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Event Description

This panel takes as its cue the recent publication of Jennifer L. Lambe's book, Madhouse: Psychiatry and Politics in Cuban History, focusing on Mazorra, the island's first psychiatric hospital. The book examines how, from its birth, Cuban psychiatry was politically inflected, drawing partisan contention while sparking debates over race, religion, gender, and sexuality. Psychiatric notions were even invested with revolutionary significance after 1959, as the new government undertook ambitious schemes for social reeducation. Debates about the treatment of mental health issues continued among exiles in South Florida. In particular, the 1980 Mariel boatlift turned into a psychiatric problem both for Cuba and the United States, due to the presence of a large number of mental patients among the migrants.

This panel will feature the following speakers:

• Dr. Jennifer L. Lambe, Department of History, Brown University

• Dr. Eugenio Rothe, Department of Psychiatry, Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, Florida International University

• Dr. Héctor R. Castillo Matos, Nueva América Community Mental Health Center, Miami



Document Type


Event Date

Spring 3-29-2017


Latin American Studies

Mental Health Care in Cuba and the Diaspora A Panel Discussion



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