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Mad with Freedom - The Political Economy of Blackness, Insanity, and Civil Rights in the U.S. South, 1840–1940

  • Innbundet

  • 2022

  • Engelsk

The use of race in studies of insanity in the 1840s and 1850s gave rise to politically charged theories on the differential biology and pathologies of brains in whites and Blacks. In Mad with Freedom, Élodie Edwards-Grossi explores the largely unknown social history of these racialized theories on insanity in the segregated South. She unites an institutional history of psychiatric spaces in the South that housed Black patients with an intellectual history of early psychiatric theories that defined the Black body as a locus for specific pathologies. Edwards-Grossi also reveals the subtle, localized techniques of resistance later employed by Black patients to confront medical power. Her work shows the continuous politicization of science and theories on insanity in the context of Reconstruction and the Jim Crow South.

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