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Madness in Civilisation: A Cultural History of Insanity

Friday 27 March 2015

1 Hour


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One of the world’s best known historians of psychiatry Professor Andrew Scull looks at the history of insanity and how societies through the ages have tried to explain it and deal with it. Scull ranges from the Bible to Sigmund Freud, from exorcism to mesmerism and from Bedlam to Victorian asylums in his exploration of the various forms of madness and our ways of dealing with it. He also looks at the profound impact madness has had on the arts and how it has haunted the imaginations of artists and writers.

Scull is professor of sociology and science studies at the University of California, San Diego. His other books include Hysteria: The Disturbing History; Madhouse: A Tragic Tale of Megalomania and Modern Medicine; and Masters of Bedlam: The Transformation of the Mad-Doctoring Trade.

Supported by Ian and Carol Sellars.