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Call for Papers: Studies in Social Justice, Special Issue on The Politics of Resilience and Recovery in Mental Health Care

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Over the past several decades, mental health care has increasingly privileged models of resilience and recovery, alongside and as part of shifts away from (partial) de-institutionalization, towards the newly preferred model of ‘community-based’ care. Though such shifts have largely been initiated through the resistance of those who have been psychiatrized, these new models of care have now been co-opted within a number of mental health care systems. Through this appropriation, resilience and recovery have come to be incorporated into systems of medicalized mental health care. Resilience and recovery have thus been re-figured: psychiatric experts now iterate that through recovery and resilience those who are deemed to have disordered minds can live ‘meaningful lives’ despite the ostensible permanence of their ‘illnesses,’ thus working to deny the possibility of a kind of recovery that would place ‘patients’ or ‘clients’ outside the remit of medical authority. Whereas 20 years ago ‘resilience’ and ‘recovery’ were harnessed as an organized means for psychiatric survivors to avert the medical system through peer knowledge and support, they are now harnessed as a means for incorporating psychiatric survivors into medical systems, and to making them responsible for their adherence to prescribed ways of governing their interior lives. In the process, bio-medical and psychosocial models have been drawn together in novel configurations, including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), positive psychology, and the like. Whole populations and societies are being targeted as these models move from solely treating those deemed mentally ill, towards responsibilizing all members of a given population or society for their mental health and well-being.

Mental health models based on resilience and recovery are being instituted in a number of sub-national, national and supra-national settings with the aspiration of creating healthy, happy and productive populations. These processes are incredibly expansive, and are targeting numerous populations in a wide array of spaces. Examples abound. Mental health care within national health services are being revamped, through, for instance, the newly formed Mental Health Commission of Canada, and the UK NHS’s recent systemic turn to CBT. Resilience and recovery also figure within the mental health programming of various sub-national organizations, from schools, to universities, to militaries, amongst others. Resilience and recovery models have also figured in International Organizations, including the World Health Organization’s 2001 world health report on

Mental Health: New Understanding, New Hope, which advocates the integration of neuromedicine and behavioural science, while targeting former post-colonial nations, without also acknowledging psychiatry’s role in imperialism. Such activities are being contested within psy expert communities, as well as resisted by psychiatric survivor and mad pride movements, which have worked to politicize the appropriation of resilience and recovery from psychiatric survivor communities. Such resistance works to re-position mental health, resilience, and recovery, not as matters under the domain of medicine or illness, but as matters of social justice, recognition, and difference.

We seek contributions that will foster interdisciplinary dialogue on the politics of resilience and recovery, and social justice in mental health care. Contributions are welcome from those situated in or across the disciplines of anthropology, sociology, political science, education, psychology, ethics, medicine, health studies, amongst others. Please send an abstract of 500 words by no later than July 22, 2011 to Alison Howell and Jijian Voronka, special issue guest editors at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Please be advised that full articles of 6,000 to 8,000 words (inclusive) will be due on or before November 15th, 2011. Further information about Studies in Social Justice can be found at: http://ojs.uwindsor.ca/ojs/leddy/index.php/SSJ/index


New Book Publication: Tranquil Prisons

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Tranquil Prisons: Chemical Incarceration under Community Treatment Orders
By Erick Fabris 
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2011
240 Pages 
Paper ISBN 9781442612297 $27.95 (Can)
Cloth ISBN 9781442643765 $60.00 (Can)

Available 30 October 2011
Pre-order at http://www.utppublishing.com/Tranquil-Prisons-Chemical-Incarceration-under-Community-Treatment-Orders.html

Antipsychotic medications are sometimes imposed on psychiatric patients deemed dangerous to themselves and others. This is based on the assumption that treatment is safe and effective, and that recovery depends on biological adjustment. Under new laws, patients can be required to remain on these medications after leaving hospitals. However, survivors attest that forced treatment used as a restraint can feel like torture, while the consequences of withdrawal can also be severe.

A brave and innovative book, Tranquil Prisons is a rare academic study of psychiatric treatment written by a former mental patient. Erick Fabris's original, multidisciplinary research demonstrates how clients are pre-emptively put on chemical agents despite the possibility of alternatives. Because of this practice, patients often become dependent on psychiatric drugs that restrict movement and communication to incarcerate the body rather than heal it. Putting forth calls for professional accountability and more therapy choices for patients, Fabris's narrativeis both accessible and eye-opening.

