Advertisement

The Asylum and Its Afterlife

  • Catharine ColeborneEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Mental Health in Historical Perspective book series (MHHP)

Abstract

This chapter explains the asylum as a place that created meaning for people and communities. It shows the transition from the world of institution as a space for confinement to the era of post-institutional experiences of late twentieth-century mental health. The asylums of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries loomed large in the imaginations and on the landscapes of towns, cities and the countryside. Memories of these places, and the shadows they cast over communities, tell us much about our present understanding of mental health as being shaped by the institution and its practices over time. The chapter takes up ideas about how communities remember and memorialise madness as well as the spaces and material remains of the asylum.

Keywords

Asylum spaces Memory Place Post-institutional Museums Outsider art Deinstitutionalised landscapes 

Suggested Readings

  1. Besley, Joanna, and Carol Low. 2010. Hurting and healing: Reflections on representing experiences of mental illness in museums. In Re-presenting disability: Activism and agency in the museum, eds Richard Sandell, Jocelyn Dodd, and Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, 130–142. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  2. Besley, Joanna, and Mark Finnane. 2011. Remembering Goodna: Stories from a Queensland mental hospital. In Exhibiting madness in museums: Remembering psychiatry through collections and display, eds Coleborne and MacKinnon, 116–136. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. Burge, Roslyn. 2015. Callan Park in transition. In Deinstitutionalisation and after: Post-war psychiatry in the Western world, eds Despo Kritsotaki, Vicky Long, and Matthew Smith, 57–74. Basingstoke: Palgrave.Google Scholar
  4. Coleborne, Catharine. 2001. Exhibiting “madness”: Material culture and the asylum. Health and History 3 (2): 104–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Coleborne, Catharine. 2003. Remembering psychiatry’s past: The psychiatric collection and its display at Porirua Hospital Museum, New Zealand. Journal of Material Culture 8 (1): 99–119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Coleborne, Catharine. 2011. Collecting psychiatry’s past: Collectors and their collections of psychiatric objects in Western histories. In Exhibiting madness in museums: Remembering psychiatry through collections and display, eds Catharine Coleborne and Dolly MacKinnon, 15–29. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  7. Coleborne, Catharine. 2014. Mental health and the museum: Institutional spaces for memories and interaction. Forum: Museums and Mental Health 2: 162–166.Google Scholar
  8. Coleborne, Catharine. 2017. An end to Bedlam? The enduring subject of madness in social and cultural history. Social History 42 (3): 420–429.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Coleborne, Catharine, and Dolly MacKinnon, eds. 2011. Exhibiting madness in museums: Remembering psychiatry through collections and display. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  10. Dyck, Erika, and Alex Deighton. 2017. Managing madness: Weyburn Mental Hospital and the transformation of psychiatric care in Canada. Winnipeg, Canada: University of Manitoba Press.Google Scholar
  11. Goffman, Erving. 1961. Asylums: Essays on the social situation of mental patients and other inmates. New York: Anchor Books.Google Scholar
  12. Goodwin, Clare. 2004. Shadows and silence. Wellington, NZ: Steele Roberts.Google Scholar
  13. Kavanagh, Gaynor. 2000. Dream spaces: Memory and the museum. London and New York: Leicester University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Kritsotaki, Despo, Vicky Long, and Matthew Smith, eds. 2016. Deinstitutionalisation and after: Post-war psychiatry in the Western world. Basingstoke: Palgrave.Google Scholar
  15. Kuglitsch, Linnea. 2018. “Kindly hearts and tender hands”: Exploring the asylum and patient narratives through the archaeological record. Society for the Social History of Medicine Conference, Liverpool, UK, 11–13 July.Google Scholar
  16. Lambert, Stephanie. 2012. Remembering Tokanui: Collaborative approaches to history. In Changing times, changing places: From Tokanui hospital to mental health services in the Waikato, 1910–2012, eds Catharine Coleborne and the Waikato Mental Health Group, 225–236. Hamilton, New Zealand: Half Court Press.Google Scholar
  17. McGeachan, Cheryl. 2017. ‘The Head Carver’: Art extraordinary and the small spaces of asylum. History of Psychiatry 28 (1): 58–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Osborne, Ray. 2003. Asylums as cultural heritage: The challenges of adaptive re-use. In Madness in Australia: Histories, heritage and the asylum, eds Catharine Coleborne and Dolly MacKinnon, 217–227. St Lucia, Brisbane: University of Queensland Press.Google Scholar
  19. Paisley, Fiona. 2009. Peeling back history: The remembering Goodna exhibition. Australian asylums and their histories, special issue. Health and History 11 (1): 172–178.Google Scholar
  20. Parr, Hester, and Chris Philo. 1996. “A forbidding fortress of locks, bars and padded cells”: The locational history of mental health care in Nottingham. Historical Geography Research Series No. 32. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Robson, Belinda. 1999. A history of the Cunningham Dax Collection of ‘psychiatric art’: From art therapy to public education. Health and History 1 (4): 330–346.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Robson, Belinda. 2003. Preserving psychiatry through art: Historical perspectives on the Cunningham Dax Collection of psychiatric art. In Madness in Australia: Histories, heritage and the asylum, eds Catharine Coleborne and Dolly MacKinnon, 195–205. St Lucia: University of Queensland Press.Google Scholar
  23. Sacks, Oliver. 2019 [2009]. The lost virtues of the asylum. In Everything in its place, 184–200. New York: Knopf; London: Picador.Google Scholar
  24. Scull, Andrew. 1979. Museums of madness: The social organization of insanity in nineteenth century England. Middlesex: Penguin.Google Scholar
  25. Scull, Andrew. 1993. The most solitary of afflictions: Madness and society in Britain, 1700–1900. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Scull, Andrew. 1996. Asylums: Utopias and realities. In Asylum in the community, eds Dylan Tomlinson and John Carrier, 7–17. London and New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Scull, Andrew. 2015. Madness in civilization: A cultural history of insanity, from the bible to Freud, from the madhouse to modern medicine. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Taylor, Barbara. 2015 [2014]. The last asylum: A memoir of madness in our times. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Wallcraft, Jan. 1996. Some models of asylum and help in times of crisis. In Asylum in the community, eds Dylan Tomlinson and John Carrier, 186–206. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  30. Willis, Elizabeth with Karen Twigg. 1994. Behind closed doors: A catalogue of artefacts from Victorian psychiatric institutions held at the Museum of Victoria. Melbourne: Museum Victoria.Google Scholar
  31. Wellcome Collection. September 2016–January 2017. Bedlam: The asylum and beyond. https://wellcomecollection.org/exhibitions/W31tsSkAACkAP5p8. Accessed 31 July 2019.
  32. Madlove: A designer asylum at Wellcome Collection’s Bedlam: Asylum and beyond exhibition. 2017. http://www.madlove.org.uk/portfolio/bedlam. Accessed 31 July 2019.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Humanities and Social ScienceUniversity of NewcastleCallaghanAustralia

Personalised recommendations