School of Historical and Philosophical Studies - Research Publications

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    Out of the madhouse: From asylums to caring community?
    Buchanan, RD (WILEY, 2021-07)
    The asylum era has occupied historians of madness for decades, but the story of deinstitutionalization has received comparatively less attention. While this complex process varied from country to country, there were common elements in the way it unfolded across the western world. Historians like to point out that deinstitutionalization was a long time coming, that the demise of the big public madhouses was grounded in their extraordinary expansion in the latter part of the 19th century. Even then, they had come in for scathing criticism suggesting they were inhumane and counterproductive. Public mental hospitals in the United States and some European countries began to empty soon after the Second World War, even before the new drugs arrived in the 1950s, partly driven by labor shortages that encouraged occupational rehabilitation. By then, psychiatrists and allied professionals had embraced the idea of a mental health continuum and shorter-term treatment in community-based services. The economic strains of the 1970s and 80s pushed the process along irreversibly, ensuring that longstanding critiques directly shaped social policy or served as convenient rationales.
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    [Review of the book Psychiatrist in the Chair: The Official Biography of Anthony Clare, by Brendan Kelly and Muiris Houston]
    Malcolm, E (Irish Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand, 2021)
    Review of: Psychiatrist in the chair: The official biography of Anthony Clare, by Brendan Kelly and Muiris Houston, Newbridge: Merrion Press, 2020, 292 pp., AU$42.34, ISBN 9781785373299.
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    The Irish Women's Liberation Movement in Dublin during the mid-1970s
    Malcolm, E (Irish Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand, 2021)
    The international movement known at the time as women’s liberation—later called second-wave feminism—emerged in Ireland at the beginning of the 1970s. The feminist activist and scholar, Ailbhe Smyth, has divided the Irish Republic’s women’s movement during that decade into three phases: mobilisation 1970–74; radicalisation 1975–7; and consolidation 1977–83.1 But these phases by no means capture the full diversity of the all-Ireland movement at the time. Experiences differed as between, for example, North and South, town and country, middle- and working-class women, gay and straight women, and those who wanted an autonomous women’s movement as opposed to those who sought to tie feminism to republicanism. Smyth’s phases do highlight the movement’s initial volatility though. Groups and campaigns came and went in rapid succession, before a degree of stability emerged towards the end of the decade.
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    Editorial
    Tse, N (Informa UK Limited, 2021-01-01)
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    Robot death care: A study of funerary practice
    Gould, H ; Arnold, M ; Kohn, T ; Nansen, B ; Gibbs, M (SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC, 2021-07)
    Across the globe, human experiences of death, dying, and grief are now shaped by digital technologies and, increasingly, by robotic technologies. This article explores how practices of care for the dead are transformed by the participation of non-human, mechanised agents. We ask what makes a particular robot engagement with death a breach or an affirmation of care for the dead by examining recent entanglements between humans, death, and robotics. In particular, we consider telepresence robots for remote attendance of funerals; semi-humanoid robots officiating in a religious capacity at memorial services; and the conduct of memorial services by robots, for robots. Using the activities of robots to ground our discussion, this article speaks to broader cultural anxieties emerging in an era of high-tech life and high-tech death, which involve tensions between human affect and technological effect, machinic work and artisanal work, humans and non-humans, and subjects and objects.
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    Cybernetic Funeral Systems
    Arnold, M ; Gould, H ; Kohn, T ; Nansen, B ; Allison, F ; Love, H ; Adamson, G ; Gopal, TV (IEEE, 2021)
    Using Postphenomenology (one of many methods informed by Wiener's cybernetics) as an analytical approach, this paper examines three examples of robot participation in, and mediation of, funerals. The analysis of robot mediation of funerals challenges the idea that death rituals are exclusively human performances and experiences, and instead repositions them as cybernetic systems of entanglement and impact. The paper begins with an introduction to the relevance of postphenomenological theory, then moves to the case of CARL, a robot that enables remote participation in funeral ceremonies. We argue that the [Human-Robot-Funeral] relation and its variants are both engaging and alienating, through revealing-concealing, magnification-reduction and a more generalised enabling-constraining. Technological mediation is also evident in the case of Pepper, a robot that has officiated at funerals as a Buddhist monk. We describe similarities and differences in the way CARL and Pepper manifest the [Human-Robot-Funeral] relation. The final example is AIBO, a companion robot that becomes the locus of a funeral ritual. This offers a radical case that directly challenges humans' self-proclaimed exceptional ontology.
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    Making the First Emperor’s Chariots—High-temperature Bronze Connection Technologies in Qin Dynasty China
    Huan, Y ; Jizhen, L ; Eckfeld, T ; Junchang, Y (Informa UK Limited, 2021)
    Since the discovery of two bronze chariots at Qin Shihuang’s mausoleum in 1978, the technical methods used by skilled artisans to construct them has remained a question of scholarly interest. While the parts and joints of the chariots have been studied, the complex metal technologies used to assemble the chariots has not been analysed in detail. This article examines the high-temperature connection technologies used to assemble the around 5500 metal parts of the two chariots and divides them into two major types: cast joints and welded joints. It categorises the cast joints, including embedded-casting and package-casting, and the welded joints as three types based on different methods. Through examination of the bronze chariots, this study demonstrates that the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BCE) built on Bronze Age technologies to reach new heights of excellence in a post-Bronze Age.
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    Tamara’s secrets
    Lewit, T ( 2021)
    As the historical researcher for The Boy Who Stepped Through Time, I felt a buzz of excitement every time my phone beeped with another question from Anna. How could I discover the answer for her to use in the story? Would there be a clue hidden in an ancient painting, a poem, or a Roman rubbish tip? Here, I have written down where I hunted, and what I discovered.
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    Automating Digital Afterlives
    Fordyce, R ; Nansen, B ; Arnold, M ; Kohn, T ; Gibbs, M ; Jansson, A ; Adams, PC (Oxford University Press, 2021-08-26)
    The question of how the dead “live on” by maintaining a presence and connecting to the living within social networks has garnered the attention of users, entrepreneurs, platforms, and researchers alike. In this chapter we investigate the increasingly ambiguous terrain of posthumous connection and disconnection by focusing on a diverse set of practices implemented by users and offered by commercial services to plan for and manage social media communication, connection, and presence after life. Drawing on theories of self-presentation (Goffman) and technological forms of life (Lash), we argue that moderated and automated performances of posthumous digital presence cannot be understood as a continuation of personal identity or self-presentation. Rather, as forms of mediated human (after)life, posthumous social media presence materializes ambiguities of connection/disconnection and self/identity.