Friday Morning Seminar - December 3 with Sarah Pinto - Shared screen with speaker view
Annabelle Slingerland
in which ways would these stages reflect descriptions by the neurologist Oliver Sacks in NY at the time?
David Jed Schwartz
might you Sarah, comment on the following observations: might a collective state of hysteria result from the presence of severely threatened repressive actions supporting colonial dominating rule? So there might well be a heightened level of fear which would induce such a relatively collective state of essentially non consciousness. When onon consciousness related to collective hysteria was I place, then decision making processes would likely be more based upon collective conditioning processes. Similar processes may be to a considerable extent present in the present day US, America, that is.
Michael and Michele Nathan
@ Annabele S: My recall is that Sack's patients (post-encephalitic Parkinson's) did have waxy rigidity, but their reported internal experience (upon "awakening") was of intact volition but inability to act (though at least one reported a weird delay between volition and action). This seems quite different than the internal experiences of these South Asian patients who reported feeling compelled to stillness, at least in some cases by Sarah's report.
Annabelle Slingerland
@Michael and Sarah, many thanks!
Seinenu Thein-Lemelson
Thank you so much Sarah. I thought the observation that you made about how the motivation to understand culture and mind was very much connected to strategies of counterinsurgency was fascinating. Also fascinating is the finding that many of these cases were drawn from the carceral population, particularly those who had been imprisoned for political reasons. Can you say a bit more about this history and did you consider drawing links between case studies and accounts of colonial rebellion and psychiatric case studies? Why was melancholic stupor, in particular, used to describe the symptoms of the political prisoners but the diagnostic language of “confusion reaction” not? Can you talk a bit more about the political motivations of those who sought to suppress the insurgency as well as those of the Indian psychiatrists?
Michael and Michele Nathan
@ Annabelle and Sarah: It's interesting to think about waxy rigidity as a frame for interpretation with so many underlying inputs, especially in this setting as a potential physical manifestation of a sense of internal loss of agency and immobility associated with political milieu. In that way, I agree a bit with Jed that we may see such immobilization in our current political environment. I wrote this before reading Seinenu's comment above, which is a far more interesting frame for this question!
Annabelle Slingerland
@ Michael Sarah, aligned certainly today, would that encompass escapism as well as port d’entrée following fear and if so would the British novels at the time on hysteria resonate?
Andrew McDowell (he)
The goddess made me do it.
Annabelle Slingerland
made you dive into Wordsworth’s depth…
orkideh behrouzan
Thank you so much Sarah for this amazing presentation.. Looking forward to reading more! And my apologies, I have to leave shorty. So lovely seeing you again!
Annabelle Slingerland
and Michael if those affected towards a dark turn might be contagious and what counter conceptualisation they might nurture from
Michael and Michele Nathan
Well said/asked, Annabelle!
Aneel Brar
Thank you for a wonderful talk and conversation. Incredible work and I too look forward to reading what comes! Happy to finally hear you talk, Sarah.
Annabelle Slingerland
under the shadow of and in the light of with cover maybe a stepping stone too
Virginia Moreira
Thank you!