Britain: The rise of the Institution : the workhouse, the prison and the asylum
Time: 19:30 - 21:30
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: HBH66
Duration: 4 sessions (over 4 weeks)
What is the course about?
Although the Victorians did not invent prisons, workhouses or asylums, these institutions all became part of far more systematic, state-run networks in the era. We will begin the course with an overview of the origins of these institutions and the shift from private or localized care to a state system; we will then take a different institution each week to discover what life was like for both inmates and the people who worked in them. Using contemporary records, our topics will include daily schedules, uniforms and ‘special’ diets; corporal and ‘moral’ treatments and punishments; the significance of religion and prayer; complaints by inmates and inmates experiences; philanthropy and philanthropic interventions; and Victorian attitudes towards the working-classes, pauperism, mental health, and crime.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
• Week 1: Early institutions and systems: the 1700s & 1800s
• Week 2: Poverty: The Workhouse
• Week 3: Treatment of the Insane: the Asylum
• Week 4: Crime & Punishment: the Prison System.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
• Read and evaluate contemporary (Victorian) sources
• Explain the origins of the workhouse, the asylum and the prison system
• Assess contemporary attitudes to crime, madness and poverty, and how such attitudes informed both punishments and treatments
• Evaluate the ways in which inmates in all three types of institutions challenged the system.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is an introductory course and no prior knowledge of the topic is necessary – an open mind and a willingness to constructively contribute to discussions is all that is required.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Through interactive class-based discussions and debates. This is an online course taught via Zoom. You will be provided with access to Google Classroom, where you will find reading resources and a book reading list, should you wish to further your knowledge.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
No other costs. Please bring a pen and notebook/paper to class.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
HBH68 Victorian Women.