What was colonial about colonial psychiatry in Egypt? Recent scholarship on colonial psychiatry opens a new window into this important historical problem and offers significant, if ambiguous, evidence about the practice of what we can call colonial psychology and what was considered pathological (mental) in the colonial context, thereby shedding light on the normal as well and hence elaborates on the proclivity of colonial psychiatry to provide a "naturalized" and pathologjzed accounts of the colonized subjects. The introduction of the modern European asylum in 1884 significantly changed the definition and perception of mental illness and madness in Egypt, as it did in the colonies in general. It did not only change that perception to conform to European definitions grounded in the then nascent science of psychiatry, it also managed to the displacement of local norms with European ones, which grew increasingly dominant that the Egyptian specialists in the field and the common Egyptians came to accept, the colonial spurious claims to knowledge mastery of that (pseudo)science.


School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Degree Name

MA in Middle Eastern Studies

First Advisor

Fahmy, Khaled

Committee Member 1

Ghazaleh, Pascale

Committee Member 2

Elbendary, Amina

Document Type



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