Case Histories and the Uses of Narrative in Psychiarty
During the asylum era, case histories were a means by which practitioners organized and disseminated local knowledge through professional societies, affiliations, and journals. The way in which these histories were recorded was subsequently codified, giving rise to a genre. In her thorough reading of Sigmund Freud's Fragment of an Analysis of a Case of Hysteria, Berkenkotter shows how this account of Freud's famous patient "Dora" led to technical innovation in the genre through the incorporation of literary devices. In the volume's final section, Berkenkotter carries the discussion forward to the present in her examination of the turn from psychoanalysis to a research-based and medically oriented classification system now utilized by the American Psychiatric Association. Throughout her work Berkenkotter stresses the value of reading case histories as an interdisciplinary bridge between the humanities and sciences.
About the Author
"Berkenkotter presents a fascinating study of the genre of psychiatric case histories, tracing the shifting rhetorical contexts that have shaped the varying incarnations of the genre. She argues convincingly that the psychiatric case history has not evolved like other science genres but has shifted radically with changing paradigms and practices in the field of psychiatry. Genre theorists, rhetoricians, and historians of medicine will find her work a highly readable history of the external factors and individual innovations that have transformed the textual accounts of patients whose words are their symptoms."—Jeanne Fahnestock, University of Maryland
"Patient Tales is a thorough analysis of the uses of narrative in psychiatry, based on the historical documentation of single case reports from the earliest known medical records of British asylums to the clinical case conferences in the American Journal of Psychiatry. Captivating renditions of late 18th- and early 19th-century case histories allow the reader to watch the history of inpatient psychiatry to unfold."—American Journal of Psychiatry
Other Titles by Carol Berkenkotter
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