Call Boomerang Books 1300 36 33 32

In this classic of French cultural studies, Georges Didi-Huberman traces the intimate and reciprocal relationship between the disciplines of psychiatry and photography in the late nineteenth century. Focusing on the immense photographic output of the Salpetriere hospital, the notorious Parisian asylum for insane and incurable women, Didi-Huberman shows the crucial role played by photography in the invention of the category of hysteria. Under the direction of the medical teacher and clinician Jean-Martin Charcot, the inmates of Salpetriere identified as hysterics were methodically photographed, providing skeptical colleagues with visual proof of hysteria's specific form. These images, many of which appear in this book, provided the materials for the multivolume album Iconographie photographique de la Salpetriere. As Didi-Huberman shows, these photographs were far from simply objective documentation. The subjects were required to portray their hysterical "type" -- they performed their own hysteria. Bribed by the special status they enjoyed in the purgatory of experimentation and threatened with transfer back to the inferno of the incurables, the women patiently posed for the photographs and submitted to presentations of hysterical attacks before the crowds that gathered for Charcot's "Tuesday Lectures." Charcot did not stop at voyeuristic observation. Through techniques such as hypnosis, electroshock therapy, and genital manipulation, he instigated the hysterical symptoms in his patients, eventually giving rise to hatred and resistance on their part. Didi-Huberman follows this path from complicity to antipathy in one of Charcot's favorite "cases," that of Augustine, whose image crops up again and again in the Iconographie. Augustine's virtuosic performance of hysteria ultimately became one of self-sacrifice, seen in pictures of ecstasy, crucifixion, and silent cries.

Buy Invention of Hysteria book by Georges Didi-Huberman from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.

Book Details

ISBN: 9780262541800
ISBN-10: 0262541807
Format: Paperback
(254mm x 178mm x 25mm)
Pages: 385
Imprint: MIT Press
Publisher: MIT Press Ltd
Publish Date: 15-Oct-2004
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions

Reviews

» Have you read this book? We'd like to know what you think about it - write a review about Invention of Hysteria book by Georges Didi-Huberman and you'll earn 50c in Boomerang Bucks loyalty dollars (you must be a Boomerang Books Account Holder - it's free to sign up and there are great benefits!)

Write Review


Author Biography - Georges Didi-Huberman

Georges Didi-Huberman teaches at the Ecole des hautes etudes en sciences sociales in Paris. He is a winner of the Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing on Art given by the College Art Association.

Books By Author Georges Didi-Huberman

Man Who Walked in Color by Georges Didi-Huberman

The Man Who Walked in Color

Paperback, May 2017
$30.59
Being a Skull by Georges Didi-Huberman

Being a Skull

Paperback / softback, November 2016
$30.59
Uprisings by Georges Didi-Huberman

Uprisings

Hardback, October 2016
$94.69
What is a People? by Georges Didi-Huberman

What is a People?

Hardback, May 2016
$39.59