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Wellcome Trust: Irish Migration and Mental Illness, 1850-1922

Wellcome Trust Project Grant: Irish migration and mental illness, 1850-1900

In September 2009 Dr Catherine Cox, and Prof Hilary Marland, University of Warwick, secured funding from the Wellcome Trust for a 3-year collaborative project on the relationship between Irish migrants, ethnicity and mental illness from c.1850 to 1921.Currently, one of the ongoing challenges within history and psychiatry is to explain high rates of psychological disturbance amongst migrants and minority ethnic groups more generally. In historic and contemporary literature, the relationship between migration and mental illness has been variously linked to exposure to new social demands and cultures, isolation, trauma, discrimination, and deprivation. This project situated the experience of Irish pauper asylum patients and those treating them within a broader canvas of efforts to manage perceived and real problems of disease, poverty, and intemperance among Irish migrants. Dr Sarah York was appointed Research Assistant on the project in February 2010. Dr York completed a nine month period of research at the University of Warwick before joining the Centre for the History of Medicine in Ireland, UCD in November 2010. As part of the project, two workshops were held at the University of Warwick in September 2010 and at University College Dublin in June 2010. The main outputs comprised an edited collection, three articles, a workshop, conference and public engagement activities including the theatre piece ‘A Malady of Migration’. View our project video (opens in a new window)here.

Contact UCD Centre for the History of Medicine in Ireland

School of History, Room J113, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
T: +353 1 716 8185