Memorialisation and remembrance: on strategic forgetting and the metamorphosis of psychiatric asylums into sites for tertiary educational provision


Kearns, Robin, Joseph, Alun E. and Moon, Graham (2010) Memorialisation and remembrance: on strategic forgetting and the metamorphosis of psychiatric asylums into sites for tertiary educational provision. Social & Cultural Geography, 11, (8), 731-749. (doi:10.1080/14649365.2010.521852).

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Description/Abstract

This paper builds on earlier investigations of psychiatric asylum closure by focusing on their not infrequent successor role as educational facilities. We ask two questions: what conditions underpin a transition to educational re-use, and how is former asylum use remembered and memorialised in the successor context? Through recounting and interpreting the histories of acquisition and adaptation at two sites (Carrington, Auckland and Lakeshore, Toronto), we build a narrative that suggests a variable response to the shadows cast by stigma and the vilification of asylum. We distinguish between memorialisation (material reminders on site) and remembrance (narratives of past use). Former asylum sites, we contend, are attractive for educational users for their campus-like settings, range of buildings and (now) suburban locations. For city residents and planners replacing one institutional use with another keeps the site green, brings employment, and retains semi-public access. Memorialisation is often strategically low-key and remembrance more personal and individual. The net result is a relict landscape that speaks to the transcendence of stigma despite the relatively recent demise of the asylum.

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 1464-9365 (print)
1470-1197 (electronic)
Alternative titles: Commémoration et souvenir: sur l'oubli stratégique et la métamorphose des asiles psychiatriques dans des sites des provisions éducatives tertiaires Memorialización y recuerdo: en el olvido estratégico y la metamorfosis de asilos psiquiátricos a sitios para provisión educacional superior
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Human Sciences > Geography and Environment > Population, Health & Wellbeing
ePrint ID: 196055
Date Deposited: 01 Sep 2011 15:23
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 19:45
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/196055

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