Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Theaters of MadnessInsane Asylums and Nineteenth-Century American Culture$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Benjamin Reiss

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780226709635

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226709659.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 25 October 2021

Epilogue: Echoes

Epilogue: Echoes

Chapter:
(p.191) Epilogue: Echoes
Source:
Theaters of Madness
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226709659.003.0008

Histories of psychiatry tell us that the moral treatment movement in America ended in the decades after the Civil War. And yet it is not entirely over, even today. In literature and popular culture, a vogue for mental illness persists and in some ways has crested, as in the “outsider art” that exoticizes the creativity of the usually untutored mentally ill and sells it for high prices. Many of the great public asylums constructed during the utopian moral treatment movement now lie in disuse, disrepair, or near-ruination. This epilogue seeks traces of the moral treatment in the contemporary scene in psychiatry, literature, and popular culture. While our society remains fascinated by the specter of madness—as manifested in popular memoirs and Hollywood films—we have lost the sense of its broad social implications. And though a chastened, perhaps matured version of the moral treatment's faith in the efficacy of culture in the treatment of mental illness lives on, it does so almost exclusively in elite, private psychiatric hospitals.

Keywords:   psychiatric hospitals, madness, psychiatry, moral treatment movement, America, mental illness, asylums, literature, popular culture

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.