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date: 19 February 2019

Abstract and Keywords

As is evident in studies of medical thought, publications, personnel, and legislation, transnationalism has been little utilized to examine the migration histories of patients and their ties to “home.” Historians of the asylum instead focus on connections in patients’ new homelands. Likewise, scholars have largely overlooked the emotional lives of patients, which is surprising in light of various emotions said to cause patient confinement. It is therefore important to examine the existence (and absence) of emotional connections between relatives who were separated by oceans and the actions and emotional language that patients, their families, and medical doctors deployed for purposes of reassurance, material support, and negotiation of return migration. Overall, despite individual experiences of emotions, emotional life within and beyond the asylum took place in a broad social context and involved diverse historical actors.

Keywords: madness, transnationalism, emotions, correspondence, insanity, institutional records, Australia, New Zealand

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