9th Global Meeting
The Making Sense Of: Madness Project
Sunday 10th July – Tuesday 12th July 2016
Mansfield College, Oxford, United Kingdom
Call for Presentations:
Madness: What is it? Why does it exist? Where and when does it happen? How does it happen, and to whom? Like the relation between otherness and identity, madness might have always been used to define its opposite, or defined by what it is not. Madness and its absence may even be intrinsically linked to everything we do and do not, to all we aspire and escape from; it could be part of our origins and fate. But how can it be identified, described, studied and/or treated? We propose to take an interdisciplinary approach, by which we mean one that allows us to develop dialogues about the subject from different points of view, from and between different disciplines and experiences. This will partly allow us to answer the questions above, in direct relation to the specific contexts in which madness is observed, studied and/or experienced and, it is desirable, it might also allow us all to understand that, just by being humans, none of us is actually immune to it.
This international, inter-disciplinary conference seeks to explore issues of madness across historical periods and within cultural, political and social contexts. We are interested as well in exploring the place of madness in persons and interpersonal relationships and across a range of critical perspectives. Seeking to encourage innovative inter, multi and post disciplinary dialogues, we warmly welcome papers from all disciplines, professions and vocations which struggle to understand the place of madness in the constitution of persons, relationships and the complex interlacing of self and other. In the seven previous conferences we had the participation of people who have experienced forms of madness in their personal lives, and their presentations have always been not only welcome, but also moving and illuminating for all. Such contributions based on the actual experience of madness from within have been an essential part of our conferences and this year we encourage again the submission of abstracts based on first-hand experience. Our conferences have also been increasingly enriched by the participation of artists and performers, introducing more fluid and malleable spheres and scenes within our interactions. This year we also wish to encourage and expand this by inviting delegates to submit proposals for exhibitions, performances and interventions.
In particular papers, workshops, presentations, performances and exhibitions are invited on any of the following themes:
1. The Value of Madness or Why is it that We Need Madness?:
~ Critical explorations: beyond madness/sanity/insanity
~ Continuity and difference: always with us yet never quite the same
~ Repetition and novelty: the incessant emergence and re-emergence of
~ Naming, defining and understanding the elusive
~ The unreachable and untouchable knowledge of madness
~ Learning from madness how to cope with reality
~ Madness as genius, outstanding, out of the ordinary,
~ Mad passion and love as a remaking of life and self
~ Love, intimacy, care and the small spaces of madness
2. The Boundaries of Madness or Resisting Normality:
~ Madness, sanity and the insane
~ Being out of your mind, crazy, deranged … yet, perfectly sane
~ Deviating from the normal; defining the self against the normal
~ When the insane becomes normal; when evil reins social life
~ I would rather vomit, thank you; revulsion, badness and refusing to
~ What is real? Who defines reality?
~ The insanity of not loving madness
~ Critical and ethical implosions of normality and normalness; sane in
insane places and insane in sane places
3. The Invention of Madness I: Historical, Sociological and
~ The science of madness
~ Medicine, psychiatry, psychology, law and the constructions of
madness; madness as illness
~ Contributions of the social sciences to the making and the critique of
the making of madness
~ The social allure and fear of madness; the institutions of confining
~ Servicing normality by castigating the insane and marginalizing lunatics
~ Cultural and social constructions of madness; images of the mad,
crazy, insane, lunatic, abnormal
~ Gender and madness; the feminine and the masculine
4. The Invention of Madness II: The Contribution of the Arts:
~ The art of madness
~ Representations, explanations and the critique of madness from the
humanities and the arts
~ Music, painting, dance, theatre: is it crazy to think of madness
~ Madness and humour, how are they related? can manic laughter be
considered a form of humour? which is funnier (if funny at all)
laughing until crying or the opposite? why or how do some comedians use
their performances as a way of exploring their own madness, or how do they use their own madness as material?
~ Literature and madness
~ The language and communication of madness: who can translate?
~ Creation as an unfolding of madness; Madness as an unfolding of
5. The Allures and Perils of Madness:
~ Love as madness; uncontrollable passion; unrestrainable love
~ Recognising madness in oneself; relativising madness in others
~ Metaphors of feeling free, unrestrained, capable, lifted from reality
~ Madness as clear-sightedness, as opening up possibilities, as
re-visioning of the world
~ The future, the prophetic, the unknown; the epic, the heroic and the
~ Profound attraction and desire; fear of the abyss and the radical unknown
~ Control, self-control and the pull of the abyss
Call for Cross-Over Presentations
The Madness project will be meeting at the same time as a project on Persons and Sexualities and another project on Storytelling. We welcome submissions which cross the divide between project areas. If you would like to be considered for a cross project session, please mark your submission “Crossover Submission”.
What to Send
300 word abstracts, proposals and other forms of contribution should be submitted by Friday 26th February 2016.
All submissions be minimally double reviewed, under anonymous (blind) conditions, by a global panel drawn from members of the Project Team and the Advisory Board. In practice our procedures usually entail that by the time a proposal is accepted, it will have been triple and quadruple reviewed.
You will be notified of the panel’s decision by Friday 11th March 2016.
If your submission is accepted for the conference, a full draft of your contribution should be submitted by Friday 3rd June 2016.
Abstracts may be in Word, RTF or Notepad formats with the following information and in this order:
a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in programme, c) email address, d) title of proposal, e) body of proposal, f) up to 10 keywords.
E-mails should be entitled: Madness Abstract Submission
Where to Send
Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to the Organising Chairs with listed emails:
This event is an inclusive interdisciplinary research and publishing project. It aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and exciting.
A number of eBooks and paperback volumes have already emerged from the work of this project. All papers accepted for and presented at the conference must be in English and will be eligible for publication in an ISBN eBook. Selected papers may be developed for publication in a themed hard copy volume(s). All publications from the conference will require editors, to be chosen from interested delegates from the conference.
Inter-Disciplinary.Net believes it is a mark of personal courtesy and professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the meeting. If you are unable to make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract for presentation. Please note: Inter-Disciplinary.Net is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence.