On Psychiatric Metaphor: Exploring the Use of Clinical Concepts in Cultural Theory
This paper discusses cultural theory’s deployment of clinical concepts from the ‘psy’ disciplines in works such as Anti-Oedipus, Madness and Modernism, Hystories, and The Weariness of the Self. Arguing against what is perhaps a majority view – that using psychiatric terminology ‘metaphorically’ is illegitimate, imprecise, irresponsible, and insensitive to the human costs of illness – I aim to show why it is important for an interdisciplinary field such as the medical humanities to view diagnostic categories from multiple perspectives. This seminar will launch my new book The Sublime Object of Psychiatry: Schizophrenia in Clinical and Cultural Theory (2011).
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