College - Author 1

College of Liberal Arts

Department - Author 1

History Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BA in History



Primary Advisor

Jason Linn, College of Liberal Arts, History Department


Academia and scholarship of the 20th-century bred a renewed interest in mental illness throughout history. Despite an increase in the literature within the discourse surrounding "madness," scholars have generally failed to understand how and why Western European societies have viewed mental illness in various ways throughout recorded history. This paper argues that there remains an inherent, human desire to reject anything different from humanity, particularly mental illness, which is nearly impossible to fully comprehend. This is especially true in the case of how societies have institutionalized, punished, and subjugated the "mad" individual.