CFP: Diversity and Mental Illness Workshop, Oxford (TORCH)

Date: 24th October 2018

Location: The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH), University of Oxford

Deadline: 15th September 2018

The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities, University of Oxford, and the Phenomenology and Mental Health Network, The Collaborating Centre for Values-based Practice, St. Catherine’s College, present a one-day workshop on Diversity and Mental Illness, as part of TORCH’s annual headline series ‘Humanities & Identities’.


  • Marcin Moskalewicz & Bill Fulford

Confirmed speakers:

  • Michael A. Schwartz (Texas A&M Health Science Center, USA)
  • Giovanni Stanghellini (Università degli Studi G. d’Annunzio Chieti e Pescara, Italy)


When speaking of diversity we usually focus on class, race, gender, sexuality, and disability, and forget mental disorders. Is this merely a coincidence, an oversight, or a sign of a deeper stigma? While contemporary cosmopolitan populations value the diversity of class, race, gender, etc., they often disvalue the diversity that is an inevitable consequence of mental syndromes. Our tolerance for radical mental otherness seems quite narrow. Modern mental health care calls for conformity and not for diversity, and it often pathologizes emotional and behavioral plurality of human beings. The goal of this workshop is to explore the question of diversity in mental health care from a transdisciplinary perspective cutting across medical humanities, history and philosophy of psychiatry, and phenomenological psychopathology.


Is there a stigma in our culture that prevents us from seeing some benefits of mental illness (such as those cherished by the neurodiversity movement)? What are these benefits? How to practice radical inclusivity today? Should we seek a balance within the often conflicting values in mental health care? Or must we rather learn to acknowledge the incompatible and irreducible variety of worldviews? Should the acceptance of a radically different perception of the world – such as a delusional one – be unconditional? What will a person-centered approach to mental disorders gain from assuming the diversity perspective?


We invite proposals of 20-30 minutes talks as well as posters. Please submit a 300-500 words abstract of your talk/poster to Deadline: 15th of September 2018. Applicants will be notified shortly afterwards.


Attendance is free of charge. Refreshments and lunch for the speakers will be provided. Limited funds are available to assist PhD students and Post-Docs with travel expenses. If you are in need of such support, please submit a request together with your abstract.

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