COAS-S 103 23994 Madness (Wagschal) (HISP) (A & H) (3 cr.)

Through a selection of literary readings and film viewings, MADNESS will begin by exploring how artists have represented what madness and going mad might feel like. Later, we will delve into the question of what it means to be crazy, with readings from philosophy, psychology and history. Who defines who is mad and who is not? On what basis do people and societies judge that someone is insane? Is there a rigorous scientific basis for such definitions or not? Ultimately, we will examine what the use of the term “mad” says about those against whom the mad are defined, namely, those with “normal” minds, selves and spirits.


Euripides, The Bacchae. [5th Century, BC]
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper. [1892]
Peter Schaffer, Equus. [1975]
Kay Redfield Jamison, An Unquiet Mind. [1995]
Several articles will be available on reserve.