Oslo Summer School in Comparative Social Science Studies 2016

Madness and Everyday Life

Associate Professor Clara Han
Department of Anthropology
Johns Hopkins University, USA

Main disciplines: Anthropology, Sociology,
Medical Anthropology

Dates: 1 - 5 August 2016
Course Credits: 10 pts (ECTS)
Limitation: 25 participants

NOTICE! This PhD course was cancelled!

Objectives
What are ways in which madness is disclosed in everyday life? Who or what is the subject of madness? Do institutional apparatuses organized around categories of mental illness exhaust ethnographic description of madness? While Foucault’s concept of normalization has been extremely powerful in lending anthropology a critical perspective on the ways in which subjects are constituted, this course explores subjective experience which may lie outside, or come at an angle to, Foucault’s thought. This course is structured in four parts.

  • The first part explores Canguilhem’s notion of “the case” as an entrypoint into exploring the norms the individual sets for itself. We contrast this notion of the norm with that of Foucault’s concept of normalization.
  • The second part invites us to consider madness within the community and asks how such studies may offer a different theory of disease from that arising within the clinic. We consider the difficulty of madness as that which resides within a network of relations, but simultaneously does not permit us to eclipse the actual concrete other.
  • The third part then turns towards institutional apparatuses of care in which we come to explore the ways in which politics, law, and medicine triangulate in different times and places.
  • The fourth part of the course take us into an exploration of the way violence and wounds are embedded in life that may go beyond the category of “trauma”. 


Key books
Participants must obtain and read these books in advance of the course

  • Das, Veena. 2014. Affliction: Health, Disease, Poverty. New York: Fordham University Press. 
  • Pinto, Sarah. 2014. Daughters of Parvati: Women and Madness in Contemporary India. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
  • Segal, Lotte Buch. 2016. No Place for Grief: Martyrs, Prisoners, and Mourning in Contemporary Palestine. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
  • Stevenson, Lisa. 2014. Life Beside Itself: Imagining Care in the Canadian Arctic. Berkeley: University of California Press. 
     

COURSE OUTLINE

PART I

Lecture 1: Clinical norms, vital norms, and milieu

Readings:

  • Canguilhem, Georges. 1989. The Normal and the Pathological. New York: Zone Books. Section One, Part Two: “Do the Science of the Normal and the Pathological Exist?” p. 115-232.
  • Canguilhem, Georges. 2008. Knowledge of Life. New York: Fordham University Press. “The Normal and the Pathological”. pp. 121-133.
  • Han, Clara and Veena Das. 2015. “Living and Dying in the Contemporary World: A Concept Note” in Das and Han (Eds) Living and Dying in the Contemporary World: A Compendium. Berkeley: University of California Press.


Lecture 2: Power as normalization

Reading:

  • Foucault, Michel. 1999. Abnormal: Lectures at the Collège de France. New York: Picador. Lectures 1-6, pp. 1-166. 


PART II

Lecture 3: Singularity, relations, vocabularies

Reading:

  • Das, Veena. 2014. Affliction: Health, Disease, Poverty. New York: Fordham University Press. 


Lecture 4: Affective tie and the Imagination

Readings:

  • Pandolfo, Stefania. 2008. “The Knot of the Soul: Postcolonial Conundrums, Madness, and the Imagination” in Good, et al (Eds.) Postcolonial Disorders. Berkeley: University of California Press. pp. 329-258.
  • Pandolfo, Stefania. 2006. “Nibtidi mnin il-hikaya [Where are we to start the tale?]”: violence, intimacy, and recollection” in Social Science Information. 45(3): 349-371.


Lecture 5: Mourning, intimacy, and limits

Readings:

  • Segal, Lotte Buch. 2016. No Place for Grief: Martyrs, Prisoners, and Mourning in Contemporary Palestine. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
  • Laugier, Sandra. 2015. “Ethics of Care as a Politics of the Ordinary” in New Literary History. 46(2): 217-240. 


Lecture 6: Madness, love, and the dissolution of family

Reding:

  • Pinto, Sarah. 2014. Daughters of Parvati: Women and Madness in Contemporary India. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.


Part III

Lecture 7: Institutional apparatuses and an alternative politics of care

Reading:

  • Stevenson, Lisa. 2014. Life Beside Itself: Imagining Care in the Canadian Arctic. Berkeley: University of California Press. 


Lecture 8: Humanitarian logics, victimhood, testimony

Reading:

  • Fassin, Didier and Richard Rechtman. The Empire of Trauma: An Inquiry into the Condition of Victimhood. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Chapters 7-10, Conclusion. 


PART IV

Lecture 9: Violence, psychiatric categories, context

Readings:

  • Behrouzan, Orkideh. 2015. “Medicalization as a way of life: The Iran-Iraq War and considerations for psychiatry and anthropology”. Medicine Anthropology Theory. Special Section: Beyond ‘trauma’ 2(3): 40-60. http://medanthrotheory.org/issuelist/vol-2-3/medicalization-way-of-life/
  • Dewachi, Omar. 2015. “When wounds travel”. Medicine Anthropology Theory. Special Section: Beyond ‘trauma’ 2(3): 61-82. http://www.medanthrotheory.org/read/5654/when-wounds-travel
  • Olszewska, Zuzanna. 2015. “The poet’s melancholy: Depression, structures of feeling, and creativity among Afghan refugees in Iran” in Medicine Anthropology Theory. Special Section: Beyond ‘trauma’ 2(3): 83-104. http://medanthrotheory.org/issuelist/vol-2-3/poets-melancholy/
  • Das, Veena. 2015. “Beyond trauma, beyond humanitarianism, beyond empathy: A commentary” in Medicine Anthropology Theory. Special Section: Beyond ‘trauma’ 2(3): 105-112. http://medanthrotheory.org/issuelist/vol-2-3/beyond-trauma-humanitarianism-empathy/


Lecture 10: Children’s voices and a counterpoint to testimony

Reading:

  • Brandel, Andrew and Clara Han. n.d. Through the Eyes of a Child. (book manuscript). 


The lecturer
Clara Han is Associate Professor at the Department of Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University, USA. Her research concerns are with the study of violence, care, affliction and everyday life. What are the ways in which people give expression to the fragility and precariousness of life and lives? How can anthropology hone concepts from these everyday efforts at expression? What are the perils and achievements in everyday life, and how does anthropology attune to them? What is it to endure the deaths of others, close and distant, and what are the limits of endurance? These questions have emerged through her relationship to ethnographic sites - in particular, low-income neighborhoods in Santiago, Chile where she has have worked for several years.

 

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Tags: Anthropology, Social Science, Summer School, PhD, Sociology, Medical Anthropology
Published May 27, 2015 8:52 AM - Last modified Aug. 15, 2016 10:12 AM