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Sanism and the Mad Subject

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk


Anti-sanist discourses are a relatively new interdisciplinary formation of thought and praxis with the global rise of Mad Studies fifteen years ago—stemming largely from longstanding histories of abuse and stigma directed at psychiatric patients and survivors (Ingram 2008, 2016; Gillis 2015). Anthropology and its allied practices—critical psychiatry, for instance—have a vital, if not substantive, role in reconceptualizing, redirecting, and redressing the structural biases pinned on Mad subjects (LeFrançois et al. 2013; Coles et al. 2013); these humanizing and activist formations can influence hegemonic knowledge-power configurations by recharting Mad-positive trajectories and futures that escape or limit Sanist counter-movements (Salazar et al. 2017; Beresford and Rose 2023). How can we then re-think the relationship between Mad subjectivity and sanist biases present in society, our fieldsite(s), and institutional affiliations? We aim to ask roundtable panellists what a liberatory Mad Studies practice looks like in light of their current work and tussles with Sanist barriers.

Event (Conference)

TitleCASCA 2024
Location University of British Columbia
City University of British Columbia, Okanagan, Syilx Territory
Degree of recognitionInternational event