Advanced Study Institute in Cultural Psychiatry

Registration is now open!


Division of Social & Transcultural Psychiatry, McGill University

Advanced Study Institute in Cultural Psychiatry

The Future of Cultural Psychiatry:
Virtuality, Imagination, and Community

June 26 - 28, 2024
Montreal, Québec

Advanced Study Institute Conference and Workshop (June 26 - 28, 2024)

A congeries of new technologies are remaking the human body, mind and ecological niche, confronting us with new challenges and predicaments—and new ways of being. Gene-editing and other biotechnologies, the accelerated and dense connectivity of the internet, and virtual reality each offer us new kinds of mobility and mutability. The use of information and communication technologies to deliver mental health care and the applications of big data, machine learning and AI are changing the nature of the clinical encounter. These technologies open onto unfamiliar landscapes and identities that have been termed “posthuman”. The posthuman may be a throwing off of parochial anthropocentric blinders, and a welcoming of other-than human beings into our worlds. But it may also portend a loss of human community, historical continuity, cherished values and moral compass. All of this occurs in the context of accelerating degradation and breakdown of the global ecosystem on which our survival depends. This conference will explore the impact of these disruptive changes in remaking our sense of what it is to be human and of the prospects and pathologies of emerging forms of life and community. An interdisciplinary group of scholars from cultural psychiatry, anthropology, sociology, philosophy and literature will address questions at the intersection of cultural studies and mental health, including (1) How are new technologies remaking our minds, bodies, cultures, and communities? (2) What new pathologies arise from the predicaments created by these changes? (3) How can cultural psychiatry respond to these challenges through innovations in clinical practice, mental health promotion, and advocacy?

The format will be a 2-day Workshop (June 26 & 27) for researchers working on these issues, with intensive discussion of pre-circulated papers unpublished by participants. A public Conference (June 28) directed to mental health practitioners, researchers, and students will include selected workshop presentations and panel discussions as well as a poster session. After peer review, selected papers will be published in a thematic issue of Transcultural Psychiatry.

Registration for the Advanced Study Institute is now ONLINE.

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