Professor Catharine Coleborne
Head of School
School of Humanities and Social Science
- Phone:+61 2 4913 8040
Hearing voices from the margins
Viewing the past through the critical lens of the present, historian Professor Catharine Coleborne is finding traces of histories hidden by accepted narratives.
An internationally-recognised historian of health and medicine, Catharine has an extensive portfolio of research, teaching, administration, and academic leadership.
By looking at the intersections of mental health, illness, trauma, mobility, gender, law, colonialism, families, and medical institutionalisation, Catharine has attracted worldwide attention.
“The continuous theme through my work has been a focus on people who live on the margins of society,” Catharine explains.
“Asking questions about marginal identity or people who need somehow to be made visible, has changed the way we look at stories from the past, to better understand our present.”
After 16 years at the University of Waikato, New Zealand, Catharine returned to Australia to take up a new appointment as Head of School in the School of Humanities and Social Science at the University of Newcastle.
Acknowledging multiple narratives
With an outstanding record of research and scholarly activity, Catharine has published three sole-authored books, more than six edited collections, and a range of book chapters and refereed journal articles.
The bulk of her work until this point has focused on institutions in the context of historical psychiatric practices and the formation of colonial social identities.
“It is very complicated, to tell the story of institutions and psychiatry, because the lives of individuals were impacted by experiences in different ways,” Catharine notes.
“There are multiple narratives, and therefore, many individual stories.”
Catharine’s most recent book, Insanity, Identity and Empire (Manchester University Press, 2015), looks inside institutions in Australia and New Zealand during the end of the nineteenth, and start of the twentieth, centuries.
Catharine calls this work ‘a bookend’ as she is now refocusing to examine the lived experience of consumers, through the narratives of mental health service users in the twentieth century.
“I'm really shifting my attention to look at contemporary issues so that we can more accurately talk about mental illness.”
Madness in the twentieth century
Catharine notes that economic rationalism, and the wider introduction of psychotropic therapies lead to the push to close down institutions in favour of community care.
This trend began in the UK in the 1960s and rippled through other Western countries until the end of the twentieth century.
“Some people felt really sad at the closure of institutions because they found them places of care and respite, often in lovely settings in the countryside,” Catharine says.
“But other people found institutions to be very repressive, very dark, very violent places, where abuses occurred.”
“Both stories are true, and multiple stories need to be told.”
Talking with colleagues in the UK, Canada and New Zealand, and forming a broad research group to inform her work, Catharine has begun work on her next volume, in which she explores Narrating Madness in the Twentieth Century.
Catharine is also preparing a project in collaboration with Professor Brian Kelly and Professor Sally Chan, looking at the unique aspects of Newcastle’s mental health care, past and present.
A recipient of a Centre for Mobilities Research (CeMoRe) Stipendiary Award from Lancaster University in 2015, Catharine is also investigating mobility and its regulation through social collusion and law.
“All through Australia's history, the mobility of Indigenous people has been regulated, the mobility of transient and poor people has been regulated. The mobility of refugees and migrants is still regulated, I could go on,” Catharine says.
“All mobility is not regulated uniformly. People who have private planes aren’t scrutinised or regulated the way people with no home are regulated, so it’s unwanted mobility, a fear of mobility, that interests me.”
Societal attitudes around people in motion fascinate Catharine, as does the movement of ideas and objects.
“Mobility is a sociological concept, a really flexible one. I like to think of the world as being highly mobile,” Catharine says.
“It allows us to examine all kinds of movement: the movement of objects, such as people collecting shells and feathers, photographs, postcards, the technology of passports, the books migrants carry.”
“Looking at the world through the lens of mobility is really exciting because you see different things.”
As a new resident of our city, Catharine brings an outsider’s perspective to the Global Newcastle Network, an umbrella for many projects aimed at making Newcastle’s history as a global city more visible, and accessible, to both the community and visitors.
In partnership with Newcastle City Council, Newcastle Region Library, and the UON Centre for 21st Century Humanities, the Global Newcastle Network seeks to activate the city’s rich heritage sources.
Digital, physical, and written resources, plus experiences designed to showcase living histories, will explore the city’s changing identity.
“Even though we might feel like Newcastle is a fixed place there has actually been a lot of movement,” Catharine says.
“Global Newcastle is actually the story of lots of people who have been moving through this city across many generations, as workers, as seafarers as migrants, as tourists, as students.”
Over the course of her career, many individuals and community groups working on historical projects have approached Catharine seeking help.
“Global Newcastle is also a way that I, and others in history here, could become helpful to communities wanting to preserve, write and catalogue histories,” she says.
Born in Armidale NSW, Catharine grew up in the coal mining area of the Latrobe Valley in Victoria, and having completed her undergraduate and masters qualifications at the University of Melbourne, graduated with her PhD, 'Reading Madness', on gender and nineteenth-century colonial institutional confinement for the mentally ill in Victoria, from La Trobe University, in 1998.
The following year, Catharine took up a post at the University of Waikato, New Zealand.
