Armenian Studies Program pres.
Eleventh Annual International Graduate Student Workshop | Medicine, Madness, and Maladies of the Mind in Armenian Studies Past and Present
Organizers: Melanie Tanielian, Director, Armenian Studies Program, U-M and Mano Sakayan, PhD student, Department of History, U-M.
The workshop will focus on the histories of medicine and psychiatry and the portrayals of madness as a form of behavior, marker of difference, and tool of body politics across periods and geographies. The workshop organizers are interested in the broader history of medicine, but they would like to draw particular attention to the historical and contemporary landscapes in which medical professionals sought to exercise their authorities over mental illnesses and the mind itself. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, tools and theories have provided medical professionals with renewed opportunities to intervene in the social, political and cultural spheres with the shared objective of devising and implementing therapies of madness.
In this, the workshop will initiate an inter-disciplinary conversation about the concept, diagnosis, treatment, and social construction of “madness.” The goal is to consider new perspectives, methodologies and cross-disciplinary frameworks that will put Armenian Studies in conversation with, among others, the growing fields of history of medicine, science and technology studies. In the course of the workshop, the hope is to call into question what was and is culturally defined as madness as well as medical and societal interventions to “cure” madness and “contain” the mad.
Therefore, this meeting will situate the notion of madness at the intersection of politics, medicine, literature, sociology, and anthropology and seeks to explore the changes in its definition and the underpinnings of perceptions of mental illnesses at critical junctures of history in Armenia and amongst its diasporic communities across the globe.
If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation to attend this event, please reach out to us at least 2 weeks in advance of this event. Please be aware that advance notice is necessary as some accommodations may require more time for the university to arrange.
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