Feminist icon Phyllis Chesler's pioneering work, Women and Madness, remains startlingly relevant today, nearly 50 years since its first publication in 1972. With over 2.5 million copies sold, this seminal book is unanimously regarded as the definitive work on the subject of women's psychology. Now back in print this completely revised and updated edition from 2005 adds to her original research and findings perspectives on the issues of eating disorders, postpartum depression, biological psychology, important feminist political findings, female genital mutilation and more.
Author: Elaine Showalter
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Release Date: 1998
Showalter takes on the history of mass cultural hysteria, from witch hunts to mesmerism, and discusses today's versions--ranging from chronic fatigue or Gulf War Syndrome to recovered memories--and the attendant publicity.
The phenomenon of false allegations of mental illness is as old as our first interactions as human beings. Every one of us has described some other person as crazy or insane, and most all of us have had periods, moments at least, of madness. But it took the confluence of the law and medical science, mad-doctors, alienists, priests and barristers, to raise the matter to a level of “science, capable of being used by conniving relatives, “designing families and scheming neighbors to destroy people who found themselves in the way, people whose removal could provide their survivors with money or property or other less frivolous benefits. Girl Interrupted in only a recent example. And reversing this sort of diagnosis and incarceration became increasingly more difficult, as even the most temperate attempt to leave these “homes or “hospitals was deemed “crazy. Kept in a madhouse, one became a little mad, as Jack Nicholson and Ken Kesey explain in One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest. In this sadly terrifying, emotionally moving, and occasionally hilarious book, twelve cases of contested lunacy are offered as examples of the shifting arguments regarding what constituted sanity and insanity. They offer unique insight into the fears of sexuality, inherited madness, greed and fraud, until public feeling shifted and turned against the rising alienists who would challenge liberty and freedom of people who were perhaps simply “difficult, but were turned into victims of this unscrupulous trade. This fascinating book is filled with stories almost impossible to believe but wildly engaging, a book one will not soon forget.
Author: Jane Professor Ussher
Release Date: 2011-03-28
Nominated for the 2012 Distinguished Publication Award of the Association for Women in Psychology! Why are women more likely to be positioned or diagnosed as mad than men? If madness is a social construction, a gendered label, as many feminist critics would argue, how can we understand and explain women's prolonged misery and distress? In turn, can we prevent or treat women’s distress, in a non-pathologising women centred way? The Madness of Women addresses these questions through a rigorous exploration of the myths and realities of women's madness. Drawing on academic and clinical experience, including case studies and in-depth interviews, as well as on the now extensive critical literature in the field of mental health, Jane Ussher presents a critical multifactorial analysis of women's madness that both addresses the notion that madness is a myth, and yet acknowledges the reality and multiple causes of women's distress. Topics include: The genealogy of women’s madness – incarceration of difficult or deviant women Regulation through treatment Deconstrucing depression, PMS and borderline personality disorder Madness as a reasonable response to objectification and sexual violence Women’s narratives of resistance This book will be of great interest to students and scholars of psychology, gender studies, sociology, women's studies, cultural studies, counselling and nursing.
Presents a collection of fiction, memoirs, letters, and other writings on mental illness by American and British authors, including works by Dorothea Dix, Margery Kempe, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Sylvia Plath, Zelda Fitgerald, Kate Millett, Linda Gray Sexton, and others. Reprint. 15,000 first printing.
When first published in 1982, A LITERATURE OF THEIR OWN quickly set the stage for the creative explosion of feminist literary studies that transformed the field in the 1980s. Launching a major new area for literary investigation, the book uncovered the long but neglected tradition of women writers and the development of their fiction from the 1800s onwards. It includes assessments of famous writers such as the Brontës, George Eliot, Virginia Woolf, Margaret Drabble and Doris Lessing, but also presents critical appraisals of Mary Braddon, Rhoda Broughton and Sarah Grand - to name but a few of those prolific and successful Victorian novelists - once household names, now largely forgotten. This edition, revised and expanded in 1997, contains an introductory chapter surveying the book's reception as well as a postscript chapter celebrating the legacy of feminism and feminist criticism in the efflorescence of contemporary British fiction by women.
Author: Richard C. Keller
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release Date: 2008-09-15
Nineteenth-century French writers and travelers imagined Muslim colonies in North Africa to be realms of savage violence, lurid sexuality, and primitive madness. Colonial Madness traces the genealogy and development of this idea from the beginnings of colonial expansion to the present, revealing the ways in which psychiatry has been at once a weapon in the arsenal of colonial racism, an innovative branch of medical science, and a mechanism for negotiating the meaning of difference for republican citizenship. Drawing from extensive archival research and fieldwork in France and North Africa, Richard Keller offers much more than a history of colonial psychology. Colonial Madness explores the notion of what French thinkers saw as an inherent mental, intellectual, and behavioral rift marked by the Mediterranean, as well as the idea of the colonies as an experimental space freed from the limitations of metropolitan society and reason. These ideas have modern relevance, Keller argues, reflected in French thought about race and debates over immigration and France’s postcolonial legacy.
Madness: A History is a thorough and accessible account of madness from antiquity to modern times, offering a large-scale yet nuanced picture of mental illness and its varieties in western civilization. The book opens by considering perceptions and experiences of madness starting in Biblical times, Ancient history and Hippocratic medicine to the Age of Enlightenment, before moving on to developments from the late 18th century to the late 20th century and the Cold War era. Petteri Pietikäinen looks at issues such as 18th century asylums, the rise of psychiatry, the history of diagnoses, the experiences of mental health patients, the emergence of neuroses, the impact of eugenics, the development of different treatments, and the late 20th century emergence of anti-psychiatry and the modern malaise of the worried well. The book examines the history of madness at the different levels of micro-, meso- and macro: the social and cultural forces shaping the medical and lay perspectives on madness, the invention and development of diagnoses as well as the theories and treatment methods by physicians, and the patient experiences inside and outside of the mental institution. Drawing extensively from primary records written by psychiatrists and accounts by mental health patients themselves, it also gives readers a thorough grounding in the secondary literature addressing the history of madness. An essential read for all students of the history of mental illness, medicine and society more broadly.
Author: Lisa Appignanesi
Publisher: Hachette UK
Release Date: 2011-10-06
Mad, bad and sad. From the depression suffered by Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath to the mental anguish and addictions of iconic beauties Zelda Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe. From Freud and Jung and the radical breakthroughs of psychoanalysis to Lacan's construction of a modern movement and the new women-centred therapies. This is the story of how we have understood mental disorders and extreme states of mind in women over the last two hundred years and how we conceive of them today, when more and more of our inner life and emotions have become a matter for medics and therapists.
Author: Andrew Scull
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2011-10-13
The story of hysteria is a curious one, for it persists as an illness for centuries before disappearing. Andrew Scull gives a fascinating account of this socially constructed disease that came to be strongly associated with women, showing the shifts in social, cultural, and medical perceptions through history.