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|Title:||Reading Through Madness: Counter-Psychiatric Epistemologies and the Biopolitics of (In)sanity in Post-World War II Anglo Atlantic Women's Narratives|
|Authors:||Wolframe, PhebeAnn M.|
|Department:||English and Cultural Studies|
|Keywords:||Mad Studies;Disability Studies;Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies;Literature in English, British Isles;Literature in English, North America;Other Race, Ethnicity and post-Colonial Studies;Women's Studies;Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies|
|Abstract:||<p>In my dissertation, I advance an interpretive perspective that emerges from the politics of the Mad Movement (also known as the Psychiatric Consumer/Survivor/Ex-patient Movement). This movement began in the 1970s in response to patient abuses in the psychiatric system and continues today in various forms. I argue that literary studies, which often reads madness in the reductive terms of psychiatric diagnosis or which renders madness as metaphor, would benefit from mad perspectives; likewise, literary studies has much to offer the nascent field of Mad(ness) Studies in terms of methods for locating the discursive conditions of madness’ emergence. Drawing on Foucault’s work on madness and biopolitics; poststructuralist feminism; Disability Studies; and Mad Movement writings, I concentrate on texts which narrate intersecting experiences of madness, resistance, community and identity: Mary Jane Ward’s The Snake Pit (1947), Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar (1963), Susanna Kaysen’s Girl, Interrupted (1994), Claire Allen’s Poppy Shakespeare (2007), Liz Kettle’s Broken Biscuits (2007), Bobby Baker’s Diary Drawings: Mental Illness and Me (2010), Persimmon Blackbridge’s Prozac Highway (2000), Joan Riley’s The Unbelonging (1985) and Helen Oyeyemi’s The Icarus Girl (2004). I further explore mad reading practices through my reading of a blog project I conducted for research purposes in which people with experience of the mental health system reviewed depictions of madness and mental health treatment in literature, film, popular culture and news media. In reading through a mad perspective, I postulate some of the material and ideological effects that establishing mad reading practices and communities might have. I consider how madness is gendered, and how it intersects with other aspects of embodiment such as race, class and sexuality; how narratives of madness elucidate the relationship between psychiatry and colonialism, patriarchy, eugenics and neoliberalism; and how they invite us to question the limits of reason, truth and subjectivity.</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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