CFP: Representing Mental Illness in the Arts & Sciences (3/9/07; 10/11/07-10/12/07)

full name / name of organization: 
Roberta Mock
contact email: 

Call for Papers: Journeys into Madness Conference

Journeys into Madness: Representing Mental Illness in the Arts and
Sciences, 1850-1930

A Two-Day Conference organised by the University of Plymouth (U.K.)
to be held at the Wellcome Trust, London on 11 and 12 October 2007

In recent years, the territory of mental illness has been re-mapped.
In the Sciences, mental life and behaviour are linked to the workings of the
brain and the body's neurochemistry. In the Arts, creative genius and
madness are interwoven by the belief that mental illness can provide a
unique world view. These discursive constructions often fail to place mental
illness into larger social, cultural, and historical landscapes. By focusing
on the representation of mental illness across disciplines, this conference
intends to re-think the divide between scientific and aesthetic approaches.
This event will bring together scholars from a wide range of disciplines
such as art history, medical history, music, film, psychiatry, literature
and intellectual history. The focus will be on Europe, but papers
considering exchanges between Europe and other continents are also welcomed.
We hope to initiate a dialogue that reconstructs some of the ideological
fabric in which mental illness was embedded from 1850 to 1930.

Possible topics include, but are not restricted to:

        a.. Mental illness as a representational strategy
        b.. The new medium of photography
        c.. The production, distribution, and consumption of art by the
mentally ill
        d.. Early discussions of the therapeutic value of art
        e.. Gender and psychiatry
        f.. Psychiatric utopias in space and time
        g.. The "Nervous Age"
        h.. The architecture and culture of sanatoria
        i.. Asylum versus university psychiatry
        j.. Psychiatry and the modern subject
        k.. Re-thinking the Freudian contribution to modernism
        l.. Contemporary artists' encounters with art of the mentally ill
and psychiatric spaces

This conference emerges from the research project "Madness and
Modernity: Architecture, Art and Mental Illness in Vienna and the Habsburg
Empire, 1890-1914," which is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research
Council (AHRC).

We invite abstracts of 200 words to be forwarded electronically to
Dr Gemma Blackshaw: <>
Dr Sabine Weiber: <>

The Deadline for Abstract Submissions is 9 March 2007

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Received on Sat Feb 24 2007 - 13:11:53 EST