During her sixteen years there, she performed a number of key academic, administration, and leadership roles including Chairperson, Department of History, and Associate Dean - Graduate and Postgraduate, while also maintaining her research.
Catharine has held the post of President of the Australia and New Zealand Law and History Society, was a member of the Royal Society of New Zealand’s Marsden Panel (Humanities) for three years, and was a Specialist Adviser to New Zealand’s Tertiary Education Commission.
She also has vast experience in course design, digital delivery of content and team teaching.
Describing her students as ‘fantastic’ and ‘talented’, Catharine has supervised more than 40 pieces of postgraduate research, including doctorates, masters and honours dissertations to completion, and is currently supervising one student at UON.
In her new role with a new team at the UON, Catharine aims to make the School of Humanities and Social Sciences a destination of choice for postgraduates and researchers.
“Humanities and Social Sciences need to be present in the whole university – called upon to be part of research priority areas, invited to be part of external funding applications / bids and research collaborations, and blazing a trail in terms of relevant engagement with research."
Professor Coleborne is an internationally recognised historian of health and medicine with an extensive portfolio of research, teaching, administration and academic leadership. Her research and publishing in the histories of mental health, families, illness, colonial worlds and medical institutions, as well as in law and history, has attracted world-wide attention.
Following her studies at the University of Melbourne, Professor Coleborne completed her PhD 'Reading Madness', on gender and nineteenth-century colonial institutional confinement for the mentally ill in Victoria, at La Trobe University, Melbourne, in 1998.
She has an outstanding record of research and scholarly activity, including three sole-authored books, more than six edited collections, and a range of book chapters and refereed journal articles. Professor Coleborne has also twice attracted grant funding from New Zealand's Marsden Fund (Royal Society of New Zealand). Recent articles have appeared in Medical History (2017) and Transfers (2015). Her book Insanity, Identity and Empire was published by Manchester University Press in October 2015. With Professor Katie Pickles (Canterbury) she also published New Zealand's Empire (Manchester University Press, 2016). She is currently a lead CI on an ARC Discovery Project (2018-2020) with the University of Tasmania ('Silent Treatment').
Professor Coleborne has also been an active contributor to community mental health projects that have involved postgraduate students in publishing and research, such as a project focused on mental health histories in the Waikato region of New Zealand. This culminated in awards for the students and a publication: Changing Times, Changing Places: From Tokanui to Mental Health Services in the Waikato, 1910-2012 (Hamilton: HalfCourt Press, 2012).
Academic Leadership Experience
Catharine has held a number of key roles in academic administration and leadership. She has been the Head of School of Humanities and Social Science/Dean of Arts at the University of Newcastle since December 2015. She is currently the Secretary of the Australasian Council of the Deans of Arts and Social Sciences for Australia and New Zealand (DASSH), and Vice President of the Australia and New Zealand Society for the Social History of Medicine (ANZSHM).
During her appointment at the University of Waikato (from 1999), she performed a number of key academic, administration and leadership roles including Chairperson of the Department of History, and Associate Dean Graduate and Postgraduate. At the University of Waikato, she was a member of the Faculty’s Executive Management Group as the Associate Dean from mid-2012. In 2014 she was appointed as the Faculty’s PBRF Coordinator and between September and December 2014, she ran a Formative Research Exercise for the Faculty with 106 staff participating which involved coordinating the FRE advice, running training workshops, devising assessment criteria and steering the assessment panel of four in the Faculty, and preparing the final advice to staff in a team, and the final report to the Deputy Vice Chancellor. She was also active in the University on specific committees including appointments committees, the University’s Postgraduate Research Committee, the Research Committee, and a PBRF working group. Professor Coleborne has also held significant external roles:
- Member of Humanities Panel, Marsden Fund, Royal Society of New Zealand (2013-2015)
- TEC PBRF Sector Reference Group Member (2011-2012)
- Appointed as a Specialist Advisor to the Humanities and Law Panel for the PBRF (2011 for 2012)
- President, New Zealand Historical Association (2009-2011)
- President, Australia and New Zealand Law and History Society (2008-2010)
Current / New Research Projects
- Vagrancy and Mobility: Regulating Movement in the Australasian Colonial World, 1850s-1910
- Narrating Madness in the Twentieth Century
- Mental Hygiene in Transnational Perspective: Australia, New Zealand and the United States
- Centre for the History of Violence (UON)
- Centre for Colonialism and its Aftermath (CAIA)
- Maori and Psychology Research Unit (Waikato)
- PhD, La Trobe University
- Bachelor of Arts (Honours), University of Melbourne
- Master of Arts (History), University of Melbourne
- institutional closures
- mental health service history
- Australian history
- New Zealand history
- cultural history
- digital history
- histories of the family
- social history of insanity
- medical history
Fields of Research
|189999||Law and Legal Studies not elsewhere classified||25|
|220205||History and Philosophy of Medicine||25|
|210399||Historical Studies not elsewhere classified||50|
|Dates||Title||Organisation / Department|
|1/01/2014 - 30/11/2015||Professor||University of Waikato
|1/01/2009 - 31/12/2013||Associate Professor||University of Waikato
School of Social Sciences
|1/01/1999 - 31/12/2008||Lecturer/Senior Lecturer||University of Waikato
School of Social Sciences
|Dates||Title||Organisation / Department|
|1/01/2014 - 30/11/2015||Performance Based Research Fund Coordinator||University of Waikato
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
|1/06/2012 - 31/01/2015||Associate Dean||University of Waikato
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
School of Humanities and Social Science - Faculty of Education and Arts - The University of Newcastle
|Coordinator||26/02/2018 - 8/06/2018|
For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.
