The Routledge History of Madness and Mental Health  book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge History of Madness and Mental Health

Edited By

Greg Eghigian

ISBN 9781138781603
Published April 17, 2017 by Routledge
404 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $250.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

The Routledge History of Madness and Mental Health explores the history and historiography of madness from the ancient and medieval worlds to the present day. Global in scope, it includes case studies from Africa, Asia, and South America as well as Europe and North America, drawing together the latest scholarship and source material in this growing field and allowing for fresh comparisons to be made across time and space.

Thematically organised and written by leading academics, chapters discuss broad topics such as the representation of madness in literature and the visual arts, the material culture of madness, the perpetual difficulty of creating a classification system for madness and mental health, madness within life histories, the increased globalisation of knowledge and treatment practices, and the persistence of spiritual and supernatural conceptualisations of experiences associated with madness. This volume also examines the challenges involved in analysing primary sources in this area and how key themes such as class, gender, and race have influenced the treatment and diagnosis of madness throughout history.

Chronologically and geographically wide-ranging, and providing a fascinating overview of the current state of the field, this is essential reading for all students of the history of madness, mental health, psychiatry, and medicine.

Table of Contents

List of figures

List of contributors

Introduction to the history of madness and mental health

Greg Eghigian

Part I. Madness in the ancient and medieval worlds

1. Representations of madmen and madness in Jewish sources from the pre-exilic to the

Roman-Byzantine period

Madalina Vartejanu-Joubert

2. Ancient Greek and Roman traditions

Chiara Thumiger

3. Madness in the Middle Ages

Claire Trenery and Peregrine Horden

Part II. Professions, institutions, and tools

4. Healers and healing in the early modern health care market

Elizabeth Mellyn

5. The asylum, hospital, and clinic

Andrew Scull

6. The epistemology and classification of 'madness' since the eighteenth century

German E. Berrios and Ivana Marková

Part III. Beyond medicine

7. Psychiatry and religion

Rhodri Hayward

8. Madness in Western literature and the arts

Ilya Vinitsky

9. Psychiatry and its visual culture, c. 1800–1960

Andreas Killen

Part IV. Global dimensions, colonial and post-colonial settings

10. Madness and psychiatry in Latin America’s long nineteenth century

Manuella Meyer

11. Histories of madness in South Asia

Waltraud Ernst

12. Mad Africa

Sally Swartz

13. Voices of madness in Japan: narrative devices at the psychiatric bedside and in

modern literature

Akihito Suzuki

Part V. Perspectives and experiences

14. The straightjacket, the bed, and the pill: material culture and madness


View More



Greg Eghigian is Associate Professor of Modern History at Penn State University. His most recent book is The Corrigible and the Incorrigible: Science, Medicine, and the Convict in Twentieth-Century Germany (2015). He is presently writing a book on the history of the UFO phenomenon.


"This wide-ranging collection examines the history of madness and mental illness from antiquity to contemporary pharmacology, broadening our understanding both geographically and chronologically. The authors attend carefully to the specificity of each historical context with interdisciplinary approaches that draw on the history of medicine, anthropology, emotion, law, sociology, everyday life, literature, philosophy, and religion. These accessible essays provide a valuable perspective on the lived experience of mental disorder and its interpretation relevant to scholars and students in the field and beyond."

Dana Rabin, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA


" (...) The Routledge History of Madness and Mental Health remains an impressive and valuable contribution to the history of madness. It has established a new benchmark that will no doubt inspire future researchers in a number of different areas of study."

Michael Rembis, University at Buffalo (SUNY)

"It is an excellent colleciton of essays, woven together expertly by Eghigian's introduction, which traces the history of psyhiatry and adjacent fields through their different lineages, and draws out lient themes."

James Dunk, Health & History