ERICK FABRIS is a lecturer in the School of Disability Studies at Ryerson University.

Table of Contents
1 Chemical Incarceration
2 Mad
3 Restraints and Treatment
4 On the Ground
5 Psychiatric History and Law
6 Biocarceration
7 Transinstitutionalization
8 Dreams of Escape
9 In the Present

‘I commend Erick Fabris on his achievement with Tranquil Prisons, an engaging combination of scholarship, analysis, and call to action and mobilization. It is rare for a “survivor account” to provide such a systematic investigation into an aspect of contemporary psychiatric practice and to gain such extensive articulation. I can only emphasize the importance of Tranquil Prisons for diverse audiences at the level of policy, practice, and the academy. As it is well organized and accessible, it should also prove a very useful text for lay readers.’
Erica Burman, Department of Psychology, Discourse Unit/Research Institute of Health and Social Change, Manchester Metropolitan University

‘Erick Fabris is very well versed in the literature surrounding the use and abuse of community treatment orders (CTOs). In Tranquil Prisons, he embarks on a clever theoretical and methodological journey into the topic while illustrating the issues, debates, and experiences behind surface realities. Infused with Fabris’s own personal experiences, Tranquil Prisons is a major contribution to research.’
Jana Grekul, Department of Sociology, University of Alberta


Theorizing Normalcy and the Mundane

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14th – 15th September 2011

‘Theorizing Normalcy and the Mundane: 2nd International Conference’
Manchester Metropolitan University, Gaskell Campus

A free conference co-hosted by Critical Disability Studies (Manchester Metropolitan University) (MMU), University of Chester, Centre for Disability Studies (University of Iceland), the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (University of Toronto) and the Disability Research Forum (Sheffield Hallam University).

This 2nd international conference builds on the success of the Normalcy2010 Manchester conference and seeks, again, to bring together an international group of disability studies researchers.

This call for papers seeks contributions around the following areas: exploring the cultural and political production of normalcy; addressing our obsession with reason and rationality; connecting ableism with other hegemonies including heterosexism, racism and ageism;analysing the barriers and possibilities of the mundane and extraordinary;deconstructing new pathologies and ‘abnormalities’assessing the pathology of normalcy

Confirmed keynote speakers include Rebecca Mallett (Sheffield Hallam), Anat Greenstein (MMU, UK) and Fiona Kumari Campbell (Griffith University, Australia).

The organizers' aim is for this conference to be as inclusive as possible. They welcome activists, undergraduate and postgraduate students, practitioners and academics to join them. In the spirit of an eco-friendly conference, registered delegates will be sent an e-pack. Details of accommodation near the venue will also be sent to delegates. As the conference is free, lunch and refreshments will be available for purchase at the University, if you wish. Please let the organizers know if you have any dietary requirements so they can make the restaurant aware of delegate requirements.To attend this conference register on these pages. Deadline for registration is 22nd August 2011.

To submit an abstract to present a paper please email the organizers at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . While the organizers acknowledge that some of you have already sent them abstracts, for new submissions please note that the deadline for abstracts is 4th June 2011. The organizers would like a title and an abstract of up to 300 words.

For further information please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it (please note that the organizers are keeping the email from the first conference, so this should read 2010 not 2011; this is not a mistake)

For latest news about the conferences and related activities please visit these two research groups' websites:


Thank you


Challenging Our Understanding of Psychosis and Exploring Alternatives for Recovery

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Challenging Our Understanding of Psychosis and Exploring Alternatives for Recovery
November 3 & 4, 2011

University of Toronto, Hart House, Toronto, Canada

The Leadership Project & INTAR (International Network Toward Alternatives for Recovery) announce an important Mental Health Recovery Conference.

This conference offers a unique opportunity to hear from a distinguished group of writers, clinical practitioners, researchers, advocates and activists who are foremost in their fields of critical psychiatry, psychology, education, journalism, community development and activism. Their inspiring work on psychosis, depression and recovery puts them in the vanguard of the push to transform mental health care. Join them as they present the case for a new perspective on psychosis, and humanistic, community-based alternatives for recovery.

