Introduction: ‘Lunatic Immigrants’

  • Jennifer S. Kain
Part of the Mental Health in Historical Perspective book series (MHHP)


The Introduction surveys the current literature on migration and mental illness, and the policy and practice of medico-legal border controls. In doing so, it positions this book as going ‘beyond the asylum’ in its approach; taking a bureaucratic view of the attempts to exclude insane immigrants using a broad archival knowledge base. Considering border control from a number of vantage points: policymakers, migrant recruiters, medical reformers, port officials, shipping operators and the migrants themselves, provides the main research theme running through this book—the evolving attempts to measure and exclude the ‘transient insane’.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer S. Kain
    • 1
  1. 1.School of History, Classics and ArchaeologyNewcastle UniversityNewcastle upon TyneUK

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