American Lobotomy: A Rhetorical History by Jenell Johnson PDF

By Jenell Johnson

ISBN-10: 0472119443

ISBN-13: 9780472119448

American Lobotomy reviews a large choice of representations of lobotomy to provide a rhetorical historical past of 1 of the main notorious techniques within the heritage of drugs. the advance of lobotomy in 1935 used to be heralded as a “miracle healing” that will empty the nation’s perennially blighted asylums. even if, in simple terms two decades later, lobotomists first and foremost praised for his or her “therapeutic braveness” have been condemned for his or her barbarity, a picture that has merely soured in next a long time. Johnson employs formerly deserted texts like technology fiction, horror movie, political polemics, and conspiracy concept to teach how lobotomy’s entanglement with social and political narratives contributed to a robust snapshot of the operation that persists to this present day. The ebook provocatively demanding situations the historical past of medication, arguing that rhetorical heritage is important to figuring out clinical heritage. It bargains a case examine of ways drugs accumulates that means because it circulates in public tradition and argues for the necessity to comprehend biomedicine as a culturally positioned perform.

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Extra info for American Lobotomy: A Rhetorical History

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Is to be filled with awe, surprise, admiration, or astonishment. Clearly the phenomena that will stimulate such responses will vary from age to age, region to region, and person to person” (T. Jones and Sprunger 2002, xii, original emphasis). A medical marvel at one time or place (blood transfusion, organ transplantation, or in vitro fertilization) may fail to elicit wonder—­and may even provoke horror—­in another. A marvel is something that a historically, geographically, and culturally specific we marvel at, and in this sense “marvel” might be better understood as a transitive verb than a noun.

Grinker immediately threw the scientific basis for lobotomy up for debate, arguing that the organic basis of mental illness was a matter of feeling rather than fact, a comment that surely did not sit well with the devoutly organicist panel. Grinker noted the uncritical haste with which the psychiatric profession had adopted lobotomy, complained that other therapeutic modalities (like psychoanalysis) had not been given enough time to work, and expressed his strong disapproval of the use of an irreversible operation on children.

Because it serves absolutely no purpose. There is absolutely nothing to be gained by holding a grudge” (246). For Rodney, to feel what had happened was not just to remember the past, but to return there, to dwell there, and perhaps to take responsibility for what had happened. For Rodney, the past, his affective reaction to that past, and the lessons of that past seem to be intimately intertwined, and it is perhaps for this reason that he insists that he and his son remain in the present, figured as a nonaffective space of nonreflection.

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American Lobotomy: A Rhetorical History by Jenell Johnson


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