Next reading group: Tuesday 20th June 2023
Dear Mad Reading folk,
Join us in June as Stephen takes us through the topic ‘Narrating suicidality’. This reading group invites us to continue the discussions we had last year in the Mad Studies Reading Group around suicide. This reading group will explore the inability of society to truly listen to the voice of those of who want to die and how this impacts how they understand themselves, including how academic research and suicide prevention frameworks struggle to hear their stories.
Date: Tuesday 20th June 2023
Time: 7-8.30pm (Naarm/Melbourne time)
Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83912097779?pwd=NGd6RXQvUHRrMlhRNGs0VFlqTkZLUT09
- Wedlake, G., 2020. Complicating theory through practice: Affirming the right to die for suicidal people. Canadian Journal of Disability Studies, 9(4), pp.89-110.
- Dernbach, K.S., Narrating “Suicidality”: What Happens to Our Stories?. In 2022 International Symposium on Autoethnography and Narrative (p. 269).
Additional reading/listening for those interested:
- It’s a Mind Field Podcast, Episode 11: Reframing Suicide, with Max Simensen.
- Baril, A., 2020. Suicidism: A new theoretical framework to conceptualize suicide from an anti-oppressive perspective. Disability Studies Quarterly, 40(3).
Questions for discussion:
- What is suicidism?
- What does suicidism look like? Where might you have noticed suicidism operating?
- How does ‘suicidism‘ silence or change stories? Is possible for us to share our stories about suicide?
- How do / can suicidal subjects speak truths in the face of suicidism?
- How do we as Wedlake suggests resist dominant suicide prevention discourses, while fighting for the suicidal people in our lives to stay with us? Is this the right goal?
Please be mindful when attending that we are holding this as an open space for honest and supportive dialogue, and will prioritise hearing from those who have lived experience of suicidality and/or bereavement, recognising both experiences add value to this conversation.
If you are seeking a peer-based response to supporting people who have made suicidal attempts or who have experienced suicidal thoughts then you may be interested in Alt2Su groups which also run on Zoom.
Yours in solidarity,
Mad Studies Melbourne
Do you know anyone who might be interested in leading one of the monthly reading groups? Maybe that person is you? Maybe it’s someone whose work you admire? All that is required is to choose two-three readings on a topic – readings can include a podcast or video, or written texts – that are relatively accessible to a general, but interested audience (i.e. we don’t usually read dense legal theory or highly specialised philosophical texts, although often they will be challenging and we can support each other to understand them!) and contact us and we can lock in a date. The person would then need to come on the night prepared with a little bit of an intro and maybe some questions to prompt discussion (this is very flexible). The group is very friendly and the network facilitators will have your back. Let us know – firstname.lastname@example.org.
‘Madness is the only way I stay alive. I used to be a comedian, a long time ago! It’s true. There’s some good memories. … It’s too late to be sane, too late! You’ve got to go full-tilt bozo. Cos you’re only given a little spark of madness, and if you lose that, you’re nothing. Don’t. From me to you, don’t ever lose that, cos it keeps you alive. … That’s my only love, crazy.’-Robin Williams (Little Spark of Madness, 1978)
‘Let me begin by saying that I came to theory because I was hurting-the pain within me was so intense that I could not go on living. I came to theory desperate, wanting to comprehend-to grasp what was happening around and within me. Most importantly, I wanted to make the hurt go away. I saw in theory then a location for healing.’-bell hooks (Theory as Liberatory Practice, 1991)
‘Academia can be an imposing or off-putting environment for many, and Mad Studies grapples with its relationship to class, privilege, language, exclusion, practice, activism and accessibility… It is intended as a bridge between the academic space and people who are contributing to the world in other ways – activists, artists, peer workers, critical thinkers, agitators, survivors and the rest. …with Mad Love!’-Flick Grey (Mad Studies Conversation Starters, 2019)