This book is the first to explore memory, misremembering, forgetting, and anniversaries in the history of psychiatry and mental health. It challenges simplistic representations of the callous nature of mental health care in the past, while at the same time eschewing a celebratory and uncritical marking of anniversaries and individuals. Asking critical questions of the early Whiggish histories of mental health care, the book problematises the idea of a shared professional and institutional history, and the abiding faith placed in the reform of medicine, administration, and even patients. It contends that much post-1800 legislation drafted to ensure reform, acted to preserve beliefs about the ‘bad old days’ and a ‘brighter future’ in the state memories of imperial powers, which in turn exported these notions around the world. Conversely, the collection demonstrates the variety of remembering and forgetting, building on recent interest in the ideological and cultural linkages between past and present in international psychiatric practice. In this way, it seeks to trace the pathways of memory, exploring the direction of travel, and the perpetuation, remodeling, and uprooting of recollection.
Chapter 3 is available open access under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License via link.springer.com.
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