Melbourne Mad Studies Network

Next reading group: Monday 12th December, 2022

Dear Mad Reading Folk,

Please join us for a social catch up to mark the end of the year! Bring along a cuppa or a snack and your enthusiasm – we’d love to use this as an opportunity to regroup and hear from attendees about topics you’d like to see next year.

As we all know, it’s been a tough couple of years, and it would be great to spread the load a bit if anyone is keen to take up the mantle of supporting the group. Zara has offered to continue using their expertise to co-facilitate and Antonia is happy to keep supporting the admin side of things like mailouts and the website, but if you are looking for a volunteering opportunity please let us know. It would be a great help to have someone liaising with members coordinating topics from time-to-time!

Time and date:

Monday 12th December, 7pm Naarm/Melbourne time (reminder that we are now in Daylight Savings time – AEDT – which could make the time challenging for overseas members!) Please note the change of usual day. Hopefully Monday gives more people a chance to attend, and we can use some of the time to discuss next year’s schedule together as a group.

Zoom link:

Passcode: 659203

Thanks to Jo for sharing her Zoom account!


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 –

‘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)