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Radio Curious visits with Robert Dole, a Professor of English as a Foreign Language at the University of Chicoutimi in Quebec, Canada, about his personal experiences with schizophrenia and homosexuality as described in his book published in 2000, “How to Make a Success of your Schizophrenia.”
Barry Vogel, Attorney and Counselor is the Host and Producer of Radio Curious. Christina Aanestad is the Assistant Producer.
This edition of Radio Curious discusses one man’s personal experience in recognizing his homosexuality. Until the mid 1970s many people considered homosexuality to be a mental disorder and/or a crime, as it is still in some personal and political belief systems. Homosexual people sometimes were housed in mental institutions, given medication and suffered an array of treatment methods, including shock therapy and other forms of behavior modification.
Professor Robert Dole, our guest in this edition of Radio Curious, was one of many individuals subjected to behavior modification. In his book, “How to Make a Success of Your Schizophrenia,” he explains how the “treatment” he endured as an attempt to alter his homosexual preference made him schizophrenic. His personal memoir describes his experiences growing up in the 1960s as a gay man, his institutionalization at the McLean Hospital in Massachusetts, the insanity that consumed him as a result of his treatment, his self-led recovery, partially based on a spiritual experience, and his subsequent extraordinary life in academia.
Professor Dole, who is fluent in seven languages, teaches English as a Foreign Language at the University of Chicoutimi in rural Quebec, Canada, where he has lived for 30 plus years. Robert Dole and I visited by phone from his office at the University of Chicoutimi on November 4, 2011 and began our conversation when I asked to describe the schizophrenia he experienced.
Professor Robert Dole is the author of many books including “The American Nightmare,” and “How to Make a Success of Your Schizophrenia.”
This interview with Professor Dole was recorded on November 4, 2011.
The books he recommends are: “The Death of Ivan Ilych,” by Leo Tolstoy and any book from Stefan Zweig.
Radio Curious is a half-hour, weekly, long-form interview program, now in it's 21st year. We interview people on a curiously wide variety of topics about life and ideas. Our website is www.radiocurious.org. If your station airs Radio Curious please let us know firstname.lastname@example.org, we will add you to our list of syndicate stations. We also welcome questions, feedback and program ideas.