Questions of Insanity in Imperial Germany
Historiography commonly has described the relationship between patient and psychiatrist as a »monologue« of the doctors. This paper offers a different perspective: based on brochures, that (former) patients had published between 1890 and 1910 it asks how normality and anormality on the one hand, normality and normativity on the other hand were figured and conceptualised. The brochures provide an insight into different ways in which psychiatry was occupied and they show how men and women who were diagnosed as being insane had experienced their social exclusion. Together with these brochures the so called »Irrenfrage« gained notable public interest. Analysing the texts in the context of social history as well as in that of the history of psychiatry reveals the interrelation between knowledge, types of normativity and concepts of subjectivity in the years around 1900.