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    Psychiatric institutions, their architecture, and the politics of regional autonomy in the Austro-Hungarian monarchy

    Topp, Leslie (2007) Psychiatric institutions, their architecture, and the politics of regional autonomy in the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 38 (4), 733 - 755. ISSN 0039-3681.

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    This paper examines the planning process and architecture of two public psychiatric institutions built around 1900 in Trieste and Lower Austria. From 1864, the building of new asylums was the responsibility of Crown land governments, which by the end of the nineteenth century had emerged as sites of power and self-presentation by minority groups and new political parties. At the same time, the area of asylum planning was establishing itself as a branch of asylum psychiatry and promoting the idea of the asylum as model settlement, contributing to social reform. I analyse the interaction of psychiatrists, architects and government officials involved in planning the two institutions in the context of Crown land governments’ self-positioning within the empire and internationally (especially in relation to Italy and Germany). The Trieste asylum planners were working for a government controlled by Italian nationalists, but their desire for a ‘modern’ asylum turned them towards German models. The Christian Social government in Lower Austria sought to supplant Germany as the leader in this branch of science. The spatial arrangement and visual articulation of the two asylums is interpreted in the context of the interaction of psychiatry and the politics of regional autonomy.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): History of psychiatry, psychiatric institutions, asylums, architecture, Austro-Hungarian monarchy, regional autonomy
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Historical Studies
    Research Centres and Institutes: Architecture, Space and Society, Centre for
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 09 Aug 2011 13:57
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 16:55


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