Book (11 outputs)
|2016||Pickles K, Coleborne C, New Zealand¿s empire, Manchester University Press, Manchester, England (2016)|
Coleborne CS, Insanity, Identity and Empire: Immigrants and institutional confinement in Australia and New Zealand, 1873-1910, Manchester University Press, Manchester, England, 224 (2015) [A1]
|2012||Coleborne C, Graham J, Lambert S, Poole S, Waikato MHHG, Changing Times, Changing Places: From Tokanui Hospital to Mental Health Services in the Waikato, 1910-2012, Half Court Press Ltd, Hamilton, New Zealand (2012)|
McCarthy A, Coleborne C, Migration ethnicity and mental health: International perspectives, 1840-2010 (2012)
© 2012 Taylor & Francis. Most investigations of foreign-born migrants emphasize the successful adjustment and settlement of newcomers. Yet suicide, heavy drinking, violence,... [more]
© 2012 Taylor & Francis. Most investigations of foreign-born migrants emphasize the successful adjustment and settlement of newcomers. Yet suicide, heavy drinking, violence, family separations, and domestic disharmony were but a few of the possible struggles experienced by those who relocated abroad in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and were among the chief reasons for committal to an asylum. Significantanalysis of this problem, addressing the interconnected issues of migration, ethnicity, and insanity, has to date received little attention from the scholarly community.This international collection examines the difficulties that migrants faced in adjustment abroad, through a focus on migrants and mobile peoples, issues of ethnicity, and the impact of migration on the mental health of refugees. Itfurther extends the migration paradigm beyond patients to incorporate the international exchange of medical ideas and institutional practices, and the recruitment of a medical workforce. These issues are explored through case studies which utilize different social and cultural historical methods, but with a shared twinpurpose: To uncover the related histories of migration, ethnicity, and mental health, and to extend existing scholarly frameworks and findings in this under-developed field of inquiry.
Coleborne C, Madness in the family: Insanity and institutions in the Australasian colonial world, 1860-1914 (2009)
© Catharine Coleborne 2010. All rights reserved. Madness in the Family explores how colonial families coped with insanity through a trans-colonial study of the relationships betwe... [more]
© Catharine Coleborne 2010. All rights reserved. Madness in the Family explores how colonial families coped with insanity through a trans-colonial study of the relationships between families and public colonial hospitals for the insane in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and New Zealand between 1860 and 1914.
|Show 8 more books|
Chapter (27 outputs)
|2017||Coleborne C, Smith M, Armstrong J, 'Healthy Communities: History in Public', History Making a Difference: New Approaches from Aotearoa, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne 113-130 (2017) [B1]|
|2017||Coleborne C, 'Institutional case files: Insanity's archive', Sources and methods in histories of colonialism: Approaching the imperial archive, Routledge, London and New York 119-134 (2017) [B1]|
|2017||Coleborne C, 'Disability in Colonial Institutional Records', Handbook of Disability History, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK (2017)|
Coleborne C, 'Law¿s mobility: Vagrancy and imperial legality in the trans-tasman colonial world, 1860s-1914 catharine coleborne', New Zealand's Empire 89-101 (2015)
Coleborne C, 'Crime, the legal archive and postcolonial histories', Crime and Empire 1840-1940: Criminal Justice in Local and Global Context 92-105 (2013)
McCarthy A, Coleborne C, 'Introduction: Mental health, migration, and ethnicity', Migration Ethnicity and Mental Health: International Perspectives, 1840-2010 1-14 (2012)
Coleborne C, 'Locating ethnicity in the hospitals for the insane: Revisiting case books as sites of knowledge production about colonialidentities in Victoria, Australia, 1873-1910', Migration Ethnicity and Mental Health: International Perspectives, 1840-2010 73-90 (2012)
Gray MM, Midgeley J, Webb SA, 'Introduction', The Sage Handbook of Social Work, Sage, Los Angeles 1-14 (2012) [B2]
Coleborne C, 'Challenging institutional hegemony: family visitors to hospitals for the insane in Australia and New Zealand, 1880s-1910s.', 289-308 (2009)
Historians have increasingly come to identify that there was considerable traffic between nineteenth-century psychiatric institutions and the world beyond, with official visitors ... [more]
Historians have increasingly come to identify that there was considerable traffic between nineteenth-century psychiatric institutions and the world beyond, with official visitors recording details of their regular forays inside asylum walls, and sometimes family members visiting the institution to check on treatments, patients' progress and welfare. This chapter explores the broad array of experiences of asylum visitors in colonial Australia and New Zealand, focusing on families and their responses to the institution. It draws upon a range of materials to show that visitors found their way inside the hospital for the insane, both in their letters and through their actual physical presence. Through these glimpses, it suggests that the asylum itself should be unsettled as the focus of all the meanings of insanity and its cure.
