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On the outskirts of Havana lies Mazorra, an asylum known to—and at times feared by—ordinary Cubans for over a century. Since its founding in 1857, the island's first psychiatric hospital has been an object of persistent political attention. Drawing on hospital documents and government records, as well as the popular press, photographs, and oral histories, Dr. Jennifer L. Lambe charts the connections between the inner workings of this notorious institution and the highest echelons of Cuban politics. Across the sweep of modern Cuban history, she finds, Mazorra has served as both laboratory and microcosm of the Cuban state: the asylum is an icon of its ignominious colonial and neocolonial past and a crucible of its republican and revolutionary futures.
Dr. Jennifer L. Lambe is Assistant Professor of Latin American and Caribbean History at Brown University. She earned her Ph.D. in Latin American and Caribbean History at Yale University and her B.A. in Gender Studies and History at Brown University. Her work has received support from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Coordinating Council for Women in History, and the Cuban Heritage Collection of the University of Miami Libraries. Dr. Lambe is coeditor of the volume New Histories of the Cuban Revolution, currently under review by Duke University Press.
Latin American Studies
Lambe, Jennifer L., "Madhouse Psychiatry and Politics in Cuban History" (2017). Cuban Research Institute Events. 378.
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