An archaeology of lunacy examines the historic lunatic asylum from an interdisciplinary perspective, employing methods drawn from archaeology, social geography, and history to create a holistic view of the built heritage of the asylum as a distinctive building type. In the popular imagination, historic lunatic asylums were dark, monolithic, and homogenous, instruments for social confinement and punishment. This book aims to redress this historical reputation, showing how the built environment and material worlds of lunatic asylums were distinctive and idiosyncratic – and highly regional. They were also progressive spaces and proving grounds of architectural experimentation, where the reformed treatment practices known as moral management were trialled and refined. The standing remains of the nineteenth-century lunatic asylum system represent a unique opportunity to study a building-type in active transition, both materially and ideologically. When they were constructed, asylums were a composite of reform ideals, architectural materials, and innovative design approaches. An archaeological study of these institutions can offer a materially focused examination of how the buildings worked on a daily basis. This study combines critical analysis of the architecture, material remains, and historical documentary sources for lunatic asylums in England and Ireland. Students and scholars of later historical archaeology and built heritage will find the book a useful overview of this institutional site type, while historians of medicine will find the focus on interior design and architecture of use. The general public, for whom asylums frequently represent shadowy ruins or anonymous redevelopments, may be interested in learning more about the buildings.
concerned with the material legacy of social life. Archaeologists record the ways in which routine and ritual are carried out, changed, and abandoned over time, tracking the movement of people through landscapes using the things they leave behind. Archaeologists are thus well-placed to inform on changes in a busy landand task-scape like the historic lunatic asylum. Lunatic asylums are rich archaeological sites, encompassing both buildings and landscapes, and can inform on the social, political, and economic life of the period in which they were built. Changes to the
This volume aims to disclose the political, social and cultural factors that
influenced the sanitary measures against epidemics developed in the
Mediterranean during the long nineteenth century. The contributions to the book
provide new interdisciplinary insights to the booming field of ‘quarantine
studies’ through a systematic use of the analytic categories of space, identity
and power. The ultimate goal is to show the multidimensional nature of
quarantine, the intimate links that sanitary administrations and institutions
had with the territorial organization of states, international trade, the
construction of national, colonial, religious and professional identities or the
configuration of political regimes. The circum-Mediterranean geographical spread
of the case studies contained in this volume illuminates the similarities and
differences around and across this sea, on the southern and northern shores, in
Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, Italian, English and French-speaking
domains. At the same time, it is highly interested in engaging in the global
English-speaking community, offering a wide range of terms, sources,
bibliography, interpretative tools and views produced and elaborated in various
Mediterranean countries. The historical approach will be useful to recognize the
secular tensions that still lie behind present-day issues such as the return of
epidemics or the global flows of migrants and refugees.
This book explores whether early modern people cared about their health, and what
did it mean to lead a healthy life in Italy and England. According to the
Galenic-Hippocratic tradition, 'preservative' medicine was one of the
three central pillars of the physician's art. Through a range of textual
evidence, images and material artefacts, the book documents the profound impact
which ideas about healthy living had on daily practices as well as on
intellectual life and the material world in Italy and England. Staying healthy
and health conservation was understood as depending on the careful management of
the six 'Non-Naturals': the air one breathed, food and drink,
excretions, sleep, exercise and repose, and the 'passions of the
soul'. The book provides fresh evidence about the centrality of the
Non-Naturals in relation to groups whose health has not yet been investigated in
works about prevention: babies, women and convalescents. Pregnancy constituted a
frequent physical state for many women of the early modern European aristocracy.
The emphasis on motion and rest, cleansing the body, and improving the mental
and spiritual states made a difference for the aristocratic woman's success
in the trade of frequent pregnancy and childbirth. Preventive advice was not
undifferentiated, nor simply articulated by individual complexion. Examining the
roles of the Non-Naturals, the book provides a more holistic view of
convalescent care. It also deals with the paradoxical nature of perceptions
about the Neapolitan environment and the way in which its airs were seen to
affect human bodies and health.
; Shropshire Parish
Registers. Diocese of Hereford. Vol. IV (Shropshire Parish Register Society, 1903),
pp. 58–60, 61, 63; T. F. Thiselton-Dyer, Old English Social Life as Told by the Parish
Registers (London: Elliot Stock, 1898), p. 8.
C. Boddington and K. Holt (eds), The Parish Register of Beverley St Mary. Volume 2.
1637–1689 (Yorkshire Archaeological Society, Parish Register Series, 173, 2008),
p. 275; T. Wainwright (ed.), Barnstaple Parish Register of Baptisms, Marriages and
Burials 1538 A. D. to 1812 A. D. (Exeter: James G. Commin, 1903), burials, p. 63.
reform theorists like Tuke, Charlesworth, and Conolly were concerned with delineating the management of lunatic asylums as social institutions separate in nature and mission from prisons, houses of industry, and even general infirmaries. These concerns can be clearly seen as articulated in the material remains of the institution and supported in the documentary source material. Crucially, from a methodological perspective, material culture and material traces in the documentary record can be utilised in order to determine everyday practice. The strength of the method
Balance, malleability and anthropology: historical contexts
M. Foucault, The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences (Abingdon: Routledge Classics,  2002), p. 414.
C. Millard, ‘Concepts, diagnosis and the history of medicine: historicising Ian Hacking and Munchausen Syndrome’, Social History of Medicine , 30:3 (2017), 567–89.
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Finn, D. (2011) Ireland on the turn? Political and economic consequences of the
crash. New Left Review, 67: 5–39.
Foucault, M. (1967) Madness and Civilisation. London, Tavistock.
Foucault, M. (1973) The Birth of the Clinic: An Archaeology of Medical Perception.
Foucault, M. (1982) The subject and power. IN: Dreyfus, H. and Rabinow, P. (eds)
Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics. Chicago, University
of Chicago Press: pp. 208–228.
Foucault, M. (1988) Technologies of the self. IN: Martin, L
doing nothing more harmful than taking on extra laundry for the single men they worked with (since they were not dismissed, any illicit practice can be discounted), such close fraternisation was not encouraged. A non-regulated and unrecorded activity was not considered to have a place within the asylum. However, evidence of resistance to this rigorous control of space and behaviour is not uncommon in the historical and archaeological record.
Resistance to or the transgression of socially acceptable behaviours in an institutional context was
Social progressivism and the transformation of provincial medicine
The march of intellect: social
progressivism and the transformation of
There never was an age in which they who intend to support the dignified character of graduated physicians, had better opportunities for improvement in
physiology. Lectures, as well as books, in anatomy, chemistry and in every part
of science and natural philosophy, never abounded more. Let the student devote
himself to these with long and serious application, and depend more upon them,
than on the caprice of fashion, or any singularity in his chariot and livery