Spasms of the Soul: The Tanganyika Laughter Epidemic in the Age of Independence
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CitationNasser, Latif Shiraz. 2014. Spasms of the Soul: The Tanganyika Laughter Epidemic in the Age of Independence. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University.
Abstract1962. Tanganyika, East Africa. In a rural boarding school on the shore of Lake Victoria, dozens of adolescent girls began to laugh and cry uncontrollably. After trying to stem these mysterious breakouts for a month and a half, school officials gave up and sent everyone home. As the girls fanned out to their homes across the region, their behaviors spread too. Over 1000 people were affected. Families and governments enlisted all kinds of experts to give them a clue about what was going on. Eventually, an official diagnosis: mass hysteria. About two years after it began, the epidemic petered out. Nobody died. Everybody recovered.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:12274127
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