Disalienation: Politics, Philosophy, and Radical Psychiatry in France

Disalienation: Politics, Philosophy, and Radical Psychiatry in France

Waterstone at the Circle Theatre

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Date(s) - 05/09/2019
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Camille Robcis, Ph.D.

Columbia University


Thursday, May 9



Waterstone at the Circle

Theatre – First Floor

385 Chestnut Hill Avenue

Boston, MA 02135


Overview: This talk explores the intersections of politics, philosophy, and radical psychiatry in 20th century France. It focuses on a psychiatric reform movement called “institutional psychotherapy” which had an important influence on many intellectuals and activists, including François Tosquelles, Jean Oury, Felix Guattari, Frantz Fanon, Georges Canguilhem, and Michel Foucault. Anchored in Marxism and in Lacanian psychoanalysis, institutional psychotherapy advocated a fundamental restructuring of the asylum in order to transform the theory and practice of psychiatric care. More broadly, for many of these thinkers, the psychiatric offered a lens to rethink the political in the particular context of postwar France.

Camille Robcis, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of French and History at Columbia University. Her first book, The Law of Kinship: Anthropology, Psychoanalysis, and the Family in France was published by Cornell University Press in 2013 and won the 2013 Berkshire Conference of Women Historians Book Prize. It examines how French policy makers have called upon structuralist anthropology and psychoanalysis (specifically, the works of Claude Lévi-Strauss and Jacques Lacan) to reassert the centrality of sexual difference as the foundation for all social and psychic organization. She received her B.A. in History and Modern Culture & Media from Brown University, her Ph.D. in History from Cornell, and she taught for ten years in Cornell’s History Department. She has received fellowships from the Penn Humanities Forum, LAPA (Princeton Law and Public Affairs), the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute for Advanced Study.

Pre-Event Suggested Reading: Below is a link to an interview with Camille Robcis   Institutional Psychotherapy in France: An Interview with Camille Robcis 28 September 2017   


Parking: Parking is available in a garage opposite the main entrance to the Waterstone Building. It is labeled “resident parking” but can be used for guests. Press the intercom at the garage entrance and say you are a guest of Ginger Chappell (resident and MIP member), and you will be let in. From the garage, use the elevators to gain entrance to the building. Use the same intercom procedure for accessing the elevators. Guides will be there to assist you!

Register here: https://bit.ly/2Gd1ked   Seating limited to 40. Registrants should notify Liz Martin at reachmip@gmail.com if it turns out they are unable to attend.

(617) 469-2777

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