Catalogue


Imperial bedlam : institutions of madness in colonial southwest Nigeria /
Jonathan Sadowsky.
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, c1999.
description
xi, 169 p. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0520216164 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, c1999.
isbn
0520216164 (alk. paper)
general note
Originally presented as the author's thesis (doctoral)--Johns Hopkins University, 1993.
catalogue key
3458680
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 119-166) and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"Imperial Bedlam is an intelligent, elegantly written discussion of cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary debates over the nature and determinants of madness in a colonial setting."--Sara Berry, Johns Hopkins University
Flap Copy
" Imperial Bedlam is an intelligent, elegantly written discussion of cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary debates over the nature and determinants of madness in a colonial setting."--Sara Berry, Johns Hopkins University
Summaries
Main Description
The colonial government of southern Nigeria began to use asylums to confine the allegedly insane in 1906. These asylums were administered by the British but confined Africans. Yet, as even many in the government recognized, insanity is a condition that shows cultural variation. Who decided the inmates were insane and how? This sophisticated historical study pursues these questions as it examines fascinating source material--writings by African patients in these institutions and the reports of officials, doctors, and others--to discuss the meaning of madness in Nigeria, the development of colonial psychiatry, and the connections between them. Jonathan Sadowsky's well-argued, concise study provides important new insights into the designation of madness across cultural and political frontiers. Imperial Bedlam follows the development of insane asylums from their origins in the nineteenth century to innovative treatment programs developed by Nigerian physicians during the transition to independence. Special attention is given to the writings of those considered "lunatics," a perspective relatively neglected in previous studies of psychiatric institutions in Africa and most other parts of the world. Imperial Bedlam shows how contradictions inherent in colonialism were articulated in both asylum policy and psychiatric theory. It argues that the processes of confinement, the labeling of insanity, and the symptoms of those so labeled reflected not only cultural difference but also political divides embedded in the colonial situation. Imperial Bedlam thus emphasizes not only the cultural background to madness but also its political and experiential dimensions.
Long Description
The colonial government of southern Nigeria began to use asylums to confine the allegedly insane in 1906. These asylums were administered by the British but confined Africans. Yet, as even many in the government recognized, insanity is a condition that shows cultural variation. Who decided the inmates were insane and how? This sophisticated historical study pursues these questions as it examines fascinating source material--writings by African patients in these institutions and the reports of officials, doctors, and others--to discuss the meaning of madness in Nigeria, the development of colonial psychiatry, and the connections between them. Jonathan Sadowsky's well-argued, concise study provides important new insights into the designation of madness across cultural and political frontiers. Imperial Bedlamfollows the development of insane asylums from their origins in the nineteenth century to innovative treatment programs developed by Nigerian physicians during the transition to independence. Special attention is given to the writings of those considered "lunatics," a perspective relatively neglected in previous studies of psychiatric institutions in Africa and most other parts of the world. Imperial Bedlamshows how contradictions inherent in colonialism were articulated in both asylum policy and psychiatric theory. It argues that the processes of confinement, the labeling of insanity, and the symptoms of those so labeled reflected not only cultural difference but also political divides embedded in the colonial situation.Imperial Bedlamthus emphasizes not only the cultural background to madness but also its political and experiential dimensions.
Main Description
An elegantly-argued study of insane asylums in colonial Nigeria. The author uses fascinating sources, including writings of the inmates, to explore the cultural variations of madness, and the colonial contradictions of psychiatric theory.
Bowker Data Service Summary
The colonial government of southern Nigeria began to use asylums to confine the insane in 1906. These asylumns were run by the British but confined Africans. Yet, many in the government knew that insanity is a condition that shows cultural variation.
Table of Contents
Preface
Acknowledgments
Introductionp. 1
The Nineteenth Century: From Pity to Alarmp. 12
Material Conditions and the Politics of Carep. 26
"Proper Subjects for Confinement"p. 48
The Confinements of Isaac O.: A Case of "Acute Mania"p. 78
Psychiatry and Colonial Ideologyp. 97
Conclusionp. 111
Notesp. 119
Bibliographyp. 149
Indexp. 167
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem