Madness is something that I spend quite a lot of my time thinking about; although often in quite an isolated, intellectualised, fashion as I sit proudly in my Ivory tower. As I prepared to introduce this topic I did so in parallel with a different seminar. But then, sitting at the cafe, I realised that what I had written in preparation was of no great use for the discussion and so there was a degree of anxiety in introducing the topic.
Our discussion proved fascinating though and wide-reaching: – We had wart cures from magic wells; touching on the issue of madness within families. We discussed how madness is often defined by what society is willing to tolerate and how this varies with time. There was pathos as well as we discussed the madness of war and the survivors of conflict.
Refuelled after a 15 minute break we moved onto a spirited attack on climate change denial, raising the temperature of discussion substantially. Things cooled and levelled again as we considered the implication of grief and loss, and the madness that can accompany these events.
Good company and interesting discussion of madness – thanks to all for a great evening.