Managing Maladjustment in the Modern World. Perspectives from Southeastern Europe
University of Rijeka, 15-16 November 2018
Organized by Heike Karge (University of Regensburg), Vanni D’Alessio (University of Naples and Center for Advances Studies at University of Rijeka) and Filip Čeč (University of Rijeka)
Financed by BAYHOST (Bavarian Academic Center for Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe) and Faculty of Philosophy, University of Rijeka
The workshop aims at exploring and strengthening interdisciplinary approaches from the cultural history of psychiatry. This is still a largely uncharted territory for the understanding of the history of Central and Southeastern Europe, but in recent years, a number of studies have begun to explore the history of the area in terms of psychiatric and forensic history. The purpose of this workshop is primarily to bring together scholars dealing with the history of Southeastern Europe and the former Habsburg region through the lens of the cultural history of psychiatry. It furthermore aims to build up a scientific and interdisciplinary network of human and social scientists working on these topics in the above-mentioned region in order to explore options of research projects, workshops and conferences, and publications.
The workshop that is going to take place on November 15th and 16th, 2018, will discuss how norm-deviant behavior or “maladjustment” was pathologized and criminalized in increasingly modern-minded societies of the 20th century. We will discuss which factors (be they social, sexual, political, biological, etc.) were relevant for the perception of normal / abnormal or adjusted/maladjusted behavior, and by what means and arguments such behavior was pathologized or criminalized in different times and environments.
On their return from their professional training at Western and central European universities, psychiatrists from the north-eastern Adriatic to the southern Balkans were confronted with patients of mainly peasant origins. Indeed, in some areas of Southeastern Europe, until about 1945, the peasant proportion among patients was up to 75%. Our understanding is that the strong agrarian character of the society in Yugoslavia and in other areas of Southeastern Europe until the mid-20th century had a significant influence on the development of psychiatric thinking in this space. The way social reality was constructed by these psychiatrists was thus not only shaped by their education at Western and Central European universities, but significantly also by the psychiatrists’ interpretations of what they perceived as an anti-modern peasant-patients’ world. We therefore imply that due to the strong agrarian character of the patients and of the region as a whole, the development of psychiatric knowledge (for instance about “maladjustment”) in the modernizing Southeastern Europe bears certain specific features. The idea is to explore “maladjustment” through the lens of psychiatric thinking and practice starting from these assumptions and this framework. Hence, we wish to focus on the transfer of professional psychiatric knowledge, on the social values and norms implied therein, and on the adaptation of this knowledge and norms in predominantly rural Central and Southeastern European areas.
As for the time periods and geography, the contributors to the workshop will span their attention to a number of cases, ranging from the late-Habsburg southeastern peripheries of the Austrian coastal land, Carniola, Croatia-Slavonia and Vojvodina, to the interwar Yugoslavia and its bordering area, to the socialist Yugoslavia and beyond.
The participants of the two-day workshop “Managing Maladjustment in the Modern World: Perspectives from Southeastern Europe” will contribute to a discussion of the questions formulated above with the following paper presentations:
November 15th, 2018, FFRI, room 470, h. 16.00
Heike Karge, Vanni D’Alessio, Filip Čeč, Opening words
Introduction into the idea and aims of the workshop
Vanni D’Alessio (PhD, historian, University of Naples), Filip Čeč (PhD, philosopher, University of Rijeka): “Habsburg imperial legacies in psychiatric thinking and practice of the early 20th century in the Northeastern Adriatic”
Heike Karge (PhD, historian, University of Regensburg): “Maladjustment and modernity: The case of Yugoslavia. Theses”
19.30 Dinner, Konoba Feral (City Center)
November 16th, 2018, FFRI, room 402, 9.am
Ana Antić (PhD, historian, University of Exeter): “Curing ‘primitive’ patients in Yugoslavia – The concept of ‘primitivism’ in Yugoslav psychiatry before and during socialism”
Franko Dota (PhD, historian, University of Rijeka): “‘Born This Way'”: Male Homosexuality in Yugoslav Forensic and Clinical Psychiatry”
Luca Malatesti (PhD, philosopher, University of Rijeka): “Philosophy of psychiatry and history: the case of antisocial disorders”
Filip Čeč (PhD, philosopher, University of Rijeka): “Punishing the maladjusted: the justification of psychiatric seclusion at the turn of the century”
Vinko Drača (PhD student, historian, University of Zagreb): “Clockwork machines and fairy possession: Persecutory world of paranoid patients in the Stenjevac insane asylum”
Jelena Seferović (PhD, anthropologist, University Ljubljana): “The emergence and development of the Neuropsychiatric hospital dr. Ivan Barbot Popovača in interwar Yugoslavia”
16.00 Final Round-up
19.00 Dinner, Restaurant Nebulosa, (City Center)