A. JAMIE SARIS is Lecturer, Department of Anthropology, St. Patrick's College, Maynooth, County Kildare, Ireland.
Mad Kings, Paper Houses, and an Asylum in Rural Ireland
Article first published online: 28 OCT 2009
1996 American Anthropological Association
Volume 98, Issue 3, pages 539–554, September 1996
How to Cite
SARIS, A. J. (1996), Mad Kings, Paper Houses, and an Asylum in Rural Ireland. American Anthropologist, 98: 539–554. doi: 10.1525/aa.1996.98.3.02a00080
- Issue published online: 28 OCT 2009
- Article first published online: 28 OCT 2009
This essay examines aspects of the local history and cultural life of St. Columba's Mental Hospital, a formerly large asylum in the west of Ireland. The way local people talk about the hospital as a place and the way the institution mixes its local, colonial, and national histories reveal that native spatial logics have succeeded in at least partially domesticating this bureaucratic structure, even as the asylum and the thinking that motivated it have contributed to historical changes at this periphery.