Documenting insanity: Paperwork and patient narratives in psychiatric history

A new article in History of the Human Sciences may interest AHP readers: “Documenting insanity: Paperwork and patient narratives in psychiatric history,” Liana Glew. Abstract:

Paperwork plays a key role in a how institutions accommodate, refuse, or manage disabled people. This article develops modes for reading paperwork that build on each other, beginning with (a) recognizing the institutional pressures at work in shaping bureaucratic practices, then (b) considering how a person’s relationship to disability influences how they might encounter these practices, and ultimately (c) noticing how the encounter between disabled/mad people and an institution might create something new, what the author calls archival excess. These methods for reading are in conversation with disability studies, medical humanities, and document studies, and ultimately work toward a goal adapted from the principles of Disability Justice: recognizing the wholeness of disabled subjects in institutional archives.

About Jacy Young

Jacy Young is a professor at Quest University Canada. A critical feminist psychologist and historian of psychology, she is committed to critical pedagogy and public engagement with feminist psychology and the history of the discipline.