NEW BOOK On Psychiatry and Colonialism in India

*Colonialism and Transnational Psychiatry*

*The Development of an Indian Mental Hospital in British India, c.

By: Waltraud Ernst

*The first detailed and comprehensive historical assessment of South Asian
psychiatry in the twentieth century, breaking new ground on questions of
globalisation and medicine in colonial India.*

This is the first comprehensive case study of an Indian mental hospital. It
focuses on the largest psychiatric institution in south Asia prior to
Indian independence and assesses the demographics of its patient
population, death and illness statistics, diagnostic categories and medical
treatments. Earlier work has examined the role of British psychiatry within
the context of nineteenth-century colonial expansion. This study breaks new
ground by exploring how the changing imperial order during the early
twentieth century, with a particular focus on the ‘Indianisation’ of the
medical services, affected institutional trends. These local developments
are set within the wider purview of transnational networks. Themes covered
include gender, culture and race, and changing medical theories,
conceptualisations and plural clinical practices within the context of
medical standardisation. The limitations of institution-based data and
statistical analysis and the pitfalls of post-hoc assessment and comparison
of diagnostic categories and classifications are explored. The book is
based on a range of original sources, including hospital reports, medical
journals and textbooks, and official and private correspondence. It is
relevant to historians of colonial and western psychiatry, comparative and
transnational history, as well as social historians of south Asia more


*Contents: *

Chapter 1 | Indianisation and its Discontents

       –  Towards Indianisation

       –  Structural Inequities

       –  Medical Politics and European Racial Prejudice

       –  The Medical Market and Indian Competition

       –  Professional Discrimination and Historiographic Marginalisation

       –  Professional Closure and the Pathologisation of a Successful

       –  The Decline of the ‘Good Parsi’

       –  Collaborators, Competitors and Ambivalence

       –  Indianisation and Histories of Medicine

       –  Subalterns

Chapter 2 | The Patients: The Demographics of Gender and Age, Locality,
Occupation, Caste and Religion

       –  Gender Confined

       –  ‘Criminal Lunatics’

       –  Intellectual Disability and Patients’ Ages

       –  Occupational Background and Caste

       –  Religion

Chapter 3 | Institutional Trends and Standardisation: Deaths, Diseases and

       –  Mortality

       –  Death and Illness by Gender

       –  Causes of Death

       –  Towards Standardisation

       –  Mortality and Morbidity

       –  Disease Prevalence

       –  Suicide, Escapes and Patients’ Freedom of Movement

       –  Cures

 Chapter 4 | Classifications, Types of Disorder and Aetiology

       –  Standardisation and Variation of Classifications

       –  Ruptures and Continuities

       –  Male and Female Maladies?

       –  Aetiology – ‘the outstanding problem of psychiatry’

 Chapter 5 | Treatments

       –  Indigenous Herbs

       –  ‘Modern’ Drugs

       –  Wonder Cures and ‘Disappointing’ and ‘Indifferent’ Results

       –  The Shock Therapies

       –  Justifying the Need to Shock and Sedate

                     – Psychoanalysis

                     – Western and Indian Tubs: Hydrotherapy

                     – Dutt’s Bratachari

                     – Feasts and Religious Therapy

       –  Work and Occupational Therapy

       –  Diet

       –  Sports and Entertainments