Ochsner A, Augustin C, 'Introduction', Multifunctional Metallic Hollow Sphere Structures: Manufacturing, Properties and Application, Springer, Berlin 1-4 (2009) [B2]
Coleborne C, 'Passage to the asylum: The role of the police in committals of the insane in Victoria, Australia, 1848¿1900', The Confinement of the Insane: International Perspectives, 1800-1965 129-148 (2003)
© Cambridge University Press 2003 and Cambridge University Press, 2009. Australia's European population arrived in 1788, transported from the British Isles to establish New S... [more]
© Cambridge University Press 2003 and Cambridge University Press, 2009. Australia's European population arrived in 1788, transported from the British Isles to establish New South Wales as a penal colony. In the first few years of settlement, David Collins, legal advocate on the First Fleet and chronicler of the early history of the colonies, commented on the existence of insanity among convicts. Policies, legislation and practices surrounding insanity in the different Australian colonies developed over the next ten decades. Subsequent histories of the insane in nineteenth-century Australia, following the trajectory of British scholarship on asylumdom, have largely been explored through institutional records. Historians have been interested in exploring the broad concept of asylum committals, and have considered the relationships between agencies of the law, including police and the courts, families and asylums. The custodial character of the colonial asylum meant that ¿public disturbances¿ could result in asylum committals, rather than imprisonment, for women and men. Colonial policing practices of detection and surveillance, and the policing of sex and race, were central to the apprehension of lunatics. Families negotiated with the police in many instances, and the police played roles as intermediaries between the asylum and the families of lunatics. This chapter examines the development of policing practices around lunacy and the asylum in the colony of Victoria in the nineteenth century. The history of the asylum in colonial Victoria was not unique, and is usefully compared to the histories of other Australian colonies and also the colony of New Zealand.
|Show 24 more chapters|
Journal article (61 outputs)
McIntyre JA, Cushing N, Coleborne C, 'Letters to Lizzie: Archival practice and the entangled worlds of Charlie Fraser', Australian Historical Studies, 49 (2018)
Adams-Hutcheson G, Thorpe H, Coleborne C, 'Introduction: Understanding mobilities in a dangerous world', Transfers, 7 1-5 (2017)
© Transfers. The mobilities framework offers a particularly informative and potent paradigm through which to draw together interdisciplinary scholarship about the present world. I... [more]
© Transfers. The mobilities framework offers a particularly informative and potent paradigm through which to draw together interdisciplinary scholarship about the present world. In this introduction-and indeed, derived from a symposia on mobilities in a dangerous world-we explore the dynamics of contemporary mobilities through a critical focus on "dangerous" spaces and places. We discuss the potential of a sustained dialogue between mobilities studies and our focus on risk, adversity, and perceptions of danger. Although disasters link to four of the articles, ideas are expanded to draw on the multiple scales of risk and danger in everyday life within and across an array of international contexts. In this special issue, dynamic mobilities are facilitated by ships, skateboards, buildings, art, and cities; they are also encountered in darkness, in light, and through bodies as well as physical and imagined movements.
McCarthy A, Coleborne C, O'Connor M, Knewstubb E, 'Lives in the Asylum Record, 1864 to 1910: Utilising Large Data Collection for Histories of Psychiatry and Mental Health.', Med Hist, 61 358-379 (2017) [C1]
Coleborne C, 'An End to Bedlam? The Enduring Subject of Madness in Social and Cultural History', Social History, 42 420-429 (2017) [C1]
Coleborne C, 'White men and weak masculinity: men in the public asylums in Victoria, Australia, and New Zealand, 1860s¿1900s', History of Psychiatry, 25 468-476 (2014) [C1]
© The Author(s) 2014. This article reveals a set of formulations of masculine identity through the fragments of extant casebook evidence from nineteenth-century psychiatric instit... [more]
© The Author(s) 2014. This article reveals a set of formulations of masculine identity through the fragments of extant casebook evidence from nineteenth-century psychiatric institutions in Victoria, Australia, and Auckland, New Zealand. It shows that some patterns in the identification of masculinity and insanity emerge, also highlighting the relevance of individual stories and ¿cases¿ to fully understand how masculine identities were fashioned through medical institutional language.
Coleborne C, Twomey C, ''Challenging White Australia' INTRODUCTION', AUSTRALIAN HISTORICAL STUDIES, 45 163-164 (2014)
Coleborne C, Twomey C, 'Challenging white Australia', Australian Historical Studies, 45 163-164 (2014)
Twomey C, Coleborne C, 'Australia: Present and past histories', Australian Historical Studies, 45 295-296 (2014)
Coleborne C, Godtschalk O, 'Colonial Families and Cultures of Health: Glimpses of Illness and Domestic Medicine in Private Records in New Zealand and Australia, 1850-1910', Journal of Family History, 38 403-421 (2013) [C1]
This article draws on both published and unpublished private family writing to examine how European settler colonial families in southeastern Australia and New Zealand negotiated ... [more]
This article draws on both published and unpublished private family writing to examine how European settler colonial families in southeastern Australia and New Zealand negotiated worlds of sickness and health between 1850 and 1910. It argues that personal writing is a neglected yet rich repository for shedding light on colonial cultures of health across families and households in colonial Australia and New Zealand. In examining challenges to well-being and gendered lay health care practices inside domestic spaces, we glimpse more than worlds of health and treatment. Through their management of health and illness in private domestic spaces, the sense of well-being colonial families created for their members tells us something both about their emotional lives and cultures of colonialism. © 2013 The Author(s).
Twomey C, Coleborne C, 'In this issue', Australian Historical Studies, 44 169-171 (2013)
Coleborne C, Twomey C, 'In this issue', Australian Historical Studies, 44 327-328 (2013)
Coleborne C, McCarthy A, 'Health and place in historical perspective: medicine, ethnicity, and colonial identities.', Health and history, 14 1-11 (2012)
Coleborne C, 'Insanity, gender and empire: women living a 'loose kind of life' on the colonial institutional margins, 1870-1910.', Health and history, 14 77-99 (2012) [C1]
This article examines how female immigrants were characterised inside the Yarra Bend Asylum in Melbourne, Victoria (Hospital for the Insane after 1905), once they slipped into the... [more]
This article examines how female immigrants were characterised inside the Yarra Bend Asylum in Melbourne, Victoria (Hospital for the Insane after 1905), once they slipped into the world of the institutionally 'hidden.' Forms of social difference inside colonial institutions for the insane were embedded in patient case records. This article argues that through a closer examination of cases of female immigrants, we might find out more about gender relations in colonial situations. In particular this article returns to ideas about women patients and constructions of these women through case records to uncover new interpretations of this material in the Australasian context. To do this, it sets out specific ways of reading patient cases and teases out the importance of these frameworks for making some kind of synthesis of the ways in which institutionalised people--already at the margins of society--were further marginalised inside institutional populations through specific practices. It examines immigrant women in the hospitals for the insane; the cases of women designated as living so-called 'loose' lives who also ended up inside the institution for the insane; and finally concludes with a commentary about the descriptive power of cases and the production of concepts of gender, class, and race difference within their pages.
Coleborne C, 'Regulating 'Mobility' and Masculinity through Institutions in Colonial Victoria, 1870s-1890s', LAW TEXT CULTURE, 15 45-+ (2011) [C1]
Coleborne C, Bliss E, 'Emotions, Digital Tools and Public Histories: Digital Storytelling using Windows Movie Maker in the History Tertiary Classroom', HISTORY COMPASS, 9 674-685 (2011) [C1]
Byrnes G, Coleborne C, 'THE UTILITY AND FUTILITY OF 'THE NATION' IN HISTORIES OF AOTEAROA NEW ZEALAND' Introduction', NEW ZEALAND JOURNAL OF HISTORY, 45 1-14 (2011)
Byrnes G, Coleborne C, 'Editorial introduction: The utility and futility of 'the nation' in histories of Aotearoa New Zealand', New Zealand Journal of History, 45 1-14 (2011)
Barry L, Coleborne C, 'Insanity and ethnicity in New Zealand: Maori encounters with the Auckland Mental Hospital, 1860-1900.', Hist Psychiatry, 22 285-301 (2011)
Barry L, Coleborne C, 'Insanity and ethnicity in new zealand: maori encounters with the auckland mental hospital, 1860-1900', History of Psychiatry, 22 285-301 (2011) [C1]
This article examines Maori patients at the Auckland Mental Hospital between 1860 and 1900. We argue that the patient case notes reveal 'European' categories in which Ma... [more]
This article examines Maori patients at the Auckland Mental Hospital between 1860 and 1900. We argue that the patient case notes reveal 'European' categories in which Maori were situated, and demonstrate the extent to which the authorities at the hospital grappled with their appearance, their language and their culture, all of which were elements of their ethnicity. We argue that the use of institutional case records is highly suggestive of some of the historical meanings of insanity for Maori, including the lack of detailed or sustained collection of information about patients' tribal affiliations, the interest shown in their rights to land in maintenance payment inquiries, the experiences of cultural alienation or mate Maori, and the sad outcomes for Maori. © The Author(s) 2011.
Coleborne C, 'Pursuing Families for Maintenance Payments to Hospitals for the Insane in Australia and New Zealand, 1860s-1914', AUSTRALIAN HISTORICAL STUDIES, 40 308-322 (2009)
Coleborne C, 'Families, insanity, and the psychiatric institution in Australia and New Zealand, 1860-1914.', Health and history, 11 65-82 (2009)
International historians have begun to challenge the view that the nineteenth-century psychiatric hospital was a place of horrors and custody, and have shown that families were so... [more]
International historians have begun to challenge the view that the nineteenth-century psychiatric hospital was a place of horrors and custody, and have shown that families were sometimes intimate with the institutions of the past, often participating in the process of institutional committal. This article explores the state of historical inquiry into families and insanity in Australia and New Zealand. It asserts that by re-examining patient cases we might find fresh insights into the dynamic between families and mental health. Through a close examination of archival sources, the article argues, we can see the presence of families 'inside' the asylum in several ways. Overall, the article suggests that institutional archives present both opportunity and risk for historians intent on discovering 'what happened' to the insane and their families.
Coleborne C, 'Documenting health: Contemporary social and cultural histories of medicine and psychiatry', JOURNAL OF CONTEMPORARY HISTORY, 42 683-691 (2007)
Coleborne C, '"His brain was wrong, his mind astray": Families and the language of insanity in New South Wales, Queensland, and New Zealand, 1880S-1910', Journal of Family History, 31 45-65 (2006)
Family and friends made descriptions of the behavior of individuals at the time of their committal to institutions for the insane in Australasian colonies, including Gladesville H... [more]
Family and friends made descriptions of the behavior of individuals at the time of their committal to institutions for the insane in Australasian colonies, including Gladesville Hospital for the Insane, Sydney, New South Wales; Goodna Hospital for the Insane, near Brisbane in Queensland; and the Auckland Mental Hospital in New Zealand's North Island, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These lay descriptions of insanity, gleaned from those close to patients by doctors during initial interviews at the stage of asylum committal, eventually became marginal notes in clinical patient cases. This article seeks to understand this interplay between lay descriptions by family and friends and the asylum 's use of these descriptions in its profiling and diagnosis of patients. It argues that patient case notes should be reexamined as rich sources of information about families, households, and, most importantly, the language used by ordinary people to describe mental states. © 2006 Sage Publications.
Coleborne C, 'Families, patients and emotions: Asylums for the insane in colonial Australia and New Zealand, c. 1880-1910', Social History of Medicine, 19 425-442 (2006)
Historians have successfully challenged the social control thesis in relation to nineteenth century insane asylums in many different parts of the world. They have asserted that fa... [more]
Historians have successfully challenged the social control thesis in relation to nineteenth century insane asylums in many different parts of the world. They have asserted that families were actively involved in committal. Their work has enriched the field, and provided new possibilities for historians researching in asylum archives. Yet despite the very 'emotional' content of these archives, historians have not often specifically examined the question of emotional relationships between the 'mad' and their families. This article examines correspondence and patient case notes, among other archival materials, from four hospitals for the insane in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and New Zealand from the 1880s to 1910. This was a critical period in the development of asylum management, and was also shaped by an emerging discourse of modernity expressed through new prescriptions for family roles. Drawing upon existing historical explorations of similar themes in other contexts, the article demonstrates the potential of this approach, to suggest both new paths for historians of psychiatry, families and the asylum, and to engage with histories of the emotions.
Coleborne C, MacKinnon D, 'Psychiatry and its institutions in Australia and New Zealand: An overview', International Review of Psychiatry, 18 371-380 (2006)
Hight C, Coleborne C, 'Robert Winston's superhuman: Spectacle, surveillance and patient narrative', Journal of Health Psychology, 11 233-245 (2006)
Health psychologists are being challenged by researchers to consider interdisciplinary approaches to health research, particularly around media representations. This article argue... [more]
Health psychologists are being challenged by researchers to consider interdisciplinary approaches to health research, particularly around media representations. This article argues that the praxis and research of health psychology might benefit from strategic and interdisciplinary readings of media texts. It argues that insights from current documentary theory are important because they show us how documentary texts are structured and how medical documentary deploys techniques from medicine itself in order to effect certain persuasive discursive shifts in our wider culture. The article takes the BBC documentary series Superhuman as its example and explores this text as it involves media spectacle, medical surveillance of the body and of patients and the positioning of patient narratives of personal experiences with medical intervention. Copyright © 2006 SAGE Publications.
|2006||Coleborne C, 'Disputed Histories: Imagining New Zealand's Pasts', KOTUITUI-NEW ZEALAND JOURNAL OF SOCIAL SCIENCES ONLINE, 1 203-204 (2006)|
Coleborne C, 'Remembering psychiatry's past: The psychiatric collection and its display at Porirua hospital museum, New Zealand', Journal of Material Culture, 8 97-118 (2003)
This article explores the historical meanings of a collection of psychiatric objects on display at the Porirua Hospital Museum, at Porirua, near Wellington, in New Zealand. Founde... [more]
This article explores the historical meanings of a collection of psychiatric objects on display at the Porirua Hospital Museum, at Porirua, near Wellington, in New Zealand. Founded in 1987 to celebrate the original asylum's centenary, the museum commemorates the history of the institution. Its curators are former psychiatric nursing staff. Visitors to the museum include educators, researchers and members of the psychiatric community. This article asks why some people have preserved the 'relics' of past psychiatry. Such collections and museum exhibitions raise fascinating questions about the 20th-century experience of psychiatric institutions, and the role of the museum collection in people's lives. In talking about why and how former staff have struggled to preserve their private memories through collections of physical objects, and by interpreting history inside the space of the museum, the article suggests that historians can make a new contribution to the understandings of psychiatric institutions in histories of 20th-century psychiatry.
