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'Migration, Mental Illness and the Management of Asylum Populations'

Centre for the History of Medicine,

University of Warwick, IAS Seminar Room, Millburn House

24 September 2010

Organisers Hilary Marland, Sarah York and Catherine Cox

This one-day workshop will be the first of two events to explore the interconnectedness of migration, ethnicity and mental illness. The second event, a two-day conference, will take place at University College Dublin in autumn 2011.

This workshop will focus on the relationship between migration, mental illness and the management of asylum populations. By migration, we refer to both migration between countries and internal movements of populations, for example between regions or from rural to urban areas. Our focus is the nineteenth- and early twentieth-century asylum, and we are interested in how, once admitted, patients were treated and managed. The workshop is intended to contribute to debates on admission and discharge processes, but also to focus on the complexities of asylum management, in a period of considerable expansion of the asylum system when growing pressure was placed on these institutions. The workshop will explore the management and experiences of particular groups, be these ‘foreigners’, male and female patients, patients of varied religious denominations, the elderly, those deemed suicidal or dangerous, or patients diagnosed with particular disorders, such as insanity related to intemperance or GPI.

The workshop will provide the organisers with an opportunity to present on their new project on ‘Madness, Migration and the Irish in Lancashire, c.1850- 1921’ (funded by the Wellcome Trust). We are keen to involve a mix of early career and more established scholars in the workshop. The final purpose of the workshop is to re-institute what used to be an active series of workshops on the history of psychiatry; we hope that this will be the first of many such events.




Courtesy of Wellcome Library, London



 Workshop Programme (PDF Document)

Workshop Image

Workshop Report (PDF Document)