AAS 458 - Issues in Black World Studies
Section: 001 Race Gender Mental Health 19thC
Term: FA 2017
Subject: Afroamerican & African Studies (AAS)
Department: LSA Afroamerican and African Studies
May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit(s).
Primary Instructor:

This course examines how U.S. conceptions of mental illness and the care of those labeled insane were shaped by both institutions such as slavery and asylums and period-specific conceptions of race, gender, and class. It considers the various overlaps between key subject positions including insane persons, women, blacks, and whites. Further, the course parses out how those subject positions are impacted by national discourses and debates about citizenship, psychiatry, and dis/ability.

Using an interdisciplinary approach, the course interrogates slave narratives, statistical studies, medical textbooks, political speeches, newspapers, and novels. It not only considers the voices of those who administered healthcare, but also those of individuals and groups who experienced it. Among the questions this investigation raises, the course explicitly asks the following questions:

  • How are race and gender marked out on the mind and body?
  • How did this influence the way individuals experienced mental health diagnosis and treatment?
  • How did people resist institutional mental health care?
  • How did they create alternative modes of assessing and addressing mental health issues?

AAS 458 - Issues in Black World Studies
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
TuTh 4:00PM - 5:30PM
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