Ruins of the Mind

Joelle M. Abi-Rached’s new book uses a single psychiatric hospital to tell both the history of psychiatry and the history of modern Lebanon.

The personal is geopolitical. If subjective experiences of mental distress are historically and culturally specific, so too are the methods developed to treat them and the concepts used to describe them. Joelle M. Abi-Rached’s Asfuriyyeh: A History of Madness, Modernity, and War in the Middle East is a ‘biography’ of the book’s eponymous institution, from […]

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