Seeing the Insane

Seeing the Insane.jpg
Seeing the Insane.jpg

Seeing the Insane

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A Visual and Cultural History of Our Attitudes Toward the Mentally Ill

By Sander Gilman

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Seeing the Insane is a richly detailed cultural history of madness and art in the Western world, showing how the portrayal of stereotypes has both reflected and shaped the perception and treatment of the mentally disturbed. Covering the Middle Ages through the end of the nineteenth century, Sander L. Gilman explores the depictions of mental illness as seen in manuscripts, sculptures, lithographs, and photography. With artistic renderings and medical illustrations side-by-side, this volume includes over 250 visual displays of the mentally ill. These images capture society's reliance on visual motifs to assign concrete qualities to abstract ailments in an attempt to understand the marginalized. Gilman's collection of images demonstrates how society has relegated the mentally ill to a state of "otherness" and portrays how society's perceived realities concerning the insane have morphed and evolved over centuries.

Sander L. Gilman, PhD, is a distinguished professor of the Liberal Arts and Sciences as well as Professor of Psychiatry at Emory University. A respected educator, he has served as Old Dominion Visiting Professor of English at Princeton; Northrop Frye Visiting Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto; Mellon Visiting Professor of Humanities at Tulane University; Goldwin Smith Professor of Humane Studies at Cornell University; and Professor of the History of Psychiatry at Cornell Medical College. He has written and edited several books including The Face of Madness andSexuality: An Illustrated History.