18 Oct 2017

Third Wednesday of each month.

VENUE: Darlinghurst Community Space

In September and October 2017 Critical Perspectives in Madness Reading Group partners with The Big Anxiety to interrogate anxiety and the history of its construction as a medical condition.

The group will also explore literary and philosophical writings that offer diverse and subversive perspectives.

You’re invited to take part in the reading group as it asks questions such as What is the relationship between anxiety and discrimination? Between power and alienation? Is anxiety a ‘disorder’ that warrants ‘treatment’, an adequate response to living in late capitalism or a primordial existential state of ‘not being at home’?

Inspired by the notion of theory as an ‘empowering’ and even ‘healing’ tool, the Critical Perspectives on Madness Reading Group gathers monthly to read and discuss academic, autobiographical and literary texts that specifically challenge the dominant bio-medical, neoliberal and imperialist models of mental distress and explore the possibilities of resistance to those through subversive and emancipatory practices.

Participants are invited to reflect on the texts, as well as the current Australian socio-political climate and their own experiences. The focus remains on learning together and learning from each other.

20 September 2017
Topic: Considering Madness & Viewing anxiety through a philosophical and social lens


Menzies, R., LeFrancois, B., Raume, G. (2013). Introducing Mad studies, pp. 1-35, In: Mad Matters.

Heidegger, M. (). Being and Time, pp. (one page)

Scott, S. (2006). The medicalisation of shyness: from social misfits to social fitness.


Lane, C. (2007). Shyness: How normal behaviour became a sickness. Chapter 7.

18 October 2017
Topic: Performing anxiety?


Eales, L. (2016). Loose Leaf. Canadian Journal of Disability Studies. Pp. 58-76.

Orr, J. (2006). Panic diaries: A genealogy of panic disorder. Chapter 5, pp. 219-251 (or the whole chapter – optional).

Please email Sarah and Natalia on critical.perspectives.sydney@gmail.com to register and receive the readings. RSVP is necessary.

Darlinghurst Community Space is located on the lower ground floor beneath the new East Sydney Early Learning Centre at 277 Bourke Street.


Accessible entry is via Berwick Lane and the toilet is accessible.

  • bus routes along Oxford Street 373 and 399, 392, 394, M10 or to corner Bourke and Burton Street 389
  • 10 minute walk from Museum or Kings Cross train stations
  • limited time restricted parking