This is a blog recording the announcements that are sent out on the CASCA listserv.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

CfP: Studies in Social Justice special issue on The Politics of Resilience and Recovery in Mental Health Care - 22 July

~ Call for Papers ~

Studies in Social Justice, Special Issue on

The Politics of Resilience and Recovery in Mental Health Care

Over the past several decades, mental health care has increasingly
privileged models of resilience and recovery, alongside and as part of
shifts away from (partial) de-institutionalization, towards the newly
preferred model of 'community-based' care. Though such shifts have
largely been initiated through the resistance of those who have been
psychiatrized, these new models of care have now been co-opted within a
number of mental health care systems. Through this appropriation,
resilience and recovery have come to be incorporated into systems of
medicalized mental health care. Resilience and recovery have thus been
re-figured: psychiatric experts now iterate that through recovery and
resilience those who are deemed to have disordered minds can live
'meaningful lives' despite the ostensible permanence of their 'illnesses,'
thus working to deny the possibility of a kind of recovery that would
place 'patients' or 'clients' outside the remit of medical authority.
Whereas 20 years ago 'resilience' and 'recovery' were harnessed as an
organized means for psychiatric survivors to avert the medical system
through peer knowledge and support, they are now harnessed as a means for
incorporating psychiatric survivors into medical systems, and to making
them responsible for their adherence to prescribed ways of governing their
interior lives. In the process, bio-medical and psychosocial models have
been drawn together in novel configurations, including Cognitive Behaviour
Therapy (CBT), positive psychology, and the like. Whole populations and
societies are being targeted as these models move from solely treating
those deemed mentally ill, towards responsibilizing all members of a given
population or society for their mental health and well-being.

Mental health models based on resilience and recovery are being instituted
in a number of sub-national, national and supra-national settings with the
aspiration of creating healthy, happy and productive populations. These
processes are incredibly expansive, and are targeting numerous populations
in a wide array of spaces. Examples abound. Mental health care within
national health services are being revamped, through, for instance, the
newly formed Mental Health Commission of Canada, and the UK NHS's recent
systemic turn to CBT. Resilience and recovery also figure within the
mental health programming of various sub-national organizations, from
schools, to universities, to militaries, amongst others. Resilience and
recovery models have also figured in International Organizations,
including the World Health Organization's 2001 world health report on
Mental Health: New Understanding, New Hope, which advocates the
integration of neuromedicine and behavioural science, while targeting
former post-colonial nations, without also acknowledging psychiatry's role
in imperialism. Such activities are being contested within psy expert
communities, as well as resisted by psychiatric survivor and mad pride
movements, which have worked to politicize the appropriation of resilience
and recovery from psychiatric survivor communities. Such resistance works
to re-position mental health, resilience, and recovery, not as matters
under the domain of medicine or illness, but as matters of social justice,
recognition, and difference.

We seek contributions that will foster interdisciplinary dialogue on the
politics of resilience and recovery, and social justice in mental health
care. Contributions are welcome from those situated in or across the
disciplines of anthropology, sociology, political science, education,
psychology, ethics, medicine, health studies, amongst others. Please send
an abstract of 500 words by no later than July 22, 2011 to Alison Howell
and Jijian Voronka, special issue guest editors at: and Please be
advised that full articles of 6,000 to 8,000 words (inclusive) will be due
on or before November 15th, 2011. Further information about Studies in
Social Justice can be found at:

Casca News

This blog mirrors the list-serv for the Canadian Anthropology Society. To submit an announcement to this list, please email:

Blog Archive