Three articles that are part of a forthcoming special at the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences are now available online. Details below.
“Between drift and confinement: What can the study of “lunatics” in Hong Kong contribute to the historiography mental health in East Asia?,” Harry Yi-Jui Wu. Abstract:
In this essay, the author reflects on his past and current research in transnational history psychiatry and the history of lunatics in Hong Kong, attempting to develop an alternative narrative in the unique free port between the East and the West concerning the conventional colonial historiography of psychiatry. He emphasizes that, in Hong Kong, the historiography of psychiatry should broaden its focus and not limited to the role of mental asylums, for modern psychiatry was almost absent in Britain’s crown colony until the end of World War II, and custodial care for lunatics was only one temporary measure in a much broader network of patient repatriation. The grand project was designed not for the well-being of the mentally ill but the smooth operation of the international commercial port. In addition, the post-war institutionalization of psychiatry, including the expansion of hospitals and the creation of the psychiatric specialty in Hong Kong, did not improve the mental health of Hong Kong residents. The author argues that this is because the rapid development of modern psychiatry in the former British colony overlooked the social determinants of mental suffering. A historical understanding of psychiatry in Hong Kong is helpful to address such ignorance.
“Battling coronavirus and mental illness in South Korea,” Theodore Jun Yoo. No abstract.
“Of visceral/somatic practices in healing,” Li Zhang. No abstract.