Philo, Christopher Paul Books

Chris Philo has been Professor of Geography at the University of Glasgow since 1995. His major research is on the historical geography of madness and asylums, but he has also studied the ‘post-asylum geographies’ associated with deinstitutionalization.

Geographical History of Institutional Provision for the Insane From Medieval Times to the 1860’s in England and Wales
2003 0-7734-6509-X
This book tackles the historical encounter between madness and space in two interwoven ways. Conceptually, it offers a critical revisiting of Foucault’s famous 1961 text translated as Madness and Civilization. Empirically, it offers a sustained inquiry into the changing geography of the palces and spaces associated with madness in England and Wales from Medieval times to the 1860s. It traces the emergence of an exclusionary impulse seeking to remove those designated as ‘mad’ from the midst of everyday society, and it also maps out the many different sites and institutions that have confined, sheltered, treated and even cured madness over the centuries. From the places of hermit-saints to the spaces of the public county lunatic asylum, attention is paid to the discourses and practices that have created a succession of muddled, overlain and often disputed ‘landscapes of lunacy’. From the seclusion of the remotest countryside to the bustle of the most congested city, reference is made to the many different types of environment that have been the setting for receptacles receiving early mental patients. Readers can follow the broad historical sweep of the narrative, or they can dip into the relatively self-contained chapters on particular facilities (gaols and workhouses, private madhouses, charitable lunatic hospitals, and public county lunatic asylums).