Psychiatric Narratives Workshop
Glamorgan Archives, Cardiff, 23 November 2011, 13.00 – 17.00

Organized as part of CISSMI’s “Off Sick” programme of events, the workshop explores the different types of illness narration through an examination of psychiatric narratives and the problems of uncovering the patient’s voice in psychiatric institutions. Uncovering these voices has often proved problematic, and the workshop seeks to explore institutional psychiatric care from the inside out. The workshop features a series of papers by historians and clinicians on problems of evidence and the ways in which they have used psychiatric case notes and fiction to understand the experiences of psychiatric patients and the nature of psychiatric institutions.

13.00 – 14.00 Registration and Lunch
14.00 – 14.15 Introduction
14.15 – 15.00 Pamela Michael (Bangor): “Patients, Imagination and Welsh literature”
15.00 – 15.45 Peter Barham (Oxford): “In pursuit of the imperial lunatic, c.1860-1940: some problems of evidence”
15.45 – 16.15 Coffee
16.15 – 17.00 Rhys Thomas (Swansea): “Clinicians and case notes: the modern perspective”
17.00 – 17.15 Closing Discussion

Funded by the Wellcome Trust, the workshop will be held at the Glamorgan Archive (Cardiff) on Wednesday 23rd November 2011. Although a free event, to register please contact Dr Keir Waddington ([email protected])

Details of where to find the Glamorgan Archives can be found at:

Further details can be found at:

CISSMI is a research collaboration between the Universities of Glamorgan and Cardiff, founded in 2009 by members of the Glamorgan Research Centre for Literature, Arts and Science (RCLAS), Glamorgan’s History Divison, and Cardiff’s School of History and Archaeology. The research group is dedicated to the study of the history of science (particularly the medical sciences) and the imagination (literary and cultural). CISSMI is currently running “Off Sick” – which brings together literary scholars, historians, medical practitioners, social scientists, and artists to explore the experiences of people and families who have been affected by severe or long-term illness, and has a particular practitioner and community focus on Wales. In doing so, the project investigates ‘illness narratives’ from both past and present and how people turn those experiences into narratives or stories as a means of understanding them.