Reason's "Point of Reversal:" A Genealogy of Hysterical Mimicry Restricted; Files Only

Moore, Carly (Spring 2018)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/zg64tk99d?locale=en
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Abstract

Twenty-first century medical discourse surrounding mass hysteria outbreaks present nineteenth century hysterical mimicry in an altered modern context. To destabilize the notion of a transhistorical hysteria this thesis conducts a genealogy of hysterical mimicry by analyzing nineteenth century archival figures and adopting mimicry as a method for representing historical discontinuity. I claim that mimesis as a symptom does not refer to a stable simulation of illness, but a disruptive battle between psychiatric power and the mad. As such, my repurposing of mimicry as a genealogical approach to the archive demonstrates the interchange or forces that produced the hysteric as a transhistorical mime.

Table of Contents

Preface....1

Introduction...2

Chapter 1: Miming the Archive - My Encounter with the Hysterics of St. Elizabeths Hospital...19

Chapter 2: Mimetic Transgression and Hysteria’s “Mute Surplus”... 37

Chapter 3: The Hysterical Present ...48

Conclusion...59

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