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Scholars@Hallwalls: Michael Rembis, “‘A fact was no less a fact because it was told by a crazy person’: Popular Responses to 19th Century Asylums”

September 13, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Join us at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center for our ninth year of Faculty Fellows talks! This lecture series brings current UB humanities research out into the community – with complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres. Free and open to the public.

Portrait of Mike Rembis

Michael Rembis, Associate Professor, History and Director, UB Center for Disability Studies, 2019-20 OVPRED/HI Public Humanities Faculty Fellow. Photo by Doug Levere.

In this presentation, Rembis contemplates the role of mad people and their allies in protesting asylums in the 19th century United States. Historians and other scholars have been writing about the “patient turn” since the 1980s. Yet historians of madness and psychiatry remain reluctant to engage with much of the evidence left behind by mad people and their allies. Instead, they dismiss it as unrepresentative and unreliable. This presentation, and the larger project upon which it is based, uses the experiences and the writings of mad people and their allies to tell new stories and to rethink old ones.

Michael Rembis is the Director of the Center for Disability Studies and an Associate Professor in the Department of History. He has authored or edited many books, articles, and book chapters, including most recently, The Oxford Handbook of Disability History co-edited with Catherine Kudlick and Kim Nielsen (Oxford University Press, 2018). Rembis is currently working on a book entitled, ‘A Secret Worth Knowing’: Living Mad Lives in the Shadow of the Asylum.


September 13, 2019
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Event Category:


Humanities Institute


Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center
341 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, NY United States
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