|Show 58 more journal articles|
Review (41 outputs)
Coleborne C, 'Gender and Class in English Asylums, 1890-1914', SOCIAL HISTORY OF MEDICINE (2016)
Coleborne CS, '[Review of Insanity, race and colonialism: Managing mental disorder in the post-emancipation British Caribbean, 1838-1914 by Leonard Smith]', Medical History (2015) [C3]
Coleborne C, '[Review of Psychiatry, mental institutions, and the mad in Apartheid South Africa by Tiffany Fawn Jones (Routledge, 2012)]', History of Psychiatry (2015) [C3]
|2015||Coleborne CS, '[Review of The rise and fall of National Women¿s Hospital by Linda Bryder]', New Zealand Journal of History (2015) [C3]|
Coleborne C, 'Health, Medicine, and the Sea: Australian Voyages, c.1815-1860', AMERICAN HISTORICAL REVIEW (2014)
|2013||Coleborne C, 'Genteel Women: Empire and Domestic Material Culture, 1840-1910', NEW ZEALAND JOURNAL OF HISTORY (2013)|
|2010||Coleborne C, 'A Sadly Troubled History: The Meanings of Suicide in the Modern Age', NEW ZEALAND JOURNAL OF HISTORY (2010)|
Coleborne C, 'States of Mind: Searching for Mental Health in Natal and Zululand, 1868-1918', SOCIAL HISTORY OF MEDICINE (2008)
Coleborne C, 'The insanity of Place/The place of insanity: Essays on the history of psychiatry', SOCIAL HISTORY OF MEDICINE (2007)
|2007||Coleborne C, 'Lucy Osburn, a lady displaced: Florence nightingale's envoy to Australia', AUSTRALIAN HISTORICAL STUDIES (2007)|
Coleborne C, 'Psychiatric cultures compared: Psychiatry and mental health care in the twentieth century: Comparisons and approaches', SOCIAL HISTORY OF MEDICINE (2006)
Coleborne C, 'Sex and seclusion, class and custody: Perspectives on gender and class in the history of British and Irish psychiatry', SOCIAL HISTORY OF MEDICINE (2005)
|2004||Coleborne C, 'Environmental histories of New Zealand', AUSTRALIAN HISTORICAL STUDIES (2004)|
|2002||Coleborne C, 'Body trade: Captivity, cannibalism and colonialism in the Pacific', NEW ZEALAND JOURNAL OF HISTORY (2002)|
|2002||Coleborne C, 'Boundary markers: Land surveying and the colonisation of New Zealand', NEW ZEALAND JOURNAL OF HISTORY (2002)|
|1999||Coleborne C, 'Purity and pollution: Gender, embodiment and Victorian medicine', AUSTRALIAN FEMINIST STUDIES (1999)|
|Show 38 more reviews|
Conference (62 outputs)
|2017||Coleborne C, 'Transnational Networks After the Institutional Closures: Narrating Madness in the Twentieth Century', Bucharest, Romania (2017)|
|2017||Coleborne C, 'Researching Traumatic Memory: Writing about Mental Health in the (Still) Present Past', Newcastle, NSW, Australia (2017)|
|2017||Coleborne C, 'Passing through: Narrating colonial identities through the records of hospitals for the insane, 1873-1910', Melbourne Vic Australia (2017)|
|2015||Coleborne CS, 'Consorting with others: Vagrancy laws and unauthorized mobility across colonial borders in New Zealand from 1866 to 1910', Conference held at Royal Geographical Society, London, England (2015) [E3]|
|Show 59 more conferences|
Other (19 outputs)
|2016||Coleborne C, 'Why talk about madness?', (2016)|
|2014||Coleborne CS, 'Men on the move: Towards a history of vagrancy in New Zealand, 1860-1910', (2014)|
|2013||Coleborne C, 'Colonial emotions: Expressions of mental health in private writing in New Zealand and Australia, 1840s to 1910', (2013)|
|Show 16 more others|
Report (2 outputs)
|2010||Cave J, Coleborne C, Johnston L, Li W, Robertson J, Hodgetts D, et al., 'Research as relationship: Critical reflections on collaboration', BRCSS II (2010)|
|2000||Coleborne C, 'A history of the Waikato Medical Research Foundation (Inc) 1986-1999', Waikato Medical Research Foundation (2000)|
Thesis / Dissertation (1 outputs)
|1997||Coleborne CS, Reading Madness: Bodily Difference and the Female Lunatic Patient in the History of the Asylum in Colonial Victoria, 1848-1888, La Trobe University (1997)|
Number of supervisions
Total current UON EFTSL
|Commenced||Level of Study||Research Title||Program||Supervisor Type|
|2018||PhD||Mental Health, Psychiatry and Communities in Twentieth-Century Australia||PhD (History), Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle||Principal Supervisor|
|2017||PhD||An Historical, Social and Cultural Survey of the Impact of Anglo Women on the Port Wine Industry in the Douro Valley, Portugal During the 18th and 19th Centuries||PhD (History), Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle||Principal Supervisor|
|2015||PhD||The Milk of Human Kindness? Families and Food||Psychology, University of Waikato||Co-Supervisor|
|Year||Level of Study||Research Title||Program||Supervisor Type|
|2018||PhD||Prospects and Intentions: a Spatial History of Imagining the Waikato, 1800-1920||History, University of Waikato||Principal Supervisor|
