College of Arts and Sciences | Memoirs of Madness
S103 | 22872 | Jim Capshew


TuTh 1:00-2:15pm

How do people conceptualize and write about their mental trauma and
psychological distress? The seminar interrogates personal narratives
of depression, aphasia, head injury, and other forms of neurological
damage and emotional affliction using a variety of perspectives,
including literary and scientific viewpoints. The works will be
considered for their contribution to clinical science,
rehabilitative services, and popular understanding of limits to
human experience.

Participants in this freshman seminar should expect a fair amount of
interesting reading, regular writing assignments and quizzes, some
group projects, and robust class discussion at every meeting. The
topic should interest students of psychology, sociology,
anthropology, human development, speech and hearing sciences,
education, and English.

Texts include:
Jamison, Kay Redfield. An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and
Madness. New York: Knopf, 1995.
Kaysen, Susanna. Girl, Interrupted. New York: Vintage, 1993.
Murphy, Robert F. The Body Silent. New York: Norton, 1987/1990.
Sacks, Olivers. A Leg to Stand On. New York: HarperPerennial, 1984.
Styron, William. Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness. New York:
Vintage, 1992.
Wurtzel, Elizabeth. Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America.
New York: Riverhead, 1994.