Insanity, identity and empire: Immigrants and institutional confinement in Australia and New Zealand, 1873-1910

Insanity, identity and empire: Immigrants and institutional confinement in Australia and New Zealand, 1873-1910

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This book examines the formation of colonial social identities inside the institutions for the insane in Australia and New Zealand. Taking a large sample of patient records, it pays particular attention to gender, ethnicity and class as categories of analysis, reminding us of the varied journeys of immigrants to the colonies and of how and where they stopped, for different reasons, inside the social institutions of the period. It is about their stories of mobility, how these were told and produced inside institutions for the insane, and how, in the telling, colonial identities were asserted and formed. Having engaged with the structural imperatives of empire and with the varied imperial meanings of gender, sexuality and medicine, historians have considered the movements of travellers, migrants, military bodies and medical personnel, and ‘transnational lives’. This book examines an empire-wide discourse of ‘madness’ as part of this inquiry.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781784996093
Publisher: Manchester University Press
Publication date: 10/01/2015
Series: Studies in Imperialism
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 240
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Catharine Coleborne is Professor of History at the University of Waikato, New Zealand
John MacKenzie is Emeritus Professor of Imperial History, Lancaster University and holds Honorary Professorships at Aberdeen, St Andrews and Stirling, as well as an Honorary Fellowship at Edinburgh.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Insanity, identity and empire
1. Insanity in the ‘age of mobility’: Melbourne and Auckland, 1850s–80s
2. Immigrants, mental health and social institutions: Melbourne and Auckland, 1850s–90s
3. Passing through: narrating patient identities in the colonial hospitals for the insane, 1873–1910
4. White men and weak masculinity: men in the public asylums, 1860s–1900s
5. Insanity and white femininity: women in the public asylums, 1860s–1900s
6. The ‘Others’: inscribing difference in colonial institutional settings

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