|2016||Masters||Punishing female speech in early modern England||History, University of Waikato||Sole Supervisor|
|2016||PhD||Aspects of the Representation of Sport in Waikato||Sport and Recreation, University of Waikato||Principal Supervisor|
|2016||PhD||Releasing the Unreleased: a Case Study of a Family Member's Insanity through her Patient Case-files||Med Studs Not Elswr Classified, Southern Cross University||Co-Supervisor|
|2015||Masters||Gold rush narratives in Otago and Victoria||History, University of Waikato||Co-Supervisor|
|2015||PhD||New Zealand Prisoners of War in European Camps in WWII||History, University of Waikato||Principal Supervisor|
|2014||PhD||The Role of Medicinal Plants in Settler Medical Culture, 1850-1920||Med Studs Not Elswr Classified, University of Waikato||Co-Supervisor|
|2014||Honours||Making a Statement: Fashion and the fashion press as a conduit of political ideas in France, 1785-1815||History, University of Waikato||Sole Supervisor|
|2014||Honours||Hard work and handshakes: Employment and Labour Structure in Early Hamilton, 1850-1910||History, University of Waikato||Sole Supervisor|
|2013||PhD||The 'Common-Health' and Beyond: New Zealand Medical Specialists, Medical Culture and the Transnational Medical Network, 1945 - 1984||Medical Studies, University of Waikato||Principal Supervisor|
|2013||Masters||"It's been a long hard fight for me": the Stolen Generations and narratives of poor health in Australia, 1883-2009||History, University of Waikato||Sole Supervisor|
Puerperal Insanity, Ethnicity and Class in the Auckland Mental Hospital, 1860-1900
|History, University of Waikato||Principal Supervisor|
|2013||PhD||A History of Infanticide and Child-Homicide in New Zealand, 1870-1910||History, University of Waikato||Principal Supervisor|
|2012||Honours||Aboriginal Insanity in Australian Institutions for the Insane in an International Context, c.1880 to c. 1920||History, University of Waikato||Sole Supervisor|
|2012||Masters||"Wounded bodies" and illness narratives: a history of attitudes and behaviour towards HIV-positive homosexual men in New Zealand between 1983 and 1997||History, University of Waikato||Sole Supervisor|
Locating the Self? Reconfiguring Oral History and Tradition
&lt;strong&gt;TOP ACHIEVER AWARD&lt;/strong&gt;
|History, University of Waikato||Co-Supervisor|
|2010||PhD||A Contextual Approach to the Reintergration of Child Sex Offenders into Communities||History, University of Waikato||Co-Supervisor|
|2010||Masters||Australian legends: historical explorations of Australian masculinity and film 1970-1995||History, University of Waikato||Co-Supervisor|
|2009||Masters||"Articulate others": the significance of patient pathography in New Zealand mental health history, 1950-2008||History, University of Waikato||Sole Supervisor|
|2007||Honours||Diversity or perversity? investigating queer narratives, resistance and representation in Aotearoa / New Zealand, 1948-2000||History, University of Waikato||Sole Supervisor|
|2007||Masters||Institutional responses to mental deficiency in New Zealand, 1911-1935||Med Studs Not Elswr Classified, University of Waikato||Sole Supervisor|
Women and voluntary work: The participation of Pakeha women in welfare, recreational, religious and political activities in formal voluntary groups in Hamilton and the immediate adjacent districts, c. 1914 - c. 1945
<strong>THESIS COMMENCED IN 2000. &nbsp;CHIEF SUPERVISOR 2006-2007. &nbsp;STUDENT DECEASED PRIOR TO COMPLETION</strong>
|History, University of Waikato||Principal Supervisor|
|2007||Masters||The man from the future: traces of masculinity and modernity from Hamilton in the 1960s||History, University of Waikato||Sole Supervisor|
"The voices caused him to become porangi": Maori patients in the Auckland Lunatic Asylum, 1860-1900
|History, University of Waikato||Sole Supervisor|
"Unsettled, excited and quarrelsome": the intersection of violence, families and lunacy at the Auckland Asylum 1890-1910
|History, University of Waikato||Sole Supervisor|
Digging for the families of the "mad": locating the family in the Auckland Asylum archives, 1870-1911
<strong>STUDENT WAS AWARDED A COMMONWEALTH SCHOLARSHIP FOR DOCTORAL STUDY IN THE UNITED KINGDOM IN MARCH 2007</strong>
|History, University of Waikato||Sole Supervisor|
|2004||Masters||Illegitimacy, maintenance and agency: unmarried mothers and putative fathers in Auckland, 1900-1910||History, University of Waikato||Co-Supervisor|
May 10, 2017
Professor Catharine Coleborne
Head of School
School of Humanities and Social Science
Faculty of Education and Arts