Memory, Anniversaries and Mental Health in International Historical Perspective: Faith in Reform

Rebecca Wynter (Editor), Jennifer Wallis (Editor), Rob Ellis (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


This book is the first to explore memory, misremembering, forgetting, and anniversaries in the history of psychiatry and mental health. It challenges simplistic representations of the callous nature of mental health care in the past, while at the same time eschewing a celebratory and uncritical marking of anniversaries and individuals. Asking critical questions of the early Whiggish histories of mental health care, the book problematizes the idea of a shared professional and institutional history, and the abiding faith placed in the reform of medicine, administration, and even patients. It contends that much post-1800 legislation drafted to ensure reform, acted to preserve beliefs about the ‘bad old days’ and a ‘brighter future’ in the state memories of imperial powers, which in turn exported these notions around the world. Conversely, the collection demonstrates the variety of remembering and forgetting, building on recent interest in the ideological and cultural linkages between past and present in international psychiatric practice. In this way, it seeks to trace the pathways of memory, exploring the direction of travel, and the perpetuation, remodeling, and uprooting of recollection.
Chapter “The New Socialist Citizen and ‘Forgetting’ Authoritarianism: Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis, and Revolution in Socialist Yugoslavia” is available open access under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License via link.springer. com.

Original languageEnglish
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan, Cham
Number of pages314
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

Cite this