Our Guests:

Robert Whitaker “Anatomy of an Epidemic”
Richard Bentall, Ph.D Deconstructing Schizophrenia
Sandra Escher, Ph.D. Hearing Voices
Dr. Philip Thomas Critical Psychiatry
Rufus May, Ph.D Unusual Beliefs
Dr. Joanna Moncrieff Psycho-Pharmaceutical Complex
Alisha Ali, Ph.D. Oppression/Depression
Dr. Michaela Amering Trialogue
Joe Goodbread Process Psychology
Julie Repper, Ph.D. Social Inclusion
Will Hall Psychiatric Drugs/ Harm Reduction
Maria Haarmans CBT for Psychosis
Dr. Peter Stastny “Crisis or Opportunity”
Ron Bassman, Ph.D. “Inspiration, Hope and Possibility”

and others

Registration and conference details to follow.

For information: Brian McKinnon at 416 285 7996, ex. 227 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


PsychOUT 2011

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PsychOUT 2011

A Conference for Organizing Resistance Against Psychiatry

June 20 & 21, 2011

Graduate Center, City University of New York, 34 Street & 5th Avenue, NYC
The purpose of this global conference is to provide a forum for psychiatric survivors, mad people, activists, radical professionals, artists, scholars and students from around the world to come together and share experiences of organizing against psychiatry. Dialogue about these experiences is intended to foster networking and coalition building across social justice movements, disciplines and geographical locations; to clarify some key goals in the struggle against psychiatric oppression; to develop some longer-term strategies to help us achieve these goals; and to help us critically examine how we use specific tools for social change, such as the law, science, theory, media, art, and theatre.

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. In contrast, collective resistance against the theories and interventions of psychiatry has intensified over recent years as psychiatric survivors, activists and community members are contesting this institution on various political fronts.

Contributions to this conference will focus on building coalitions, alternatives to the psychiatric industry, User and Survivor-run alternatives, trauma informed practices, support-decision making strategies, and learning from marginalized groups such as women, Users and Survivors of color and indigenous people with disabilities, youth, lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgendered people, people who are homeless and others living in poverty, and how they resist psychiatric oppression in different ways within a human rights framework aimed at challenging the power of institutional psychiatry.
For further program details and registration information, click on:

Anatomy Of An Epidemic

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Robert Whitaker
Anatomy Of An Epidemic

Monday May 16, 7:00 p.m.
Peter Kaye Room
Lower Level Central Library
350 West Georgia St.
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Admission is free. Seating is limited.

Mental illness has reached epidemic levels in North America. Is the drug-based paradigm of care fueling this modern day plague?  What are the long-term effects of psychiatric drug use? The acclaimed medical journalist Robert Whitaker documents the astonishing rise of mental illness—a looming public health crisis—and calls for a dramatic change in treatment in order to help people get well and stay well.  This will be an informative and provocative event.

Also appearing Sunday, May 15 7:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Church of Vancouver 949 W. 49th Ave (bus routes #17  and #49)

For more information about this event, contact the Unitarian Church of Vancouver at 604-261-7204

This evening made possible by a grant from the UCV Service Fund

Co-sponsored by: Vancouver Unitarians www.vancouverunitarians.ca  and  Vancouver Public Library www.vpl.ca


History of Madness in Canada at BC Studies

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On Friday, May 6, 2011, four members of the History of Madness in Canada website collective will be presenting papers related to the project at the BC Studies conference in Kelowna, British Columbia. Here are the program details:

University of British Columbia - Okanagan
Kelowna, BC

Friday, May 6, 2011
Session 5 – Time 1:30–3:00 PM
History of Madness and Education: Reforming Current Understandings and Practices Room: Fipke 239

Moderator/commentator: Diane Purvey (Education, TRU)

Robert Menzies (Sociology, SFU) Building Communities of Learning in Cyberspace:  the History of Madness in Canada Website

Megan Davies (Health & Society Program, U of Toronto) A Little Utopian Experiment:  Using the Web to Craft a Radical High School Curriculum

Marina Morrow (Center for the Study of Gender, Social Inequities & Mental Health, SFU) Education for Change: Recovery, Gender and Social Inequities Informed Training of Mental Health Care Providers

Diane Purvey (Education, TRU) Creating Web-based Educational Resources on Deinstitutionalization for Graduate Programs.


Locating Parkdale's Mad History

Public Lecture

"Locating Parkdale's Mad History: Back Wards to Back Streets, 1980-2010"

Megan Davies and David Reville explore the impact of
deinstitutionalization in the Parkdale neighbourhood.

