who has used this facility in the past, what is it used for today, and consider what the future of this place might be. Also ask: what contributions have people with mental health problems made to the history of this particular place?

3) Final Exam - 30% - June 25, 2002 - 3 hours - 1 multiple choice; 2 essay questions

4) Class Presentation, Overall Participation and Attendance 10 % -
Students will be asked to lead a discussion related to a theme from a particular week. For example: Discuss in class what it was like to be a woman in an asylum during the 19th century. Pretend to be one of the people whose first-person accounts are in the reader - what would you talk about? What would you do if your letters to the outside world were censored? If you were making a movie or play about one particular class's theme in mad people's history how would you portray this topic and why? What work of which artist in mad people's history speaks to you and why?

Mad People's History
Ryerson University, CDST 503
May 7- June 25, 2002
Room L194, 350 Victoria Street
Required Reading List
Geoffrey Reaume, Ph.D.
416-324-8808; geoffrey.reaume@utoronto.ca

Class 1 (May 7) Introduction: Why History from the Perspectives of Mad People?

No readings.

Class 2 (May 9) Folly and Fools: Madness in the Ancient and Medieval Worlds

Reading 1.
Margery Kempe, "The Book of Margery Kempe", in Dale Peterson, ed. A Mad People's History of Madness. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1982: 3-18.
(16 pages)

Class 3 (May 14) Mad People and Mad Houses: Early First-Person Accounts, 17th and 18th Centuries

Reading 2.
Hannah Allen, "A Narrative of God's Gracious Dealings With That Choice Christian Mrs.Hannah Allen, 1683," in Voices of Madness: Four Pamphlets, 1683-1796. Ed. Allan Ingram. Gloucestershire: Sutton Publishing, 1997: 1-21.

Reading 3.
William Belcher, "Address to Humanity: Containing, a Letter to Dr. Thomas Monro: A Receipt to Make a Lunatic, and Seize his Estate; and a Sketch of a True Smiling Hyena, 1796" in Voices of Madness: Four Pamphlets, 1683-1796. Ed. Allan Ingram. Gloucestershire: Sutton Publishing, 1997: 129-135.

(27 pages)

Class 4 (May 16) The Rise of Public Insane Asylums and First-Person Accounts During the 19th Century

Reading 4.
Anonymous. "Illustrations of Insanity Furnished by the Letters and Writings of the Insane," American Journal of Insanity 4 (1848): 290-303.

Reading 5.
Anonymous. "Five Months in the New York State Lunatic Asylum", 1849, in Dale Peterson, ed. A Mad People's History of Madness. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1982: 108-122.

(28 pages)

Class 5 (May 21) Gender and Disability in First-Person Accounts of Madness

Reading 6.
Sophie Olsen and Tirzah Shedd in Women of the Asylum: Voices from Behind the Walls,1840-1945. Eds., Jeffrey L. Geller and Maxine Harris. New York: Anchor Books, 1994: 69-85.

Reading 7.
Lykke de la Cour, "'She thinks this is the Queen's castle': Women Patients' Perceptions of an Ontario Psychiatric Hospital," Health & Place 3:2 (June, 1997): 131-141.

Reading 8.
Steven Noll, "Patient Records as Historical Stories: The Case of the Caswell Training School,"Bulletin of the History of Medicine 68:3 (Fall, 1994): 411-428.

(43 pages)

Class 6 (May 23) Race, Colonialism and Class in Mad People's History

Reading 9.
Jonathan Sadowsky, "The Confinement of Isaac O.: A Case of 'Acute Mania' in Colonial Nigeria," in History of Psychiatry 7:1 (March, 1996): 91-112.

Reading 10.
Suman Fernando, "Imperialism, Racism and Psychiatry", in The Construction of Power and Authority in Psychiatry , eds. Phil Barker and Chris Stevenson. Oxford: Butterworth Heinemann, 2000: 81-93.

(33 pages)

Class 7 (May 28) Eugenics and the Persecution of People Labeled "Mentally Defective" in Europe and North America, 1880-1972

Reading 11.
Michael Burleigh, "Psychiatry, German Society and the Nazi 'Euthanasia' Programme,"Social History of Medicine 7:2 (August, 1994): 213-228.

Reading 12.
Richard Cairney, "'Democracy was never intended for degenerates': Alberta's Flirtation with Eugenics Comes back to Haunt it," Canadian Medical Association Journal 155:6 (September 15, 1996): 789-792.

(19 pages)

Class 8 (May 30) Psychiatric Patients' Labour During the 19th and 20th Centuries

No readings.

Class 9 (June 4) Psychiatric Patients' Activism, 1845-2000

Reading 13.
Elizabeth Packard in Women of the Asylum: Voices from Behind the Walls,1840-1945. Eds., Jeffrey L. Geller and Maxine Harris. New York: Anchor Books, 1994: 58-68.

Reading 14.
Judi Chamberlin, "The Ex-Patients' Movement: Where We've Been and Where We're Going," The Journal of Mind and Behavior Summer/Autumn, 1990: 323-336.

(23 pages)

Class 10 (June 6) Butterfly Wards and Soul Survivors: First Person Accounts of Madness in Canada since the 1970s

Reading 15.
Margaret Gibson, The Butterfly Ward. Toronto: Harper Collins, 1976, 1994: 148-167.

Reading 16.
Vern Harper, "Them Crazy Indians" in Bonnie Burstow & Don Weitz, eds.Shrink Resistant: The Struggle Against Psychiatry in Canada. Vancouver: New Star Books, 1988: 121-125.

(24 pages)

Class 11 (June 11) Artistic Expression and the Troubled Mind

Reading 17.
L.C. G. "Eastertide." [A patient at the Hospital for the Insane, Brockville, Ontario] Bulletin of the Ontario Hospitals for the Insane 6:3 (April, 1913): 177-178.

Reading 18.
Sander Gilman, Disease and Representation: Images of Illness from Madness to AIDS. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1988: 98-126.

(30 pages)

Class 12 (June 13) Making the Links: Media Madness, Popular Culture and Cross Disability Stigmatization

Reading 19.
Otto F. Wahl, Media Madness: Public Images of Mental Illness (New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1995: 56-86.

Reading 20.
Tracy Odell, "Disability and Relationships." Canadian Woman Studies 13:4 (Summer, 1993): 56-58.

Reading 21.
Lynda Jacko, My Life Has Been A Gift from God. Guelph: Sharing to Learn, 1997: 4-12.

Reading 22.
Ravi Malhotra "Tracy Latimer, Disability Rights and the Left" Canadian Dimension (May-June, 2001): 23-25.

(45 pages)

Class 13 (June 18) Drugs, Deinstitutionalization, and Mad People's History into the 21st Century

Reading 23.
Robert Whitaker, Mad in American: Bad Science, Bad Medicine, and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill. Cambridge Ma: Perseus Publishing, 2001: 161-193.

(32 pages)

320 pages from books and articles are in the reader