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100 Years of Sex, Syphilis and Psychiatry in Scotland

Tuesday 23 October 2012, 7.30PM

Speaker(s): Gayle Davis M.A.(Hons), M.Phil., Ph.D.

Against a background of potent fears surrounding the moral and physical ‘degeneration’ of nineteenth and early-twentieth-century society, and significant change within the discipline of psychiatry, this lecture will explore a critical period in the developing relationship between syphilis and insanity. General paralysis of the insane (GPI) was one of the most devastating diseases observed in British psychiatry during the century after 1840, in terms of the high number and type of patients diagnosed, the severity of its symptoms and, above all, its utterly hopeless prognosis. The paper will consider each of these elements of the disease, exploring the disease category from a variety of perspectives: social, moral, medical and pathological.

This Yorkshire Philosophical Society evening lecture is presented in collaboration with the Centre for Global Health Histories, University of York, and with support from the Wellcome Trust.

Gayle Davis is Wellcome Lecturer, History of Medicine at the School of History, Classics and Archaeology, University of Edinburgh. Dr Davis is the author of “The Cruel Madness of Love: Sex, Syphilis and Psychiatry in Scotland, 1880-1930”.

Location: The Tempest Anderson Hall of the Yorkshire Museum, Museum Gardens York, North Yorkshire, UK.

Admission: No advance booking. Further details are available from: The Clerk, Yorkshire Philosophical Society, The Lodge, Museum Gardens, York, YO1 7DR

Telephone: 01904 656713