Read e-book online American Lobotomy: A Rhetorical History PDF

By Jenell Johnson

ISBN-10: 0472119443

ISBN-13: 9780472119448

American Lobotomy reports a wide selection of representations of lobotomy to supply a rhetorical historical past of 1 of the main notorious strategies within the historical past of drugs. the improvement of lobotomy in 1935 used to be heralded as a “miracle remedy” that might empty the nation’s perennially blighted asylums. notwithstanding, simply 20 years later, lobotomists at first praised for his or her “therapeutic braveness” have been condemned for his or her barbarity, a picture that has in basic terms soured in next many years. Johnson employs formerly deserted texts like technological know-how fiction, horror movie, political polemics, and conspiracy idea to teach how lobotomy’s entanglement with social and political narratives contributed to a robust snapshot of the operation that persists to this present day. The e-book provocatively demanding situations the background of drugs, arguing that rhetorical background is essential to knowing scientific background. It deals a case examine of ways medication accumulates that means because it circulates in public tradition and argues for the necessity to comprehend biomedicine as a culturally positioned perform.

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Extra info for American Lobotomy: A Rhetorical History

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Fear of mad bodies is built into the very architecture of the psychiatric institution and reflected in many of its technologies of control. Fear “works to align bodily and social space” by restricting movement in the space of preservation to already-­authorized bodies (Ahmed 2004, 69). Locked doors, common areas, unauthorized areas, restraints: each restricts the movements of some bodies (patients) while facilitating the movement of others (doctors, nurses, and hospital staff). Moving throughout this fearfully designed space, Freeman remembered he also experienced “disgust” in response to the “shabby” and “untidy” bodies that approached him.

Some biographers of the Kennedy family, such as Laurence Leamer (1994), have suggested that Rosemary had a mild developmental disability and was sometimes physically aggressive (see also O’Brien 2004). Leamer’s retroactive diagnosis follows statements by members of the Kennedy family who have since, when they have talked about Rosemary at all, described her as “partly epileptic as well as retarded” (quoted in Leamer 1994, 227). 14 While the nature of Rosemary’s condition before her lobotomy may never be known, there is no question about her condition afterward.

Given Fishbein’s predilection for unaffected prose, it is not surprising that JAMA’s version of the psychosurgery roundtable 36 American Lobotomy was lobotomized of the emotional intensity that characterized the original exchange. Although Fishbein believed that his colleagues ought to take a cautious stance on lobotomy until more scientific evidence was available, he warned his readers that “an emotional attitude of violent unreasoning opposition to this form of treatment would be inexcusable” (1941, 535, my emphasis).

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American Lobotomy: A Rhetorical History by Jenell Johnson


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