From the ship of fools to witchcraft, mental health stigma in early modern folly literature

Alberts, Ian Leigh (2019). From the ship of fools to witchcraft, mental health stigma in early modern folly literature. University of Birmingham. M.A.

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It was the French post-modernist philosopher Michel Foucault, who more than any other, placed the allegory of the ship of fools (and with it early modern German folly literature) at the centre of discourse on mental illness when he published his Folie et Déraison: Histoire de la Folie à l''âge classique. In doing so, he raised a number of intriguing questions about the nature of madness in medieval society, and drew a number parallels between this period and our own. To consider further the portrayal of madness in the early modern period, Sebastian Brant's Narrenschiff, Thomas Murner's Von dem Groÿen Lutherischen Narren and Heinrich Kramer's Malleus Maleficarum will be analysed as primary sources. The thesis will approach the subject both from an analysis of the cultural and historical context of the period in which the key texts were written, as well as a textual analysis informed by a medical and social sciences understanding of mental illness. The result of this interdisciplinary study will be several new insights into the texts, including a reappraisal of Brant's portrayal of folly.

Type of Work: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.A.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.A.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music, Department of Modern Languages
Funders: Other
Other Funders: Enhanced Learning Scheme - the Ministry of Defence
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D111 Medieval History
P Language and Literature > PT Germanic literature


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