Madness, Citizenship and Social Justice Conference

Madness, Citizenship and Social Justice Digest

Volume 02 : Number 07
Wednesday, March 19, 2008

This is the latest in a series of listserv digests for Madness, Citizenship and Social Justice: A Human Rights Conference, an event hosted by the Simon Fraser University Institute for the Humanities and scheduled for the SFU downtown Harbour Centre campus on June 12th-15th, 2008.

There are a number of further developments to announce since our last digest circulated in early February, as the momentum continues to build toward June.

Preliminary Program:
First and foremost, I am happy to report that the Preliminary Program is now assembled and ready for distribution. Pending its uploading to the conference website, I am appending a file copy in MS Word. In addition to the program, the attached document includes a Detailed Sessions Schedule, and a complete list of Participants and Affiliations. To say the least, we are nothing short of delighted about, and tremendously impressed by, the quality, depth and range of the more than 100 contributions to this event. We have done our best to combine papers and append titles in imaginative and enabling ways, and to develop sessions that highlight the unique qualities of all your fine contributions. Please make note of your position(s) in the schedule. Days and times are specified; Barbara Smith is currently wrapping up the room assignments, which we will incorporate into the final program. In addition, Kathy McKay is hard at work in preparing a detailed list of paper and session abstracts, which will circulate shortly.

Sessions Format and Preparation of Papers:
Please note, as specified in the program, that the majority of sessions will run for 105 minutes. To reiterate instructions included in the February digest, we are asking paper presenters in regular panels to prepare 20-minute talks, to ensure that we have sufficient time available for audience participation and general discussion. We will supply a-v equipment and technical support. If you are intending to use PowerPoint software, you should plan to bring your file(s) on a cd/dvd and/or flash drive/usb key. We will be printing and posting the final version of the program toward the end of May, for on-site distribution of hard copies in delegate kits.

Chairs Still Needed:
While some assignments are now in place (with many thanks to those who have stepped forward), we are still sorely in need of session chairs/moderators (11 in total, by my count). So please consider volunteering to chair an event. You may do so by emailing a brief note to this effect, to me*****@sf*.ca or Ma*************@sh**.ca. If any particular session strikes you as being an especially comfortable fit for you, do let us know. We will most gratefully welcome your contributions!

Accommodation Information Now Posted:
Thanks to Trish Graham’s ongoing facilitation, we have now uploaded information on the four conference-sponsored accommodation options We have opted for a diversity of styles and rates, from residential housing on the Burnaby campus of SFU (about 45 minutes from the Harbour Centre conference site by public transit); to the atmospheric, landmark Sylvia Hotel (on English Bay, a 10-minute drive, or 30-40 minute walk from HC); to the conveniently situated Ramada Downtown Vancouver (two blocks distant); to the rather more ‘upscale’ Delta Vancouver Suites (also in very close proximity to the conference). The website provides residence/hotel contact numbers and URLs. We advise that you book early, to guarantee conference rates (our block bookings are limited in number, and in the case of the Ramada, the listed rates apply to May 2nd). Refer to the Institute for the Humanities Conference when booking. Should you be interested in putting your name forward for shared accommodation, please email Ma*************@sh**.ca by March 31st with a contact email and any room-mate/arrangement preferences; I will then circulate a list of interested delegates via the conference listserv during the first week of April (after which you can proceed to make the connections and subsequent bookings, based on that list).

Request for Billeting:
We have received the following request for billeting during the conference. Assistance in securing accommodation for the wonderful Friendly Spike players (who will be performing on the evening of Thursday, June 12th) would be hugely appreciated! (the contact email address appears below)
Three Guest Artists from
The Friendly Spike Theatre Band
One Male, Two Females
Need lodging
From June 11th to 15th
If you have questions about this email RuthRuth, fr***********@pr****.ca

Registration Reminder:
This is a reminder that all delegates must register for the conference by completing the on-line registration form Fees are payable by either credit card or cheque. The early registration rates apply through to May 2nd, after which on-line registration at the full rates will continue to June 4th. On-site registration will be available during the conference. Please consult the website for registration instructions, along with a breakdown of fees (separate fees apply to the Thursday Night of Mad Culture and the Saturday Evening with Frederick Wiseman). Once again, please be sure to register early for the Thursday and Saturday evening festivities (seating will be limited). Any questions regarding the registration page and procedures can be directed to Co*****************@sf*.ca .

Thursday Keynote Lecture:
The organizers are both elated and honoured to announce that David Oaks has consented to deliver the keynote address for the conference, scheduled for the afternoon of Thursday, June 12th. David Oaks will be a familiar and respected name for many of you. Over more than three decades, he has been a leader in the international psychiatric survivors human rights movement. A resident of Eugene, Oregon, David directs MindFreedom International, a non-profit coalition that unites 100 grassroots groups to win human rights and alternatives for people affected by the mental health system. The title of David’s lecture is “Prospects for a Nonviolent Revolution in the Mental Health System During a Time of Psychiatric Globalization.” Further details on David’s address (including an abstract), along with a brief biography, will be posted shortly on the conference website. We could not have been blessed with a more knowledgeable, dynamic and eloquent keynote speaker for this event.

Titicut Follies at Pacific Cinémathèque:
More good news. Thanks in large measure to the expert facilitation of its Executive Director Jim Sinclair, the Pacific Cinémathèque theatre (200 – 1131 Howe Street, about 10 city blocks from the conference site) will be the setting for the Friday evening (June 13th) screening of Titicut Follies. As many of our local delegates will know, Pacific Cinémathèque is a Vancouver cinematic institution. We are very fortunate to have the opportunity to view Frederick Wiseman’s landmark film in this wonderful venue. Needless to say, we encourage all delegates to attend this screening, both as an extraordinary experience in its own right, and preparatory to the Saturday conference events involving Frederick Wiseman as our distinguished guest. Information on the entire Friday evening line-up (a companion film to Titicut Follies is planned) and on ticket availability and pricing will be forthcoming in short order.

CPS Congress and Madness: Probing the Boundaries:
William Massicotte, Chair of the National Scientific Program Committee for the Canadian Psychoanalytic Society (CPS), has asked us to disseminate details on their annual congress, which will be taking place in Vancouver immediately prior to our MCSJ conference (specifically, June 6th-8th, 2008). The CPS program and other event information are posted at . Further, at least some of you will be interested in details on the conference Madness: Probing the Boundaries, scheduled for September 8th-10th, 2008 at Mansfield College, Oxford University. To view their Call for Papers, see

Website Revisions and Publicity Material To Follow:
Please look for additional website updates and listserv announcements as we finalize the facilities set-up, continue to work on local arrangements, and accelerate the publicity activities through to the conference dates in June.

Please Publicize:
As always, we will be most grateful for all efforts to recruit delegates, and to spread word about the event, in whatever form and fashion you deem fitting.

With thanks to all, and all best from here, for now,



Robert Menzies
Professor of Sociology
Simon Fraser University
8888 University Drive
Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6
Tel: +1 778 782 4552 Fax: +1 604 299 4396
Email: me*****@sf*.ca or rj*******@sh**.ca
Madness, Citizenship and Social Justice Conference:

Ways to Share: