Originally posted on evoneuro:
Some background: A few weeks ago on Twitter I floated around the idea of writing a semi-regular blog post on my experiences reading Foucault for the first time as a neuroscience grad student/MRI researcher. There was some interest, so here’s my first write-up on my experiences and reactions to reading Michel Foucault’s History of Madness, as part of Professor Lynne Huffer’s course (WGS 475) here at Emory.
In this first chapter, Foucault is retracing/uncovering/attempting to uncover the basis of Western ideas related to insanity and institutionalization. We learn about the role of the leper, leprosy, and the leper colony in the European middle ages, where infected individuals were isolated and contained outside city walls, providing a sort of delineation between society and these outcasts. How is this related to insanity or madness? Well, Foucault is building a case for the replacement of the leper, as the infection began to…
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