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RZ-271273-20

University of Mississippi Medical Center (Jackson, MS 39216-4505)
Amy Wiese Forbes (Project Director: December 2019 to present)
Patrick D. Hopkins (Co Project Director: January 2020 to present)
Ralph Didlake (Co Project Director: January 2020 to present)
An Investigation of the Mississippi Lunatic Asylum as History and Memory

Preparation of a digital archive and print anthology on the history of the Mississippi Lunatic Asylum (1855-1935) and its role in public memory. (36 months)

An interdisciplinary group of scholars at the Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) seeks support from the NEH for a collaborative humanities study of the former site of the Mississippi State Lunatic Asylum, its patients, and descendant community in historical and social context, and in memory. The study follows from the 2014 discovery of 7,000 burials of Asylum patients beneath the UMMC campus, and extensive public call for information about the institutions. We argue that the Asylum’s place in professional and lay understandings of mental illness, social exclusion and silences in family genealogies, theories and practices of early modern healthcare, populations of public psychiatric institutions, and post-emancipation racial understanding has been understudied or unknown. We are thus requesting NEH funding to support research time and the costs of collecting, analyzing, interpreting, and disseminating information about the Asylum.

Project fields:
Interdisciplinary Studies, General; U.S. Regional Studies

Program:
Collaborative Research

Division:
Research Programs

Totals:
$249,836 (approved)
$249,836 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2020 – 9/30/2024