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    ‘Queer mind and body’: reflections on the interpretation, communication, and experience of the body in the British Asylum, c.1840-1914

    Salkovskis, Cora (2022) ‘Queer mind and body’: reflections on the interpretation, communication, and experience of the body in the British Asylum, c.1840-1914. PhD thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

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    Abstract

    This thesis explores the processes of meaning-making which coalesced around experiences of the body in the nineteenth-and early-twentieth-century British asylum. This is achieved through a consideration of the ways in which supposedly abnormal or insane sensation, movement, perception and belief was embodied, defined, experienced, and given meaning from different positions in or around the clinical encounter. As an approach, it emphasises the importance of practices, processes, and embraces fragmentation or the exploration of boundaries. First, this research explores how insanity is structured, organised, preserved, and represented through multi-layered narratives. It unpicks the roles of historian, institution, doctors, patients, and delusions and hallucinations, in framing and telling these stories about insanity. It then considers how the insane body was encountered (in the world and archive) as moving and expressive, particularly emphasising the disconnection or disruption believed to occur between ‘mental action’ and the body in particular cases. Finally, the section on sensing the lived body considers how delusion and hallucination could transform understandings of the body and its possibilities, particularly in the invisible and inaccessible bodily interior or visceral space. Foregrounding the lived experience and perception of the body, this thesis takes a phenomenologically-engaged and reflexive approach, drawing from anthropological approaches, queer theory, and disability studies, to consider the stories told about this body, how it was seen and moved, and how it was understood and measured.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Thesis
    Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
    Depositing User: Acquisitions And Metadata
    Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2023 11:41
    Last Modified: 28 Jun 2024 05:43
    URI: https://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/50422
    DOI: https://doi.org/10.18743/PUB.00050422

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