‘And Then the Monsters Come Out’: Madness, Language and Power


‘And Then the Monsters Come Out’: Madness, Language and Power


Edited by Fiona Ann Papps

Year: 2014

Format: eBook


‘And Then the Monsters Come Outʼ: Madness, Language and Power presents an interdisciplinary exploration of the themes of language and power in the construction and representation of madness.

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No term is so evocative as madness. Indeed, no scholarly definition of madness exists; hardly surprising given that constructions and representations of madness are products of social, economic, historical and philosophical forces, and cannot be separated from the social conditions under which they appear. How we understand madness, then, relies on the metaphors and tropes used to represent it, and these are as variable as the contexts giving rise to madness. Nevertheless, enduring cross-cultural and cross-historical themes emerge in the study of madness, associating it with the monstrous, the tragically heroic and the feminine. The continuity of these themes raises questions highlighting the centrality of power to understanding of madness: who defines madness, from what position, within what context and with what intended outcome? Madness, then, participates in and constructs its own rhizomatic madness, inviting us to draw on a multiplicity of knowledges and positionings to make sense of it.

‘And Then the Monsters Come Out’
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Fiona Ann Papps is a lecturer in Psychological Sciences at the Australian College of Applied Psychology. Her research interests include representations of body and sexuality in the popular media and qualitative and quantitative research methods. She also writes poetry and creative non-fiction.