Genealogy of Polish Melancholy

Commentary to Mira Marcinów’s Book The History of Polish Madness

Avant, Vol. XI, No. 1, doi: 10.26913/avant.2020.01.04
published under license CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

Andrzej Kapusta
Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, Lublin, Poland
andrzej.kapusta @

Published Online First 12 December 2019   Download full text

Abstract: The purpose of this article is to indicate the specificity and difficulties of the project of writing the History of Polish Madness presented by Mira Marcinów. Marcinów goes beyond the area of the traditional history of psychiatry and notices in the material she researched the chance to trace the genealogy of Polish madness. The task of the genealogical approach is to make history that will challenge the obviousness and validity of our understanding of a specific area of human experience, in this place of madness. The author of the article wonders to what extent the project of genealogy of madness is a successful project.

Keywords: history of psychiatry; madness; melancholy; genealogy; Mira Marcinów


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“Avant” journal – the task financed under the contract 711/P-DUN/2019 from the funds of the Minister of Science and Higher Education for the dissemination of science.
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