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Constructing a queer haven
Author: Thibaut Raboin

Discourses on LGBT asylum in the UK analyses fifteen years of debate, activism and media narrative and examines the way asylum is conceptualized at the crossroads of nationhood, post colonialism and sexual citizenship, reshaping in the process forms of sexual belongings to the nation.

Asylum has become a foremost site for the formulation and critique of LGBT human rights. This book intervenes in the ongoing discussion of homonationalism, sheds new light on the limitations of queer liberalism as a political strategy, and questions the prevailing modes of solidarity with queer migrants in the UK.

This book employs the methods of Discourse Analysis to study a large corpus encompassing media narratives, policy documents, debates with activists and NGOs, and also counter discourses emerging from art practice. The study of these discourses illuminates the construction of the social problem of LGBT asylum. Doing so, it shows how our understanding of asylum is firmly rooted in the individual stories of migration that are circulated in the media. The book also critiques the exclusionary management of cases by the state, especially in the way the state manufactures the authenticity of queer refugees. Finally, it investigates the affective economy of asylum, assessing critically the role of sympathy and challenging the happy goals of queer liberalism.

This book will be essential for researchers and students specializing in refugee studies and queer studies.

Abstract only
Catherine Cox

7 Inside the asylums On 30 January 1857, a single woman entered Carlow asylum and was diagnosed as suffering from ‘mania’. She had become ill the previous November and the medical superintendent recorded that there was a history of insanity in her father’s family. Religion, and specifically the ‘late mission in the town’, was recorded as the exciting cause of illness. She was discharged in May 1858. Her recovery was accredited to the ‘general moral treatment of the establishment with attention to general health’.1 She had been prescribed sedatives and a robust

in Negotiating insanity in the southeast of Ireland, 1820–1900
Bryan Fanning

5 Refugees and asylum seekers Introduction This chapter examines how contemporary responses to refugees and asylum seekers in Ireland have been shaped by a legacy of exclusionary state practices and racism.1 As noted in the last chapter, this legacy included overt anti-Semitism within refugee and immigration practices from the late 1930s prior to Ireland’s ratification in 1956 of the UN Convention on Human Rights (1951). The arrival of increasing numbers of asylum seekers in recent years was met by expressions of racism and intolerance within Irish political

in Racism and social change in the Republic of Ireland
Politics, reform and the demise of medico-gentility
Michael Brown

3 The asylum revolution: politics, reform and the demise of medico-gentility [W]hat man of civilized feelings or gentlemanly habits – what man of property or of respectable rank in society – what man of learning or of character, will engage in the care or treatment of this unfortunate class of mortals? They must be left in the care of the vulgar, illiterate, and robust keeper, and the ‘Mind’ that might have been solaced and restored by the influence of manner and education, must be overthrown, debased, lost. A. Mather, A Plain Narrative of Facts relative to the

in Performing medicine
Thibaut Raboin

1 Narrating LGBT asylum Before looking at the relationship between LGBT asylum and nationhood, as well as how they configure certain forms of queer optimism, it is essential to unpack the main ways in which LGBT asylum is defined as a social problem. Social problems engage the state, which is asked to deal with a particular problem and solve it. The social problem of LGBT asylum is therefore part of a process of collective definition, representation and narrativisation that gives a shape to what really is problematic about asylum, what needs to be solved, what

in Discourses on LGBT asylum in the UK
Shami Chakrabarti

9780719079740_C02.qxd 2 22/2/10 15:10 Page 33 Shami Chakrabarti Asylum and incarceration1 While I was preparing this essay, the poem ‘Refugee Blues’ by W. H. Auden kept coming into mind.2 I love this poem, with its lament for home that ‘We cannot go there now, my dear’, because it reminds me of how our modern notions of human rights came about and why the plight of the refugee is at their heart. Bizarrely, and to an extent I would never have imagined even twenty years ago, we are in desperate need of such reminders in Britain today. We have quite simply

in Incarceration and human rights
Catherine Cox

3 Routes into the asylums In Ireland, most patients were institutionalised using one of three certification procedures. Asylum governors were entitled to certify patients – referred to as ‘ordinary’ certification – while asylum physicians authorised ‘urgent’ admissions. Most patients were certified however as ‘dangerous lunatics’. Certification ‘divided the sane from the insane’ and represented ‘the crucible in which medical approaches to insanity were mixed with lay ideas of insanity.’1 A thorough understanding of certification procedures and forms facilitates

in Negotiating insanity in the southeast of Ireland, 1820–1900
DGH psychiatric nurses at Withington General Hospital, 1971-91
Val Harrington

11 Between asylum and community: DGH psychiatric nurses at Withington General Hospital, 1971–91 Val Harrington It was an exciting place to work. It was a general hospital, which was something very new […] and the whole, well the whole emphasis was completely different. You know, it was exciting. Most of the staff had two or three qualifications, everybody was very enthusiastic, they’d come from like the Maudsley, the Royal Edinburgh, all over […] The whole building was new […] It was a fantastic place to actually work. In fact I think over the years it’s … I

in Mental health nursing
Managing madness in New Jersey
James E. Moran

protection of the mad person and his/her property was, in principle, the priority of this law. As such, New Jersey's Masters in Chancery helped to shape the civil legal response to madness by keeping in mind the welfare of those being tried for madness. The detailed trial witnesses’ accounts in the New Jersey documents also allow for an analysis of the complex array of treatment, care and management strategies. These included the services of professionalising orthodox medical practitioners and the psychiatric services of fledgling lunatic asylums, on the one hand, and the

in Madness on trial
Catherine Cox

1 Shaping the Irish asylum system The frequent outbreaks of epidemic diseases in Ireland during the early decades of the nineteenth century brought into sharp relief the limits of existing philanthropic medical and welfare institutions for the poor.1 Legislation was introduced to promote both the establishment of institutions and to halt the spread of diseases and fevers. This resulted in a precociously high level of state provision of medical facilities for the sick poor in Ireland,2 which has led historians to conclude that by the early nineteenth century

in Negotiating insanity in the southeast of Ireland, 1820–1900