Advanced Study Institute in Cultural Psychiatry

Division of Social & Transcultural Psychiatry, McGill University

Advanced Study Institute in Cultural Psychiatry

Challenging Migrant Detention:
Human Rights, Advocacy & Mental Health

June 19 - 21, 2018
Montreal, Québec

The Division organizes an annual one week institute for advanced study of current issues in cultural psychiatry. The program is directed to scholars, researchers and clinicians currently working on a specific theme which changes each year.

Advanced Study Institute Conference and Workshop (June 19 - 21, 2018)

The world is facing unprecedented numbers of forcibly displaced persons. Notions of the unwanted “Other”, the “illegal” migrant, and the “bogus” refugee are increasingly prominent in public discourse of destination countries, lending support to stringent border control policies whereby states incarcerate asylum seekers, undocumented migrants and other foreign nationals in immigration detention centres, prisons and camps. This structural violence primarily targets racialized populations from the Global South.

This international conference and workshop will bring together scholars in the fields of cultural psychiatry, human rights, criminology, psychology, anthropology and sociology, along with practitioners working with detained migrants, to consider the current trends in immigration detention and border control. Questions to be addressed will include:

  • What are the roles of research, clinical interventions, judicial procedures and advocacy in improving detention conditions and promoting alternatives to detention?
  • How can humanitarian, human rights and sociopolitical perspectives be integrated in a comprehensive critical analysis of immigration detention?
  • How does advocacy complement clinical care in promoting the mental health and well-being of migrants facing detention?
  •  How can we address the fears and prejudices used to legitimate immigration detention?
  • What is the role of migrant resistance strategies?
  • How can detainees’ lived experiences clarify the impact of immigration detention?
  • How can we navigate the ethical and methodological challenges of fieldwork with detainees?

Workshop (June 19) for researchers, practitioners and advocates working on issues of immigration detention and border control, at the Institute of Community and Family Psychiatry, Room G-23, 4333 Chemin de la Côte Ste-Catherine, Montreal, QC

Public Conference (June 20-21) New Residence Hall, 3625 Park Ave, Montreal, QC

Guest Faculty: Eleanor Acer, Dominic Aitken, Efrat Arbel, Idil Atak, Jacqueline Bhabha, Mary Bosworth, Andrew Crosby, Daniela DeBono, Francesca Esposito, Andriani Fili, Michael Flynn, Alice Gerlach, Hanna Gros, Jenny Jeanes, Blerina Kellezi, Sarah Mares, Samer Muscati, Delphine Nakache, Maayan Ravid

McGill Faculty: Janet Cleveland, François Crépeau, Rachel Kronick, Cécile Rousseau, Kazue Takamura

The 2018 Advanced Study Institute is jointly organized by the Division of Social & Transcultural Psychiatry and the SHERPA Research Centre, in partnership with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other associations.

Call for papers deadline: February 1, 2018

To submit an online proposal for a conference presentation:

For program updates and to register for the public conference (June 20-21):

To participate in the ASI pre-conference workshop (June 19), please contact the conference coordinator, Marie-Eve Paré, with a brief description of your interests regarding immigration detention at marie-eve.pare.ccomtl [at]

Please note that the deadline for the Summer School Program does not apply to the Advanced Study Institute.

You can find information on earlier Advanced Study Institutes on this page