Insanity, Institutionalization and 19th Century American Medical Language

The Kent State University Honors College will host its next Research Uncorked event on Wednesday, October 7 at 5:30 p.m. at the Secret Cellar in downtown Kent.

In this upcoming talk titled "Insanity, Institutionalization and 19th Century American Medical Language," Sara Newman, Ph.D., will discuss some puzzling case studies she found in The Insane Hospital Reports, a collection of reports from nineteenth-century America insane asylums. The mystery involves how physicians categorized the insane, and its resolution addresses how nineteenth-century medical language developed, how it became part of broader cultural values, and how those values still influence contemporary language involving the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness.

Dr. Sara Newman is an associate professor in the Department of English in the College of Arts & Sciences at Kent State University. 

Dr. Newman holds a Ph.D. in rhetoric from the University of Minnesota as well as B.A. in English and an M.A. in the History of Art. Her research interests include classical rhetoric, the history of rhetoric, disability studies and the rhetoric of medicine. She has been published in numbers academic journals including such publications as Disability Studies Quarterly, The Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies. She has also authored several books and book chapters.

View Sara Newman's Faculty Profile

This event will be held at The Secret Cellar, located at 176 E. Main St. in downtown Kent. Research Uncorked is open to the public. Appetizers and beverages are available but not provided. Tickets are not required.

About Research Uncorked

Research Uncorked, an ongoing event sponsored by the Honors College, is designed to bring together a broad range of Kent State researchers and the Kent and surrounding communities for focused public conversations.

For further information about Research Uncorked, contact Victoria Bocchicchio, Director, Academic Programs, at (330) 672-2312 or