Asylum! Conference and Festival

Manchester 10-12 September 2008
Elizabeth Gaskell Campus MMU

Invited speakers include:
Peter Beresford, Peter Bullimore, Ron Coleman, Jacqui Dillon, Sandra Escher, Rob Evans, Gillian Haddock, Paul Hammersley, Lois Holzman, Alec Jenner, Lucy Johnstone, Marius Romme, Dorothy Rowe, Phil Thomas

Asylum! Conference and Festival Themes:
Celebrating Terence McLaughlin - Life, work and change
Professional and User Involvement - Radical practice
Resisting Big Pharma - Resisting Big Psy
Connecting Theory and Change - Academic knowledge and political activity
Transdisciplinary Experimental Applied Psychology - Critique and creativity
Disabling and enabling - In and against oppressive institutions
New Social Movements - Linking with social action

This is an Asylum conference co-organised by Asylum Associates, the Discourse Unit, Hearing Voices Network and Paranoia Network, with the participating sponsorship of Campaign Against the Schizophrenia Label, UCLAN Institute for Philosophy, Diversity and Mental Health, PCCS Books, Intervoice and Working to Recovery.

The conference will bring together organisations, activists, campaigners and academics working for radical challenge and change in mental health. It will showcase critical work on psychiatry and psychology (‘Big Psy’) and the pharmaceutical industry (‘Big Pharma’), and alternatives to diagnostic medical labels like ‘schizophrenia’ and ‘paranoia’. The conference will run alongside a festival of organisations working for a better world. There will be guest speakers, academic papers, panel discussions, bookstalls, film, art, music and workshops.

FIRST CALL: Send proposals of 100 words, and try to think about radical ways of working not only in the content (what it is you want to do) but in the form (in the way you want to do it). Think radical for Asylum! To submit an academic paper abstract, send by January 31st to Ian Parker ( First round decisions on acceptance of abstracts will be made by the end of February. To submit plans for a workshop, discussion, music or other event, send details by January 31st to Peter Bullimore ( or Jade Bullimore ( Contact us now if you want your organisation to be a participating sponsor in the ‘Asylum! Conference and Festival’, included in future publicity. Academic registration is £350 full-cost for the three days (with a range of bursaries for low-waged and unwaged participants). Participation in the festival events by organisations, activists and campaigners will be at negotiated cost. Welcome! Contact us for details.