Adverse events: On bad affects and the antidepressant wars (Public lecture, Henry Wellcome Auditorium, 7 June 2016)

The Feminist Theory Annual Lecture, organised this year in collaboration with Hubbub, aims to promote feminist theory and to bring together cutting edge thinkers in order to encourage lively, high level debate on topical issues within the academy and beyond. Previous speakers have included Raewyn Connell (University of Sydney), Kathy Davis (VU University Amsterdam) and Robyn Wiegman (Duke University). Feminist Theory is an international interdisciplinary journal engaged in debate about the diversity of feminism, incorporating perspectives from across the broad spectrum of the humanities and social sciences and a wide range of feminist political and theoretical stances.

Feminist Theory and Hubbub:
Organiser of Elizabeth A. Wilson – Adverse events: On bad affects & the antidepressant wars

There is a loose alliance of critics (feminists, anti-psychiatry activists, clinicians) who maintain that antidepressant medications pose a significant threat to the patients who take them: are adolescents, in particular, more susceptible to suicidal ideation when they take antidepressants? This paper argues for the necessary entanglement of harm and cure in psychological treatments and it considers the importance of over-interpretation of pharmaceutical data.  It sets out some challenges for a feminist politics of adverse events in the pharmaceutical era: what underlies the phantasy of harm-free psychological treatments? Do such phantasies produce their own adverse effects? What roles should bad feelings and toxic psychological states have in feminist accounts of psychopharmaceuticals?

Professor Elizabeth A. Wilson is Chair of the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Emory University. She is the author of Gut Feminism (Duke University Press 2015) and is writing an introduction to the work of Silvan Tomkins with Adam Frank (University of British Columbia).

Introduction, chairing and responses by Celia Roberts (Feminist Theory and Lancaster University), Felicity Callard (Hubbub and Durham University) and Des Fitzgerald (Hubbub and Cardiff University) and Yasmin Gunaratnam (Goldsmiths).

The formal part of the programme will end by 8pm and will be followed by a drinks reception in the Williams Lounge.

Attendance for the event is free, for more details and to register visit online.

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