CFP: Voices of Madness, Voices of Mental ill-health


Voices of Madness, Voices of Mental ill-health

Centre for Health Histories, University of Huddersfield

15th- 16th Sept 2016

In the thirty years since Roy Porter called on historians to lower their gaze so that they might better understand patient-doctor roles in the past, historians have sought to place the voices of previously, silent, marginalised and disenfranchised individuals at the heart of their analyses. Contemporaneously, the development of service user groups and patient consultations have become an important feature of the debates and planning related to current approaches to prevention, care and treatment. The aim of this conference is to further explore and reveal how the voices of those living with and treating mental illness have been recorded and expressed.  We hope to consider recent developments in these areas with a view to facilitating an interdisciplinary discourse around historical perspectives of mental health and illness.

The organisers invite proposals for 20 minutes on the themes of voices of madness and mental ill health under headings including but not limited to:

  • Oral history and testimony
  • Mental ill-health and community care
  • Mental ill-health and institutional histories
  • The role of informal carers
  • The growth of the mental health professions
  • Mental ill health and the voice(s) of adolescentsand children
  • Museums and the ‘heritage’ of mental ill health
  • The literature (fiction and non-fiction) of mental ill health
  • Language of madness (if not covered by ‘heritage’)
  • Dissenting voices
  • Appropriation of voices
  • Absent voices
  • Voices and art
  • Voices and stigma
  • The voices of mental ill-health on TV and radio
  • Individual, activist and social media


For more information contact Dr Rob Ellis (, Dr Sarah Kendal ( or Dr Steven Taylor ( To submit a paper proposal (250 words maximum) or express an interest, please contact Steve Taylor by 14 March 2015.

Found on H-Sci-Med-Tech.

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