Mad People's History

DST/CDST 503
Ryerson University, School of Disability Studies
Friday, 1 - 4 PM, East Kerr Hall, Room E118A
January 17 - April 25, 2003
Course Description

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) January 17: Introduction: Why History from the Perspectives of Mad People?
2) January 24: Folly and Fools, Mad People and Mad Houses: Madness from Ancient Times to Early First-Person Accounts during the 17th and 18th Centuries
3) January 31: The Rise of Public Insane Asylums and First-Person Accounts During the 19th Century
4) February 7: Gender, Sexual Orientation and First-Person Accounts of Madness
5) February 14: 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.
6) February 21: 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).
7) March 7: Ethical Dilemmas in Mad People's History: Abuse, Violence and Individual Responsibility - Guest Speaker: Jennifer Chambers, Empowerment Coordinator, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health will speak on advocacy issues and abuse.
8) March 14: Psychiatric Patients' Labour During the 19th and 20th Centuries - Film: "Working Like Crazy" (Skyworks, 1999)
9) March 21: Activism by Psychiatric Patients, Consumers and Survivors, 1845-2000. Guest Speaker: Mel Starkman, Archivist and Activist will speak on why his experiences as a psychiatric patient made him an activist.
10) March 28: Butterfly Wards and Soul Survivors: First Person Accounts of Madness in Canada since the 1970s
11) April 4: Making the Links: Media Madness, Popular Culture and Cross Disability Stigmatization
12) April 11: Drugs, Deinstitutionalization, and Mad People's History into the 21st Century
13) April 25: Final Exam

Course format: The course will be a combination of:

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

Course and Grade Assignments (see next page for more details):

1) Document Analysis (5 typed double-spaced pages) - Due in class, February 14 - 20%
2) In class mid-term 75 minute test (short answer questions and essay question) - March 7 - 20%
3) General History Essay or Local History Essay (10 typed double-spaced pages) - Due in class, April 11 - 25%
4) Final Exam - Friday, April 25 - 1-4 PM (short answer questions and essay questions) - 25%
5) Class Presentation, Overall Participation and Attendance - 10%

Late assignments will lose 1% per school day. Students are expected to use accepted forms of academic citation in the two typed assignments (numbers 1 and 3 above). Written assignments must be in a student's own words, except when making brief quotations from sources. Quotations must be clearly marked as such with proper documentation. Where plagiarism is proven, a student will be assigned a grade of "0". A style sheet will be handed out in class to help explain these points. Students requiring further advice are encouraged to consult the instructor.

Required Readings and contact information:

Course Reader: 406 pages from books and articles (at Ryerson Bookstore)
Occasional items handed out in class
Course Instructor: Geoffrey Reaume, Ph.D.
Office Hours: Friday, 12:00-1:00 PM, Sally H. Eaton Building, Room 576, School of Disability Studies Office (corner of Gerrard and Mutual Streets).
Contact information: Email - geoffrey.reaume@utoronto.ca
Phone: 416-324-8808

Course assignments:

1) Document analysis (5 typed double-spaced pages) 20% Based on documentary material to be handed out in class. Due in-class Friday, February 14, 2003. (To be returned to students at the end of the February 21st class.

2) In-class mid-term exam, Friday March 7 20% (to be returned to students at the end of the March 14th class)

3 A) General History Essay (10 typed doubled-spaced pages) 25% - Due in class, Friday, April 11. (To be returned to students at the end of the final exam). Essay topics will be handed out in class. Students who would like to go off the topic list must obtain permission from the course instructor.

OR

3 B) Local History Essay (10 typed doubled-spaced pages) 25% - Due in class, Friday, April 11 (To be returned to students at the end of the final exam). 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? Students will need to consult the instructor to obtain approval for a topic.

4) Final Exam - 25% - Friday April 25 - 1-4 PM - short answer questions; 2 essay questions

5) Class Presentation, Overall Participation and Attendance 10 % - Students will be asked to lead a class discussion based on readings from a particular week. This can include the participation of several students working together to present material.

Mad People's History
Ryerson University, DST/CDST 503
Winter 2003
Required Reading List
Geoffrey Reaume, Ph.D.
416-324-8808; geoffrey.reaume@utoronto.ca

Class 1 (January 17) Introduction: Why History from the Perspectives of Mad People?

Reading 1.
Peter Beresford, "What Have Madness and Psychiatric System Survivors Got to Do with Disability and Disability Studies? Disability & Society 15:1 (January, 2000): 167-172

(6 pages)

Class 2 (January 24) Folly and Fools, Mad People and Mad Houses: Madness from Ancient Times to Early First-Person Accounts during the 17th and 18th Centuries

Reading 2.
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.

Reading 3.
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 4.
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.

(43 pages)

Class 3 (January 31) The Rise of Public Insane Asylums and First-Person Accounts During the 19th Century

Reading 5.
Anonymous. "Illustrations of Insanity Furnished by the Letters and Writings of the Insane," American Journal of Insanity 4 (1848): 290-303.

