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Care and Custody: Past Responses to Mental Health

A traveling exhibition from the National Library of Medicine, hosted at the Warren Alpert Medical School, May 8 - June 17 2023

Commencement Forum

Care & Custody: Past Responses to Mental Health

Theme: "How has society moved away from custodial forms of treatment for people with mental health conditions?"

This interdisciplinary forum highlights Brown faculty working on psychiatry, incarceration and health, and the transnational history of mental health treatment.

Moderator: Leo Lovemore, PhD, History, Society, and Culture at the Brown University Library

Introduction: Joseph Meisel, PhD, Joukowsky Family University Librarian, and Amanda Strauss, Associate University Librarian for Special Collections and Director of the John Hay Library

When: May 27, 2023 3:30 - 4:30 pm

Where: Willis Reading room, John Hay Library


headshot of Jennifer Lambe, PhD

Jennifer Lambe, PhD

Bio of Dr. Lambe

Jennifer Lambe, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Latin American and Caribbean history and the Director of Graduate Studies.

Her first book, Madhouse: Psychiatry and Politics in Cuban History (2017), traces the history of mental illness and mental healing in Cuba through the Mazorra Mental Asylum, the only public psychiatric hospital in Cuba until the 1959 Revolution and a key site of political intervention and social reform.

Lambe's work, which has received support from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Coordinating Council for Women in History, and the Cuban Heritage Collection, explores the intersection between political history, intellectual history, and popular culture.

She is also the co-editor, together with Michael Bustamante, of The Revolution from Within: Cuba, 1959-1980 (2019). She is currently working on new projects related to the Cuban Revolution and the transnational history of psychiatric dehospitalization.

Lambe also directs a digital humanities project entitled “Beyond the Sugar Curtain: Tracing Cuba-U.S. Connections since 1959.”

headshot of Christine Montross, MD

Christine Montross, MD

Bio of Dr. Montross

Christine Montross, MD is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. She is a practicing inpatient psychiatrist and performs forensic psychiatric examinations.

She completed medical school and residency training at Brown University, where she received the Isaac Ray Award in Psychiatry and the Martin B. Keller Outstanding Brown Psychiatry Resident Award. She received her undergraduate degrees and a Master of Fine Arts in poetry from the University of Michigan, where she also taught writing classes as a lecturer following graduation.

Dr. Montross's first book, Body of Work, was named an Editors' Choice by The New York Times and one of The Washington Post's best nonfiction books of 2007. Her second book, Falling Into the Fire, was named a New Yorker Book to Watch Out For. Her latest book, Waiting for an Echo, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. It was also named a New York Times Book to Watch For, a Time Magazine Book to Read in July and an Best Book of the Month.

She has also written for many national publications including The New York Times, The New England Journal of Medicine, Time Magazine, The Washington Post Book World, Good Housekeeping and O, The Oprah Magazine.

headshot of Josiah Rich, MD MPH

Josiah D. Rich, MD, MPH

Bio of Dr. Rich

Josiah D. Rich, MD, MPH is Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and a practicing Infectious Disease Specialist at The Miriam Hospital Immunology Center and at the Rhode Island Department of Corrections, caring for prisoners with HIV infection.

He has published close to 250 peer-reviewed publications, predominantly in the overlap between infectious diseases, addictions and incarceration. He is the Senior Medical Advisor and Co-founder of The Center for Health and Justice Transformation at The Miriam Hospital ( He is also a Co-Founder of the nationwide Centers for AIDS Research (CFAR) collaboration in HIV in corrections (CFAR/CHIC) initiative.

Dr. Rich has advocated for public health policy changes to improve the health of people with addiction, including improving legal access to sterile syringes and increasing drug treatment for the incarcerated and formerly incarcerated populations. He is Principal Investigator of three R01 grants and a K24 grant all focused on incarcerated populations.

His primary field and area of specialization and expertise is in the overlap between infectious diseases and illicit substance use, the treatment and prevention of HIV infection, and the care and prevention of disease in addicted and incarcerated individuals.

He has served as an expert for the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine and many others, and was appointed by former RI Governor Gina Raimondo, to the Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force Expert Team, charged with formulating a strategic plan to address addiction and stop overdose in Rhode Island.

headshot of Leo Lovemore

Leo Lovemore, PhD (moderator)

Bio of Dr. Lovemore

Leo Lovemore (they/them) is the Librarian for History, Society, and Culture at the Brown University Library. Leo holds a PhD in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Rutgers University. Their 2019 dissertation, "Ecologies of Care: Whiteness, Clinical Power, and Post-Opioid Futures," explored the intersections of race, pain, and capitalism in the history of American medicine, with a critical focus on histories of mental health and addiction treatment.

Leo also holds an MA in Humanities and Social Thought from New York University and a BA in English and American Studies from Mount Holyoke College. Their current research explores the vital role that marginalized communities played in the founding of Massachusetts General Hospital in the early nineteenth century.