A hospital is a place for treatment of diseases. It is a liminal place where ideally people are cured and able to return back to their normal lives. Hospitals though can be sites of trauma depending on the patient experience. Lock hospitals especially were not only places where patients were treated for contagious diseases but also places where people were confined to block transmission of a disease. They were created to control and exert control on patient bodies in multiple ways. Using the archives of the Andreas Syggros Hospital, state archives such as the Historical Archives of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the General Archives of the State and oral interviews, the present paper will explore how hospitals can become places of discipline and trauma. The study will focus on the Athenian hospital Andreas Syggros where women in prostitution were treated for their venereal diseases especially for syphilis. Although Andreas Syggros was a modern hospital, founded in 1910, with the aim of treating venereal diseases, it became a hospital where prostitutes were incarcerated. This was to ensure not only that the patients followed their treatment but also to stop the wider transmission of the disease. Some patients resisted the hospital’s control and the state’s attempt to discipline them. For instance, some attempted and even managed to escape and regain control over their own bodies and lives and thus subverted the hospital’s aim.
Georgia Eglezou, Panteion University, Greece