Marking Time: Memory, Mental Health and Making Minds

Rebecca Wynter, Rob Ellis, Jennifer Wallis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


History is always about remembering, but it is also a manifestation of the choices people and institutions make about forgetting, misremembering, shaping, propagandising, reforming, and revising. Triggered by reflections on key anniversaries in mental healthcare at a point when history and memorialisation are under sustained assault globally, we reflect on the construction of the history of psychiatry and the role that recall plays in the history of reform. Taken together we focus on one of the most contentious areas in modern myth and stigma: mental health. Drawing on expertise in local asylums, remembering, embodied memory, the media, and material culture, this introductory chapter will offer a new paradigm to explore memory in the history of medicine. Exploring the trope of the ‘bad old days’ and embracing primary material—from the nineteenth century, London County Council’s asylums, the BBC, and the twenty-first-century York Retreat—the chapter will present fresh insights into anniversaries and marking time, and will contextualise the 11 further chapters that make up the edited collection.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMemory, Anniversaries and Mental Health in International Historical Perspective
Subtitle of host publicationFaith in Reform
EditorsRebecca Wynter, Jennifer Wallis, Rob Ellis
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan, Cham
Number of pages35
ISBN (Electronic)9783031229787
ISBN (Print)9783031229770, 9783031229800
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2023

Publication series

NameMental Health in Historical Perspective
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan Cham
ISSN (Print)2634-6036
ISSN (Electronic)2634-6044

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