Past events

RAI Research Seminar: Roland Littlewood
Wednesday 15 May 2013
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RAI RESEARCH SEMINAR

SEMINAR SERIES AT THE ROYAL ANTHROPOLOGICAL INSTITUTE

The Seligman Error: mental illness and social anthropology

Professor Roland Littlewood, University College London

Wednesday 15 May at 5.30 pm

The anthropologist and physician C.G.Seligman, a member of the Torres Straits Expedition and later Evans-Pritchard's teacher, is remembered in psychiatry for the 'Seligman error'- the assumption that there was no mental illness in pre-industrial societies. A common explanation which still has currency in popular anthropology is that Seligman missed mental illness in Papua

New Guinea and elsewhere because mental illness was incorporated (and thus concealed) in normative social institutions. Thus the shaman is really a schizophrenic cured by his shamanism. The current status of such theories is discussed and some alternative explanations suggested.

This event is free, but tickets must be booked.  To book tickets please go to http://rolandlittlewood.eventbrite.co.uk/">http://rolandlittlewood.eventbrite.co.uk/#