Mad Activism in Academia

24 Mar 2016

The ISS21 cluster on Mental Health and Disability is pleased to announce a one-day seminar entitled: Mad Activism in Academia: Challenging Traditions

Mad Activism in Academia: Challenging Traditions

Seminar hosted by ISS21 Mental Health and Disability Research Cluster

Monday 18 April 2016 from 10am – 4pm

CACSSS Seminar Room

O’Rahilly Building (ORB, G27)

University College Cork


This is an open invitation free event; however we would ask you to register your intention to attend at:

The event will be livestreamed. The link for the live transmission is:

Mad Studies has its origins as an emergent field of study in the School of Disability Studies at Ryerston University, Canada in the early 00’s, with Kathryn Church, David Reville and Geoffrey Reaume amongst the key players. Since then, various Mad Studies events have taken place in some UK universities. This is the first such seminar in an Irish university. Church’s Making Madness Matter in Academic Practice and Cresswell and Spandler’s The Engaged Academic: Academic Intellectuals and the Psychiatric Survivor Movement have become influential papers in considering the position of Mad Studies in Academia.

Some of the critical questions addressed at the seminar will be:

  • How can academics form alliances with social movements?
  • How can we be more ‘engaged academics’?
  • How can we value/legitimise ‘mad knowledge’?
  • What is the role of universities in addressing social injustices

Structure of the day:

10.15 – 10.30: Welcome and Introduction to the day

10.30 – 11.30: Outsider Knowledge: Madness, Expertise and Social Justice.Jacqui Dillon; mental health activist, national Chair of the Hearing Voices Network England

11.30 – 12.00: coffee break

12.00 – 13.00: Mad Activism: Within and Beyond the Academy. Helen Spandler,  Mental Health Reader, School of Social Work, Care and Community University of Central Lancashire, member of the editorial Collective of Asylum magazine

13.00 – 14.00: lunch break

14.00 – 15.00: Returning to Park House: Critical Autobiography as Mad Activism. Dina Poursanidou, Post-doctoral Research Fellow, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College, London, member of the editorial Collective of Asylum magazine

15.00 – 16.00: Panel Discussion with panellists Dina Poursanidou, Helen Spandler, Liz Brosnan (Research Associate, Centre for Disability Law and Policy, NUIG, Galway), Rory Doody (Recovery Development Advocate, West Cork) and Pat Bracken (Consultant Psychiatrist, West Cork Mental Health Services)

16.00: Close of sessions

The event is supported by the ISS21, the College of Arts Celtic Studies and Social Sciences and the School of Applied Social Studies, UCC


Institute for Social Science in the 21st Century (ISS21)

Top Floor, Carrigbawn/Safari Building, Donovan Road, Cork, T12 YE30