Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Mediating Madness

Simon Cross talks about his recent work on how madness is mediated.

Well, I may as well write my first ever blog entry about my new book, Mediating Madness: Mental Distress and Public Representation. Its almost finished – though some wit recently told me that for authors, books are never finished, just abandoned. That seems somehow appropriate not least because there is always something else that you think needs to be said. Anyway, the book is no longer my baby, it has grown and grown, and now needs to stand on its own legs, for better or worse. So, within a month I’ll be delivering the manuscript to Mediating Madness to Palgrave Macmillan. So what topics will the book cover?

The six main chapters range across:
The contemporary cultural politics of madness/mental distress (including the question of why I have chosen to retain the 'non-clinical' notion of madness); Reading historical images of madness: change and continuity in the image of madness; Investigative and campaigning journalism and 'suffering images' of mad folk abandoned to their fate in the asylum; The criminally insane and tabloid tales – which includes discussion of the Yorkshire Ripper case; Visualizing madness: mental illness and public representation; and Speaking of Voices: mediating public talk about mental madness and mental distress.

The reader (perhaps you?) will undertake a journey and see how mediations of madness emerge, disappear, and interleave, only to re-emerge at unexpected moments. I’ll post another blog about the book when its about to go to print. I hope you read it. If you do, please let me know what you think!
(Photo credit: howzey. Permissions.)

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