Mad studies

Authored by: Rachel Gorman , Brenda A. LeFrançois

Routledge International Handbook of Critical Mental Health

Print publication date:  September  2017
Online publication date:  September  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138225473
eBook ISBN: 9781315399584
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter is written by two mad studies scholars. One of us (Rachel) was a member of the Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault (CAPA) in Toronto, where she became connected with the emerging network of mad scholar/activists that later spurred Richard Ingram (2015, 2016) to coin the term ‘mad studies’ in 2008. The other of us (Brenda) was a participant at the Madness, Citizenship and Social Justice conference organised by Robert Menzies at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver in 2008, where she became excited by the new Canadian mad scholarship and took up the invitation to co-edit the book Mad Matters (LeFrançois et al. 2013) in order to feature that scholarship. Both of these major events – the coining of the term ‘mad studies’ and the Vancouver conference – collided in ways that have enabled activist scholarship emanating from the mad movement to find a politicised and theoretical home both inside and outside of the academy. We come together to write this chapter, bringing in our knowledges of this emergent ‘in/discipline’ (Ingram 2015, 2016), as well as our experiences as, respectively, a queer mad mixed-race woman who is a performance artist and disability studies academic and a queer mad white woman who teaches against the grain to trainee professionals as a social work educator and critical psychology academic. All this we bring to this joint writing of mad studies, framed within transnational, critical race and post colonial lenses.

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