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‘Asfüriyyeh: A History of Madness, Modernity, and War in the Middle East

Joelle Abi-Rached, Harvard University

Tue, 9/20 · 12:00 pm1:00 pm EDT · Zoom

The Institute for the Transregional Study, NES

Dr. Abi-Rached will present her recent book ‘Asfüriyyeh: A History of Madness, Modernity, and War in the Middle East (MIT Press, 2020). Formally, the Lebanon Hospital for the Insane, ‘Asfüriweh was founded by a Swiss Quaker missionary in 1896. The medical establishment of the day hailed it as one of the first modern psychiatric hospitals in the Middle East. It closed its doors in 1982, a victim of Lebanon’s brutal fifteen-vear civil war. Dr. Abi-Rached uses the rise and fall of ‘Asfüriweh as a lens through which to examine the development of modern psychiatric theory and practice in the region as well as the sociopolitical history of modern Lebanon.

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