Date of Award

Spring 5-2022

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Art & Art History

Advisor/Committee Chair

Sarah Cohen


Throughout the eighteenth century, hysteria and melancholia were two of the most diagnosed nervous disorders in Europe. Ambiguities in diagnosis and language frame the development of hysteria as a primarily feminine disease, with its male counterpart as hypochondria or melancholia. However, medicine and society worked to inform and reflect each other, creating a visual culture of art, performance, and entertainment surrounding these nervous disorders. William Hogarth’s A Rake’s Progress (c. 1732-5) and Henry Fuseli’s The Nightmare (1781) exemplify the fluidity between medicine and society in eighteenth-century Britain.

Available for download on Thursday, December 01, 2022

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