My field is the history of knowledge and history of medicine.
“Indocile”, “stubborn”, “ill-balanced”, “backward”, “defective”, “idiot” are the categories used in the nineteenth century for children who disrupt the order of the classroom and boarding school and do not rest or let the others rest. I plan to investigate how rest is linked to normalcy, and noise, disruption, and perturbation to abnormality, in the course of the development of psychology and therapeutic hygiene. Focusing on English, French, and Italian cultures, I will map the implementation of a division between normal and abnormal children and between normal and special education from the nineteenth century up to World War I. I plan to work with the Wellcome Library’s collection on abnormality and therapeutic hygiene. I aim to consider how doctors, teachers, and psychologists developed strategies to teach rest, hygiene, breathing, and calm in order to normalize the body, and how they divided up the roles of the human sciences in the management of the noisy – the “abnormal”. Against the construction of these children’s agitation as a problem, rest is hypostatized as a “culture of rest.” I plan to work on articles and possibly participate in the conception of an exhibition. children in the nineteenth century. I would especially like to collaborate with Felicity Callard, James Wilkes, Anna Katharina Schaeffer, and Micheal Greaney, and others!