Thurs. Nov. 4, 7 pm; Parkdale Branch, 1303 Queen St. West, Toronto, Canada

History Matters is an ongoing lecture and discussion series, sponsored by the Toronto Public Library.

Connect with Toronto historians at these lively lectures showcasing current research
on Toronto’s past and discover some of the surprising ways history matters to
everyone in our city today.

For more information and a copy of the announcement poster, click on History Matters.


Arts for Social and Environmental Justice (ASEJ) Symposium

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Arts for Social and Environmental Justice (ASEJ) Symposium
May 13 - 15, 2010, Royal Conservatory, Toronto, Ontario

The Laurier Centre for Music in the Community (LcMc) and the Royal Conservatory (RCM), in partnership with ISIS-Canada and the European Graduate School, are hosting a symposium addressing arts education and its connection to social and environmental justice.

The term"education" is used in its broadest sense to denote both formal (e.g.,school) and informal (e.g., community-based) learning.

The three-day symposium will feature keynote speakers Rena Upitis, Danika Billie Littlechild, Stephen K. Levine, Carlos Silveira, and Max Wyman, as well as papers, workshops, and performances. This symposium invites submissions in the following categories:

1. Research presentations that deal with any aspect of the arts and social and/or environmental justice
2. Narrative papers describing practices in the educational or arts community dealing with the symposium themes
3. Interactive workshop sessions dealing with the symposium themes

To submit your work: Please e-mail your submissions as MS-Word documents to Dr. Ann Patteson.

Last Updated on Friday, 29 January 2010 00:36

Marxism and Psychology Conference

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CALL FOR PAPERS (Extended Deadline)
Marxism and Psychology Conference
The University of Prince Edward Island
August 5-7, 2010
Contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Submission Deadline: February 1, 2010 (Extended Deadline)

In the history of social thought, it is difficult to find a more divisive figure than Karl Marx. For many, the mere mention of his name conjures up images of totalitarian regimes dominating nearly every aspect of an individual's existence. Yet for others, Marx's critique of the capitalist mode of production draws attention to the fact that our beliefs, thoughts, and desires inevitably emerge against the background of specific cultural, historical, and social practices.

Thepurpose of this conference is to bring students, scholars, and activists together to discuss exciting issues at the intersection of Marxism and Psychology. While it is clear that a number of organizations are making important contributions to this area of study, we believe that the time is right to open up a space for students, scholars, and activists from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds to reflect on the role that Marxism can play in psychological theory, research, and practice.

In bringing together scholars at the forefront of research in Marxism and Psychology, we also hope to give new students and activists an opportunity to interact with individuals who have made significant contributions within this area. By organizing an impressive collection of plenary participants, we hope to foster an environment where students, activists, and scholars can identify potential graduate advisers, research assistants, and participatory investigators. This year, confirmed plenary participants include:

  • Kum-Kum Bhavnani, Professor of Sociology, Women's Studies and Global Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara 
  • John Cromby, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Loughborough University UK 
  • Raquel Guzzo, Professor of Psychology at the University of Campinas and member of the, International Committee for Liberation Social Psychology
  •  Lois Holzman, co-founder (with Fred Newman) and director of the East Side Institute for Group and Short Term Psychotherapy in New York City
  •  Gordana Jovanovi, Associate Professor of Psychology at the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade, Serbia
  • Athanasios Marvakisis, Associate Professor in Clinical Social Psychology at the School of Primary Education of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki/Greece
  • Morten Nissen, Senior Lecturer /Associate Professor at the Department of Psychology, University of Copenhagen
  • Ian Parker, Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychology at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU)
  • Carl Ratner, cultural psychologist and author of Cultural Psychology: A Perspective on Psychological Functioning and Social Reform (LEA)
  • Hans Skott-Myhre, an interdisciplinary cultural theorist whose primary research area is the development of models of child and youth work
  • Thomas Teo, Associate Professor in the History and Theory of Psychology Program at York University
 We welcome submissions for individual papers and panel sessions. For individual papers, please submit an abstract (150-200 words) no later than February 1, 2010. For panel submissions, please include an abstract (150-200 words) for each paper as well as a brief description of the panel (150-200 words). Please submit all materials to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Abstracts should either be in file form or in the body of the email.
Please visit the conference website:

Last Updated on Friday, 29 January 2010 12:44

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