Reading 6.
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.

Reading 7.
" Rules in 1875." From wysiwyg://226/http://198.164.154.3/~HeritageStJohn/LunaticAsylum (3 pages)

(32 pages)

Class 4 (February 7) Gender, Sexual Orientation and First-Person Accounts of Madness

Reading 8.
Elizabeth Packard, 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: 58-85.

Reading 9.
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 10.
Bonnie Burstow, "A History of Psychiatric Homophobia," Phoenix Rising: The Voice of the Psychiatrized 8:3&4 (July, 1990): S38-S39.

(39 pages)

Class 5 (February 14) Race, Colonialism and Class in Mad People's History

Reading 11.
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.

Reading 12.
Robert Menzies, "Race, Reason, and Regulation: British Columbia's Mass Exile of Chinese 'Lunatics' aboard the Empress of Russia, 9 February 1935", in Regulating Lives: Historical Essays on the State, Society, The Individual, and the Law. Eds., J.McLaren, R. Menzies, D. Chunn. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2002: 196-230.

Reading 13.
" Justice Delayed: Exonerated Inmate Freed After 69 Years in Asylum". The Windsor Star, February 1, 1996 (1 page).

(47 pages)

Class 6 (February 21) Eugenics and the Persecution of People Labeled "Mentally Defective" in Europe and North America, 1880-1972

Reading 14.
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.

Reading 15.
Deborah C. Park & John P. Radford, "From the Case Files: Reconstructing a History of Involuntary Sterilisation", Disability & Society 13:3 (1998): 317-342.

(29 pages)

Class 7 (March 7) Ethical Dilemmas in Mad People's History: Abuse, Violence and Individual Responsibility

Reading 16.
Geoffrey Reaume, "Accounts of Abuse of Patients at the Toronto Hospital for the Insane, 1883-1937", Canadian Bulletin of Medical History 14:1 (1997): 65-106.

(41 pages)

Class 8 (March 14) Psychiatric Patients' Labour During the 19th and 20th Centuries

Reading 17.
Advocacy Resource Centre for the Handicapped, "Will the Charter Change Sheltered Workshops?" Phoenix Rising: Voice of the Psychiatrized 5:2&3 (August, 1985): 31A-32A.

Reading 18.
Rita Bradden, "Working Abilities: My Story" in Kiss Me You Mad Fool: A Collection of Writing from Parkdale Activity and Recreation Centre (Toronto: Positive Print, 1991): 31-35.

(6 pages)

Class 9 (March 21) Activism by Psychiatric Patients, Consumers and Survivors, 1845-2000

Reading 19.
Philip R. Beard, "The Consumer Movement" in American Psychiatry After World War II (1944-1994) , eds. R.W. Menninger, J.C. Nemiah. Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Press, 2000: 299-320.

Reading 20.
Ronald Bassman. "Whose Reality Is It Anyway? Consumers/Survivors/Ex-Patients Can Speak for Themselves", Journal of Humanistic Psychology 41:4 (Fall, 2001): 11-35.

(45 pages)

Class 10 (March 28) Butterfly Wards and Soul Survivors: First Person Accounts of Madness in Canada since the 1970s

Reading 21.
Margaret Gibson, The Butterfly Ward. Toronto: Harper Collins, 1976, 1994: 148-167.

Reading 22.
" The Problems of Running a Boarding House" [no author cited], The Cuckoo's Nest 1:2 (December, 1979): 6-8.

Reading 23 [Drawing].
Bob Errett, "Welcome To Our World", The Cuckoo's Nest II 1:2 (January-February, 1983): 14.

Reading 24.
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. (28 pages)

Class 11 (April 4) Making the Links: Media Madness, Popular Culture and Cross Disability Stigmatization

Reading 25.
Otto F. Wahl, Media Madness: Public Images of Mental Illness (New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1995: 56-86.

Reading 26.
Tracy Odell, "Disability and Relationships." Canadian Woman Studies 13:4 (Summer, 1993): 56-58.

Reading 27.
Lynda Jacko, My Life Has Been A Gift from God. Guelph: Sharing to Learn, 1997: 4-12.

Reading 28.
Ravi Malhotra "Tracy Latimer, Disability Rights and the Left" Canadian Dimension (May-June, 2001): 23-25.

(45 pages)

Class 12 (April 11) Drugs, Deinstitutionalization, and Mad People's History into the 21st Century

Reading 29.
Freddy Bosco. "Down and Out on the Street", Psychiatric Services 47:8 (August, 1996): 806.

Reading 30.
Robert Whitaker, Mad in America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine, and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill. Cambridge Ma: Perseus Publishing, 2001: 161-193.

Reading 31.
Peter Beresford & Anne Wilson, "Genes Spell Danger: Mental Health Service Users/Survivors, Bioethics and Control, Disability and Society 17:5 (August, 2002): 541-553.

(45 pages)

(406 pages in reader)