Art, Science, and Asylum Reform in Paris 1900

This book project focuses on the Villejuif asylum near Paris, which was home to an energetic movement for scientific innovation and institutional reform in the two decades before World War I. Despite the efforts of Doctors Auguste Marie, Paul Serieux, and Edouard Toulouse, patient prognoses remained dismal. Through detailed analyses of the inner workings of the Villejuif  wards, laboratories, library, and art museum, this book will explore how the failure to improve outcomes for patients shaped ideas about the nature of insanity.

Related publications:

Elizabeth Nelson, “Timeknots: Science and Reform at a French Asylum circa 1900” (Doctoral Dissertation in History, Indiana University, Bloomington, 2015). Full text of the dissertation available upon request.

Elizabeth Nelson, “Running in Circles: A Return to an Old Idea about Asylum Reform,” Proceedings of the Western Society for French History, Vol. 42 (2014), pp. 115-125.