CFP – International Health Humanities Conference 2010 “Madness and Literature”

1ST INTERNATIONAL HEALTH HUMANITIES CONFERENCE 2010

Madness and Literature”

The Institute of Mental Health is hosting The 1st International Health Humanities Conference at The University of Nottingham, UK from Friday 6th to Sunday 8th AUGUST 2010.

The theme of the conference, Madness and Literature, seeks to bring critical focus to three areas:

Literature, Psychiatry, Philosophy

Reflecting the interdisciplinary work of the Institute of Mental Health, and the multifaceted nature of the conference’s theme, we invite the participation of colleagues from both the humanities and from clinical backgrounds who wish to participate in an exploration of the conceptions of “Madness and Literature”. Furthermore, to be genuinely inclusive we encourage presentations arising from completed projects and work that is in progress or of an exploratory nature.

The Institute of Mental Health welcomes abstracts of approximately 250 words in length for twenty-minute papers in English dealing with the themes outlined above. We would also welcome the organization of panels (consisting of three speakers and a moderator) dealing with specific issues related to the overall themes of the conference. Issues to be considered at the conference may include:

  • What are the critical intersections between literature, psychiatry and philosophy?
  • How and why is psychiatry reflected and represented in fiction?
  • In what ways do fiction and autobiography treat issues such as gender, ethnicity, age, economics, sexuality and power in psychiatry?
  • How far can we pursue ideas concerning creativity and madness?
  • How might debates about literature and madness influence or be influenced by other disciplines, such as anthropology and sociology?
  • How can literature influence the education and practice of medical, health and allied disciplines?
  • What can literary studies learn from the ‘psych’ disciplines?

The Institute of Mental Health foresees the publication of papers (expanded, revised and submitted to a peer-review process) in one or more volumes post-conference, according to principles of intellectual and theoretical coherence that will give such publications editorial consistency.

Please send your abstracts as a Word attachment by email to Paul Crawford paul.crawford@nottingham.ac.uk by 5th February 2010.

For more informations, click here.

From Madness to Mental Health

Available beginning February 15, this anthology of primary sources chronicles the history of madness and psychiatry in western civilization, from ancient Israel to contemporary randomized clinical trials.  It also includes an updated bibliography of first-person narratives of mental illness compiled by Gail A. Hornstein. For more information click here.

To hear an interview with the author, click here.

Asylum of San Servolo

In the latest issue of  Psychiatrie Sciences Humaines Neurosciences the French psychiatrist  Granger tells the story of San Servolo, an island situated between San Marco and the Lido, from the 11th century on: first as the seat of a convent than of a mental hospital till its closure in the 1970s thanks to  the law n°180.

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Call for Paper – EASA, 2010: Crisis and resolution: imagination and the transformation of psychiatric care

Psychiatry represents an institution at the intersection of social solidarity and exclusion, with the specific configuration of these two elements differing in various historical and cultural contexts. Looking at the history of psychiatric care, one could argue that its evolutions were achieved through various crises (the crisis of the asylum and the anti-psychiatry movement, psychiatry’s inability to care for mentally ill living in the streets, human rights abuses…). For various reasons, the resolutions of these crises often relied on the creativity of groups or individuals with very practical consequences for introducing new forms of care – Basaglia’s proposals are just one compelling example among many. Often through such creative solutions, all Western countries have undertaken significant reorganization of their psychiatric care systems in the past 50 years, which also inspired changes to psychiatric care in less developed countries.

This workshop calls for reflection on the impact of ‘crisis rhetoric’ with regard to specific social, political and legal circumstances, and the role of imagination in informing the practices of caring and curing. We aim to explore how ideas on the appropriate forms of psychiatric care reflect specific cultural expectations and ideologies, and how the role of family, community, profession and the state in taking care of the mentally ill is negotiated in different contexts. Finally, we want to address the ways in which the anthropological perspective and research has been involved in, and is still challenged by these transformations.

For more informations, click here.

Nicolas Henckes in Genèses

In a recent number of the French journal of social history, Genèses, Nicolas Henckes publishes an article on the psychiatric hospital reform during the 20th century in France.

The abstract: Borrowing the view of institutions developed by symbolic interactionism and the adopting the point of view of reform process trajectories, this article proposes a framework for analysing psychiatric hospital reform during the 20th century. It objects to the idea that the reform was linked to an institutional crisis and emphasises, on the contrary, the work required to create the conditions under which a certain number of problems can be raised and discussed by the actors at the various moments in history.

Deutschlandfunk on psychiatry in the GDR

Mid-january the German public radio Deutschlandfunk had a feature about psychiatry in the GDR. The manuscript of the program can be found here

A new book on the history of schizophrenia

Jonathan M. Metzl, author of the well-known Prozac on the Couch, publishes a new book  of how schizophrenia became the diagnostic term overwhelmingly applied to African-American men in the United States during the 1960s and 1970s.  For more, click here.

Jonathan M. Metzl, The Protest Psychosis: How Schizophrenia Became a Black Disease (Boston: Beacon Press, 2010).

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