Understanding Death and Mortality in the Context…

A two-day Workshop funded by the School of History, Classics and Archaeology, Newcastle University and by the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ History of Psychiatry Special Interest Group The workshop seeks to foster dialogue about a wide range of urgent themes in the historiography of institutional dying, mortality and mental illness, including the epidemiology of mortality, especially amongst the insane in institutions; changing understandings of causes of death; the evolving role and bench praxis of post-mortem dissection and pathological sciences and the threat/meaning of death for the institutionalized.

The plenary speaker is Professor Hilary Marland (Warwick) who will be talking about her major research project exploring health in prison. Other confirmed speakers/chairs include Jonathan Andrews, Nicol Ferrier, Robert Dale, Vicky Long, Louise Hide, Chris Philo, Andy Owen and Jennifer Wallis. Registration and attendance are free for Newcastle University staff and for all students.

There is a registration fee of £60 for others wishing to attend, to cover lunch, refreshments and workshop programme packs.

To register and for further information, please email the workshop organiser Jonathan Andrews (Newcastle University) jonathan.andrews@ncl.ac.uk

Understanding Death and Mortality in the Context of Mental Illness and Institutionalisation during the 19th and 20th Centuries

Thurs. 17 Sept. – Fri. 18 Sept. 2020, Barbara Strang Teaching Centre (BTSC), Newcastle University

Draft Programme

Thurs. 17 Sept.

13.30-14.15 Registration and Tea/Coffee (BSTC B.30)
14.15-14.30 Welcome (Dr Jonathan Andrews & Prof. Nicol Ferrier) (BSTC B.32)

Session 1: 14.30-16.00 Chair: Dr Jonathan Andrews (BSTC B.32)
14.30-15.15 Prof. Nicol Ferrier (Newcastle University): “Exhaustion, death and the post-mortem in Victorian asylums”
15.15-16.00 Dr Jennifer Wallis (Imperial College, University of London): “‘There is no possibility of removing my emotions which are natural’: The functions and effects of illustration in asylum post-mortem records”
16.00-16.30 Tea/coffee (BSTC B30)

Session 2: 16.30-18.45 Chair: Prof Jeremy Boulton
16.30-17.15 Dr Robert Dale (Newcastle University): “Understanding death in institutions providing psychiatric care for veterans of the Great Patriotic War in the Soviet Union between 1945 and 1965”
17.15-18.45 Plenary: Prof Hilary Marland (University of Warwick) “‘The living death of convict life’: madness, mortality and the Victorian prison”

Friday 18 Sept. 2020

9.00-9.30 Tea/coffee (BSTC B.30)
Session 3: 9.30-11.30 Chair: Prof. Hilary Marland (BSTC B.32)
9.30-10.15 Dr Jonathan Andrews (Newcastle University): “Patient writings on death and loss in the Royal Edinburgh Asylum during the Victorian era”
10.15-11.00 Prof. Chris Philo (University of Glasgow): “Considering Agamben’s ‘homo sacer’ and ‘spaces of exception’ for historicising death in the long-stay asylum pre-1950s”
11.00-11.30 Tea/coffee (BSTC B.30)

Session 4: 11.30-13.00 Chair: Prof. Nicol Ferrier
11.30-12.15 Dr Vicky Long (Newcastle University): “‘Death alone would eliminate these patients in about twenty-five years’: Analysing mortality patterns amongst long-stay psychiatric patients in the era of deinstitutionalisation”
12.15-13.00 Dr Andy Owen (Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust): “Standardised mortality rates among residents of Hatton Asylum in the mid-nineteenth century”
13.00-14.00 Lunch (BTSC B.29)

Session 5: 14.00-15.30 Chair: Dr Vicky Long
14.00-14.45 Dr Claire Hilton (Queen Mary College & Royal College of Psychiatrists): “‘A standing disgrace’: tubercular mortality in British asylums during the First World War”
14.45-15.30 Dr Louise Hide (Birkbeck College, University of London): ” ‘Waiting for death’ in British psycho-geriatric wards in the 1960s-70s: attitudes to old age, dementia, temporality and dying”
15.30-15.45 Workshop down tools, closing remarks and epitaph

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