Friday, 14 December 2012

Conference (London) Defensible in Theory and Workable in Practice

Is there are conception of autonomy that is:
Defensible in Theory and Workable in Practice

15-16 March 2013
Institute of Philosophy, London

Are any conceptions of autonomy defensible in theory and workable in practice? At the Essex Autonomy Project, this has been a key question animating our work. In this international conference — the culmination of our major programme of events — we intend to address it head on with contributions from philosophers, lawyers, psychiatrists and other practitioners. Among the issues to be discussed will be philosophical disputes about theories of autonomy, developments in mental health and capacity law, and autonomy in the context of eating disorders. A debate between Gordon Ashton (District Judge and Court of Protection) and Genevra Richardson (Professor of Law, Kings College London) will also be held, exploring the contested implications of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for reform of regimes of legal capacity.

Speakers: John Adlam, Michael Bach, Paul Benson, Derek Bolton, Fabian Freyenhagen, Wayne Martin

Participation is free, but seating is limited: advanced registration is required. To register please visit the website:

Monday, 10 December 2012

UCLan conference on René Girard: politics, violence and the sacred

Exploring René Girard’s thought in Security and International Studies
University of Central Lancashire, UK
23-24 May 2013

“Order in human culture certainly does arise from an extreme of disorder, for such disorder is the disappearance of any and all contested objects in the midst of conflict, and it is at such a point that acquisitive mimesis is transformed into conflictual mimesis and tends toward the unification of conflict against an adversary.”

René Girard, Things Hidden since the Foundation of the World

René Girard (1923) is arguably one of the most important scholars of our time. His corpus of reflections on religion, violence and mimetic theory has been acknowledged as one of the most striking approaches to human culture ever presented, to the point that it has been argued that his work has changed forever “the way we think about who and where we are” (Philosophy and Literature). In recent years, his thought has been studied and explored in many academic fields, including anthropology and literature, philosophy and sociology, history and psychology. These studies have generated a number of Girard-inspired research engagements and projects as witnessed by the creation ofThe Colloquium on Violence & Religion (COV&R) and Imitatio. Despite the strong assonance between Girardian themes and contemporary international issues and security challenges, scholars have not yet explored the implications of Girardian ideas for Security and more broadly International Relations.

The aim of the Conference is bring together a range of scholars in international relations, security, social and political theory which may develop a multidisciplinary engagement with René Girard’s work and its relevance for contemporary International Studies. A Special Issueof a journal and/or an edited volume is also envisaged as an outcome of the event.

Keynote Speakers includes:

Dr Michael Kirwan, Head of Theology, Heythrop College, University of London and author of Girard and Theology (New York & London: Continuum, 2009); Discovering Girard (London: Darton, 2004)

Dr Scott Thomas, Senior Lecturer in International Relations, University of Bath, and author of The Global Resurgence of Religion and the Transformation of International Relations (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005)

We invite potential participants from across these disciplines to submit abstracts of no more than 250 words by February 15th 2013drawing upon, but not limited to, such issues as:


The relation between violence, the sacred and the “political”
Comparisons between Girard’s thought and that of other classical thinkers such as Thomas Hobbes, Carl von Clausewitz, Reinhold Niebuhr, Carl Schmitt, Max Weber, Hans Morgenthau, George Bataille, Michel Foucault, Giorgio Agamben
Religion, sovereignty and the sacrality of borders
The international system and the “mimetic” balance of power 
The transcendence/immanence split and political mediation
Christendom, political theologies and the origins of modernity
War, peace and the victimization process
Biopolitics and the sacrality of violence


“Mimetic rivalry” and foreign policy
Fundamentalisms, extremisms and the scapegoat theory
Terrorism, human security and “sacrifice”
Capitalism, desire and the victimization of the “other”
Revolutions, “mimetic desire” and the scapegoat
Nuclear deterrence, imitation mechanism and (in)stability
Financial crises and the vicious circle of rivalry

Please send abstracts with “2013 Girard Conference” in subject line to:
Dr Antonio Cerella:

Please address any inquiries to:
Dr Antonio Cerella
Lecturer in International Relations
School of Education and Social Sciences
University of Central Lancashire
Preston PR1 2EH
Lancashire, UK
Office: +44 (0) 1772 892798

Thursday, 6 December 2012

The Social Aetiology of Mental Illness (SAMI) Training Program 2013–2014 Postdoctoral Fellowship

The Social Aetiology of Mental Illness (SAMI) Training Program 2013–2014 Postdoctoral Fellowship.  

Application Deadline: March 01, 2013 (5:00pm EST)

The Social Aetiology of Mental Illness (SAMI)Training Program is now accepting applications for the 2013-14 Postdoctoral Fellowship program.

The SAMI training program is a CIHR Strategic Training Initiative in Health Research Training Program based at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and the University of Toronto, and includes international partners from across the globe. Fellowships are for 1 year, fully funded, research-based, and will help top-class research students further develop their skills in investigating the social aetiology of mental illness.

Deadline: March 1, 2013 (5:00pm EST). Please visit the SAMI Training Program website for more information on how to apply.

Monday, 3 December 2012

CONFERENCE WITHDRAWN: Philosophy and Psychiatry: The Next Hundred Years

Oxford conference 20th July 2013

"A preliminary announcement and call for papers was published recently in connection with this conference. 

Two of our invited speakers have pointed out that the programme as announced was not representative of the full range of diverse contributors to modern interdisciplinary work in philosophy and psychiatry: it failed in particular to reflect the key roles not only of ethnic minority groups and women but also, and crucially, of people who use services (including carers) as well as people who provide them.

Although only a preliminary programme which had not as yet been through INPP or local review and vetting procedures we regret the error and are withdrawing the event.

2013 is an important year for philosophy and psychiatry as the centenary of Karl Jaspers’ General Psychopathology and a number of celebratory events are being organised. The Oxford Sumer School in ‘Mind, Value and Mental Health’ ( and the publication of the 50th volume in the IPPP series, Giovanni Stanghellini and Thomas Fuchs’ ‘One Century of Jaspers’ General Psychopathology’ ( have already been announced. Additional events offering in particular opportunities for submitted papers/posters and will be announced in the near future."

Bill Fulford on behalf of INPP