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Democracy and Mental Health: An Analysis of an Interwar Experiment and Some Reflections on its Relevance to the History of Psychiatry

CENTRE FOR THE HISTORY OF MEDICINE
SEMINAR SERIES 2009-2010 SPRING TERM
Tuesday, 6th October (Week 1)
5.00 pm – Ramphal Building Room R.014
Dr Jonathan Toms (Warwick)
Democracy and Mental Health: An Analysis of an Interwar Experiment and Some Reflections on its Relevance to the History of Psychiatry
hawks
Hawkspur Camp opened in 1936. The original experiment lasted three years. Its aim was to provide a therapeutic environment for ‘delinquent and difficult young men aged 17 to 25’. At the heart of its approach lay twin emphases on individualism and collectivism organised around participatory democracy and psychoanalysis. Foucauldian inspired approaches applied in the history of psychiatry use the theory of power/knowledge to interrogate such ventures and reveal them as expansionist techniques of the ‘psy disciplines’ whose practices construct and regulate ‘the self’. This talk attempts to switch the priorities: What might the Hawkspur approach to therapy have to say about the Foucauldian approach to history?

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Centre for the History of Medicine
The University of Warwick
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