Over the last century, proponents of biological psychiatry have used the language of science to naturalize the medical model as an essential way of organizing and managing human experience. Backed with the social and fiscal powers of governments and mental health industries, the theories and physical interventions of biological psychiatry have become pervasive and commonly accepted as necessary in the public consciousness. Particularly relevant today in Canada is the recent Mental Health Commission, which is being represented as “the voice for consumers”, while it is in actuality advancing a biomedical-social approach that upholds the theories and practices of institutional psychiatry. Provincial governments are likewise putting extensive resources into mass screening for mental illness, particularly for children and youth, putting vulnerable people at further risk of psychiatric interference. Similar government initiatives are also unfolding in other parts of the world. The widespread acceptance of these initiatives and projects is allowing medical authorities to continue using conventional psychiatric interventions, such as institutionalization, drugging and electroshock, and to branch out into communities in new ways that seriously compromise human rights.
In contrast, collective resistance against the theories and interventions of psychiatry has intensified over recent years as psychiatric survivors and other community members are contesting this institution on various political fronts. Additionally, people belonging to marginalized groups who are at greater risk of psychiatrization, such as women, racialized people, queers, trans people, people with disabilities and homeless people and others living in poverty, are resisting psychiatric oppression in different ways, as we/they recognize threats to our/their health, human rights and lives.
This conference will provide a venue for stakeholders to network and develop strategy, theory and practice in line with their goals and build on alternatives that promote empowerment and equality. The conference aims at going beyond a critique of psychiatry and will emphasize the theme of alternative approaches to the health and well-being.
The purpose of this global conference is to provide a forum for psychiatric survivors, mad people, activists, scholars, students, radical professionals, and artists from around the world to come together and share experiences of organizing against psychiatry.
Dialogue about these experiences is intended:
o to foster networking and coalition building across social justice movements, disciplines and geographical locations;
o to clarify some key goals in the struggle against psychiatric oppression;
o to develop some longer-term strategies to help us achieve these goals; and
o to help us critically examine how we use specific tools for social change, such as the law, science, theory, media, art, and theatre.
This conference is focused on theory and practice that is directly related to developing strategic actions aimed at challenging the power of institutional psychiatry.
Submission of Papers, Workshops and Creative Presentations:
This global interdisciplinary, cross-movement conference welcomes academic paper, workshop, or creative presentation submissions that can include, but are not limited to, the following topics:
o Feminist organizing against psychiatry
o Anti-racist organizing against psychiatry
o Queer and trans resistance against psychiatry
o Resisting colonizing practices of psychiatry
o Resisting psychiatric interference in nations called «developing»
o Negotiating the complex space between critical disability and antipsychiatry perspectives
o Intersections between anti-poverty movements and antipsychiatry
o Networking and coalition building across disciplines and social movements
o Commonalities and tensions within the antipsychiatry, psychiatric survivor, and mad communities
o Building a global antipsychiatry movement
o Developing long-term strategies to meet antipsychiatry abolitionist goals
o Artistic and creative resistance
o Consciousness-raising initiatives
o Using the law to protect the rights of psychiatrized people
o Supporting youth and other vulnerable groups who are resisting psychiatrization
o Using science to undermine psychiatric theory and practice
o Media campaigns: Challenges, obstacles and breakthroughs
o Examining movement history to inform present-day strategy and action
o The struggle to ban electroshock: strategies, victories, mistakes and challenges
o Resisting the pharmaceutical industry
o Envisioning and creating alternatives
o Resisting the spread of psychiatric control in the community, such as community treatment sanctions
Paper abstracts, workshop or creative presentation descriptions should be between 200 and 300 words in length. Pre-formed panel proposals are also encouraged. The due date for submission is February 15, 2010. All submissions will be peer-reviewed. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, and the author would like their paper to be considered for publication in a book of conference proceedings, a full draft of the paper should be submitted by Monday, May 24, 2010.
The Conference Organizing Committee would like to acknowledge that the process for submitting papers online can be difficult at first, particularly for those who are new to this conference software or for those who are not familiar with academic conference terminology. We wish that we could change the process to make it more accessible for people who are not used to this process, but it comes with the territory of the software we are using. Please do not let this deter you from making a submission. If you experience difficulties at any step of the submission or registration process, please call 416 946 8026 or 416 919 2609 for technical assistance.
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