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The Rochester Academy of Medicine Advances Learning,

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  • The Corner Society: "Peculiar Institutions: U.S. Slavery and Asylums in the Nineteenth Century"

The Corner Society: "Peculiar Institutions: U.S. Slavery and Asylums in the Nineteenth Century"

  • Wednesday, February 15, 2023
  • 5:30 PM
  • 1441 East Avenue In-Person or Virtual (Zoom link included in your email registration confirmation).

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Wendy Gonaver, PhD,  Paul M. Schyve Postdoctoral Associate,  Department of Health Humanities and Bioethics, URMC

Peculiar Institutions: U.S. Slavery and Asylums in the Nineteenth Century

Institutions for the mentally ill proliferated at precisely the time in which the struggle to end slavery intensified. Critics of asylums described them as institutions that unfairly deprived people of personal liberty just as the enslaved were denied freedom. Supporters of slavery, in contrast, argued that it was a civilizing institution that benefitted the enslaved just as asylums benefitted “lunatics.” This presentation will highlight the relationship between these two historical developments, examining public asylums in Virginia to demonstrate how slavery influenced ideas about patient care and management, and the social construction of racial and gender identities in the nineteenth century.             

 



                                                           

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