Melbourne Mad Studies Network

Next reading group: Tuesday 20th September 2022

We are looking forward to seeing you all at the next reading group meeting, which will be facilitated by Kathleen, one of our members who is undertaking a PhD in philosophy with a focus on Philosophy of Psychiatry, Disability Studies, Mad Studies. We are thrilled to be discussing the topic The Intersection of Mad Studies and the Academy with her. Kathleen is joining us all the way from Michigan – an early start for our friends in the US!


Tuesday, 20th September, 2022


7pm-8.30pm AEST/Melbourne time (10am BST, 2.30pm IST)

Zoom link:

Please email for the link


Additional reading:

  • Blog post – ‘Mad Pride and the end of mental illness’, by Mohammed Rashed (some may remember previously reading the first chapter of Rashed’s book ‘Madness and the Demand for Recognition’ back in May.) This post talks about Mad Pride rather than Mad Studies, but gets at some of the tensions explored in the other readings and might be a good option for those who would like to come along but prefer a shorter reading this month

Please join us in reading the above (or a combination thereof!) and thinking about questions like – what specific theoretical interventions does Mad studies bring? Is there a Mad methodology? How do we do academic work Madly?

Hopefully see you there!

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)