universities, the military-industrial complex and bureaucratic institutions. Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann principle that challenged the very idea of citizenship, Bruno Bettelheim’s work on autism and children, and his study “The Informed Heart”, Norman O. Brown and Herbert Marcuse’s pursuit of the “French Revolution”, as well as R.D. Laing’s work fed into what became a dimension of how the ordinary citizen might see mental illness. I will take a personal look at these powerful influences that affected the ‘student’ public sphere and eventually the fear of institutions. Into this mix came two films that not only fit the times but added a dimension that hitherto did not exist in the same way: Frederic Wiseman’s Titicut Follies and Peter Weiss’ Marat/Sade – the persecution and assassination of Marat as performed by the inmates of the asylum of Charenton under the direction of the Marquis de Sade. Both authors became in an ironic twist of fate “Marat-Sades” as their work was condemned. Why were we afraid of them?
Gary McCarron. Communication, Simon Fraser University
‘Talking it Through’: Mental Illness and Emancipatory Discourse
Communication has long been implicated in the popular conception of mental illness. From those who claim to hear voices to the fragmented “word salad” of the schizophrenic, communication skills and language competence are frequently among the primary markers by which mental health has been measured. This paper looks back to the days of Paul Watzlawick, Gregory Bateson, R. D. Laing and others in order to recuperate the spirit of a mode of theorizing that recognized the centrality of communication patterns in the formation and presentation of mental illness, a way of conceptualizing those afflicted with emotional distress that sought to understand their plight rather than to merely explain it (Dilthey). My intention is not to romanticize a historical period when mental illness was theorized as a form of communicational pathology, but to see the prospects for emotional emancipation and psychological wellbeing embedded in these more discursive approaches to mental illness. I want to suggest that the prospect for social justice for the mentally ill was greater when their humanity was confirmed in forms of therapy that focused on communication as opposed to the modern tendency to dampen affect and manage behavioral problems with drugs. I would never deny the usefulness of pharmaceuticals (though I would be inclined at times to condemn them, ironically, for working too well), but I think that the cultural ethos that reigns in our “pharmatropia” is part of Deleuze’s control society in the worse sense possible.
Andrea White. Social Work, York University
A Patient Rereading of the Italian Psychiatric Reform: Franco Basaglia and the Therapeutic Community at Gorizia
This essay examines the period of psychiatric reform in Italy that took place at the manicomo (asylum) at Gorizia, Italy, under the direction of the nonconformist