The historiography of ‘colonial psychiatry’ has opened up a broad scope of subject areas in mental illness and asylum practices. The introduction looks at some of the scholarly work done on insanity and asylums of India, America, and Europe in the nineteenth century. It focuses on the nineteenth century as this was the period when various definitions of insanity evolved, several asylums were built in India, and rules, regulations, and acts were passed to govern the mentally ill.
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