- The Oxford Handbook of Disability History
- The Perils and Promises of Disability Biography
- Disability History and Greco-Roman Antiquity
- Intellectual Disability in the European Middle Ages
- Disability in the Premodern Arab World
- Disability and the History of Eugenics
- Social History of Medicine and Disability History
- Material Culture, Technology, and the Body in Disability History
- Designing Objects and Spaces: A Modern Disability History
- Documents, Ethics, and the Disability Historian
- Disability and Work During the Industrial Revolution in Britain
- Disability and Work in South Asia and the United Kingdom
- Disability and Work in British West Africa
- Race, Work, and Disability in Progressive Era United States
- Organized Labor and Disability in Post–World War II United States
- Deaf-Blindness and the Institutionalization of Special Education in Nineteenth-Century Europe
- Disability and Madness in Colonial Asylum Records in Australia and New Zealand
- Madness, Transnationalism, and Emotions in Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century New Zealand
- Institutions for People with Disabilities in North America
- Picturing Disability in Eighteenth-Century England
- Disability, Race, and Gender on the Stage in Antebellum America
- Polio and Disability in Cold War Hungary
- Monstrous Births, Birth Defects, Unusual Anatomy, and Disability in Europe and North America
- Disability in Modern Chinese Cinema
- Transnational Interconnections in Nineteenth-Century Western Deaf Communities
- The Disability Rights Movement in the United States
- The Rise of Gay Rights and the Disavowal of Disability in the United States
- Disabled Veterans and the Wounds of War
Abstract and Keywords
The institution or asylum in North America was established as a mechanism for confining, controlling, and containing groups of individuals classified and labeled as mentally ill or intellectually disabled and defined as deviant, defective, or delinquent. These congregate facilities, established both for the protection of the individuals housed there and for the simultaneous protection of society from those same people, developed into massive structures designed to accommodate thousands of residents/patients/inmates. The rationale behind the rapid rise of the institution throughout the nineteenth and into the mid-twentieth centuries paralleled the growth of modern medicine and psychiatry. By the 1950s, institutions housed hundreds of thousands of individuals. Yet by the start of the twenty-first century, the institutional model had been intellectually discredited, and these facilities had been all but abandoned. This rather astounding demise mirrored broader social, scientific, and medical trends.
Steven Noll is a master lecturer in the Department of History at the University of Florida. His research and published works focus on two widely disparate topics: disability history (especially the history of intellectual disability) and Florida history (especially Florida environmental history).
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