Dr Sloan Mahone

Featured Publication

Psychiatry and Empire (AIAA, January 2008).

Psychiatry and Empire

Psychiatry and Empire brings together scholars in the History of Medicine to explore questions of race, gender and power relations in former colonial states across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific. Focusing on the intellectual histories of concepts of mental illness, mental healing and strategies of coping and resistance, this volume advances our understanding of the rise of modern psychiatry as it collided with, and sometimes underpinned, the psychology of colonial rule.

  • History of Medicine and Psychiatry
  • History of Photography
  • Psychology of Religion

At present, I am completing a project on the history of psychiatry and photography in late colonial Kenya. The monograph looks at the turmoil of 1950s Kenya as told through a unique photographic collection taken by a Canadian psychiatrist who ran the mental hospital in Nairobi during the Mau Mau war. This is an unusual approach to a history of psychiatry – opting to follow the trail of a physician photographer as he encountered healers, prophets, patients, and prisoners during the most tumultuous period in Kenya’s modern history. This project has become as much a history of photography as a history of medicine with the use, re-use and misuse of the images themselves an integral part of the story. My next project, now in the planning and preliminary field site investigation stage, is a comparative history of epilepsy and neurology across Africa.

  • 'Hat on - hat off': trauma and trepanation in Kisii, western Kenya

  • Introduction

  • Psychiatry and Empire

  • Psychiatry and the Practical Problems of Empire in East Africa

  • Psychiatry in the East African Colonies: A Background to Confinement

  • The Psychology of Rebellion: Colonial Medical Responses to Dissent in British East Africa

  • More

Current DPhil Students

  • Seyma Afacan
  • John Lidwell-Durnin
  • Daniel Ostendorff
  • Rhea Sookdeosingh

I would be willing to hear from potential DPhil students regarding history of medicine in Africa, global history of psychiatry, photography and medicine, gender and sexuality.

I would be willing to hear from potential Masters students regarding global history of medicine, history of medicine in Africa, global history.

I currently teach:


  • Methods and Themes in the History of Medicine
  • Graduate Research Forum in History of Science, Medicine & Technology
  • Political Economy of Health and Medicine in Africa
  • Historical Approaches to the Psychology of Religion